Transcripts

21 May 1967: Sunday Express

Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg, who plays Emma Peel in the TV show The Avengers, is annoyed by reports that she has won a 300,000 film contract.

"Everyone thinks I've signed my life away for the next seven years," she says. "But in fact the contract doesn't exist."

It was last month, while 28-year-old Miss Rigg was on holiday in Spain, that American producer Irving Allen announced that she was getting the 300,000 contract with Columbia - to make one film a year for seven years.

Mr. Allen said the first Diana Rigg film would start shooting this year.

But Miss Rigg says: "This is total nonsense. All that happened was that Mr. Allen sent me a couple of books on which films were to be based.

"I was just not interested. Then I read in the papers that I had this contract.

"Frankly I think Mr. Allen's been a bit cheeky."

Says Mr. Allen, who flew in to London last week from New York: "Diana Rigg suddenly decided that she wasn't going to sign a long-term contract - so she doesn't get the part. It's that simple.

"Her name wouldn't sell any tickets at the box office. Now I've got someone much better - Stella Stevens. She means something as an important star."

Why did Mr. Allen announce that Miss Rigg had got the contract?

"I have a letter from her agent outlining the terms and conditions," he says. "That's good enough?"

But Miss Rigg's agent, Mr. Dennis Selinger, says: "It's true that there were preliminary discussions. But there was absolutely no question of ageeing to any contract - and no correspondence at all.

"Mr. Allen just jumped the gun. He was asked for a retraction but this has never been forthcoming."

Miss Rigg leaves The Avengers this year to star in the Royal Shakespeare Comapny's film of A Midsummer Night's Dream.


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