Mind your language

Albert Moses: End of ‘A thousand apologies…’

Albert Moses, the Sri Lankan born actor, who went on to achieve international stardom, gained popularity over his acting in the ITV comedy television series, Mind Your Language, where he was cast as Ranjeet Singh, a Sikh from Punjab, India. Indeed he was better known among the populace as Ranjeet Singh, rather than as Albert Moses.

Born on December 9, 1937 in Gampola, Albert Moses passed away on September 15, 2017 in London, and was put to rest at St. Andrew’s Church in Gampola yesterday (9). As per his obituary, he has passed away peacefully.

IMDb lists Moses as an actor and producer, known for the movies, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Octopussy (1983). Both, The Spy Who Loved Me and Octopussy were James Bond movies.

Moses had worked at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya before beginning his acting career in the 1960s. It was in India that he made his first appearances in movies, produced and directed for the first time. He acted in seven movies and was the producer and director of the eighth movie. From there, he had moved on to Africa to work on documentaries. Afterwards, he moved to London to pursue studies in theatre and drama, where his acting career began.

It was after responding to a newspaper advertisement that he had landed the part of Ranjeet Singh, in Mind Your Language. It was set in a class teaching English as foreign language, at an adult education college in London, illustrating the daily trials of the teacher, handling his diverse group of students.

At the auditions, Moses outdid a native Sikh and went on to win the part. Moses spent days learning the lifestyle of the Sikhs, including the food they eat, the way they speak and even the way they wrap the turban round their heads, from his many Sikh friends. Perhaps, it was his indepth research into minute details of the character of Ranjeet Singh which made the character and his ‘thousand apologies’ such a success. Moses went on to produce 13 episodes of Mind Your Language, which was telecast from 1977 to 1986. In his later days, Moses lived in Hertfordshire, teaching English to Eastern European migrant workers, free of charge.

Moses has been in the television and movie industry for over 30 years. During the span of his career, he has worked with legendary directors of the day, including, John Landis, John Houston, Rob Cohen and Alan Parker.

He starred in numerous movies, including, The Man Who Would Be King, a John Huston film; What’s Up Nurse, a Derek Ford sex comedy; Stand Up; Virgin Soldiers; Carry On Emmanual; The Little Drummer Girl; The Awakening; The Great Quest; Pink Floyd: The Wall, an Alan Parker film; The Little Drummer Girl, a George Roy Hill film; Scandalous; The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo; and East Is East which was a BAFTA award winning Film4 production.

Albert Moses with Roger Moore

Moses has acted alongside many accomplished actors including, Sean Connery, Michael Caine , Christopher Plummer, Roger Moore, Sir John Gielguld and Pamela Stevenson.

He has participated in theatre productions in London, including, Phædra Britannica , at National Theatre, in which he acted with Diana Rigg, Long March to Jerusalem at the Watford Palace Theatre and Freeway at National Theatre.

He was popular for his acting in the television series including Queenie, a Hollywood mini series; On the Buses, on London Weekend Television; Warship, a BBC television drama; Robin’s Nest a Thames Television sitcom; Juliet Bravo, a BBC television drama; four episodes of The Jewel in the Crown, on Granada Television; The Little and Large Show, a BBC television comedy; The Benny Hill Show, a Thames Television comedy; Boon, an ITV Central drama; five episodes of The Bill a talkback, a Thames television drama; Never the Twain, a Thames Television sitcom; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man With The Twisted Lip, on Granada Television; London’s Burning, a London Weekend Television drama; and Tandoori Nights, on Channel 4.

Moses directed and produced the television series Gabriella, which was produced in Malta. He has written scripts for The Seventh Commandment, a TV drama, Side by Side, a TV comedy, Don’t Talk to Strangers, a TV thriller and The Jokers, a TV drama.

He was also a past Chairman of the St Albans Film Society and of Asian, Caribbean, Oriental and Asian Artistes of EQUITY, and a member of the London regional committee of ITV under the chairmanship of Lord Lipsey.

Moses also wrote children’s books, including Tales from India, The Hawk and the Turtles, and Mustapha Mouse Goes to the City, and published a poetry book consisting of 87 poems.

He was a philanthropist, and the trustee and patron of the children’s charity, Ivy Trust. He has also volunteered at hospitals, schools and elders’ homes. In recognition of his work for children, he was made a Knight of the Order of St. John.

The man Albert Moses has become the soil of his motherland, but Ranjeet Singh, with his thousand apologies, will eternally remain in the hearts of the millions of fans around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button