Dame Diana Rigg

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Dame Diana Rigg Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


Last Update : 01/04/17

In early 2013, Dame Diana Rigg came out in support of chivalry, declaring that women who objected to traditional courtesies such as men opening doors for them were “stupid”.

“If a man holds a door open for me, or pulls back a chair so that this old bag can sit down, I’m delighted,” she said. “If they put an arm around a woman and say, ‘You look good today’, they can find themselves in court. Women who carp about that are stupid. They find it belittling, but it’s just good manners.”

Naturally, this didn’t go down too well with everyone. The Guardian threw a minor fit, accusing Rigg of “laying into other women.” Columnist Suzanne Moore said the 74-year-old was a “Gosh, I’m so successful, I don’t need feminism” type. The BBC quoted a source that said that extending simple courtesies to women might indeed be “benevolent sexism” and “potentially harmful”.

Rigg has been sniffy about the Sisterhood for decades, declaring in the Sixties: “I find the whole feminist thing very boring. They are so much on the defensive that they dare not love a man because they feel assaulted by being dependent.”

Yes readers, it’s time to look at feminism, surely one of those taboo subjects like sex and politics that should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, I never read the rulebook.

An understanding of how far we’ve come since the 60’s feminist movement, or perversely how far we’ve regressed, is perhaps best illustrated by events in London’s House of Commons in October 2013 when Jo Swinson, then seven months pregnant, stood next to other MPs for half an hour at Prime Minster’s Questions without being offered a seat.

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and a man more than old enough to remember traditional values, subsequently waded into the debate about whether a heavily pregnant MP should have been offered a seat by colleagues in the Commons, whilst the Lib Dem Equalities minister naturally responded that she had wanted to stand. Let us agree at this point, that within the confines of her own home and the intimacy of her marriage, she may well have reiterated this view or, au contraire, railed against modern man. If the latter is true, then let us pray for her husband’s discretion, for in light of her previously expressed views and policies, anything less will leave her professional reputation in tatters.

The journalist, novelist and broadcaster,Cristina Odone was quick to wade in, questioning Swinson’s motives in The Telegraph:

‘I sometimes wonder if Jo Swinson is a self-hating woman. Under her watch, despite a lot of promises, Britain’s women are worse off than ever. In fact, those who stay home to look after their children, argue that they’ve never felt so excluded. Her pronouncements, too, have betrayed an anti-woman bias: she infamously told parents not to tell their daughters that they were beautiful. Any child psychologist will tell you that children, especially girls, need praise and approval. But Swinson knows best: let them think their bum looks big in this – get a life girls, and quash your feminine side.

If the MPs in the House, instead of showing Swinson the deference deserving of her pregnant state, had referred to her “nappy brain” she’d fly into a hysterical diatribe about chauvinists and woman-haters. Because THAT would have betrayed that they’d cottoned on to the terrible truth: she is a woman’.

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Recommended listening

Desert Island Discs (30/11/70)


Recommended viewing

The Avengers (Seasons 4 & 5) 1965-67

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

In this House of Brede (1975)

Adapted by James Costigan from the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden, ‘In This House of Brede,’ Rigg turns in a compelling Emmy Award winning performance as a widowed, fortyish business executive in search of a more meaningful life. She turns her back on the world of commerce and capitalism to enter a strict order of Benedictine nuns at Brede Abbey. Here, the peace of mind that her character Dame Phillipa seeks remains elusive, especially when her fidelity to her vows is questioned by the younger novices.

Filmed on location at genuine convents in London and Ireland, ‘In This House of Brede’ premiered February 27, 1975, as a GE TheaterTV special.

Subordinating one’s ego and vanity in favour of loving even those who would irritate us, is at the heart of Rumer Godden’s novel, and James Costigan’s screenplay works well in conveying the monastic undercurrent of feelings and emotions.

When Philippa arrives at Brede, a cloistered Benedictine monastery, the abbess who was responsible for convincing her to enter this vocation suddenly dies. Her successor is Catherine (Gwen Watford), a sensitive leader who’s the first to tell the newcomer to the community that all nuns are to love without a preference for one over another. This becomes very difficult when Joanna (Judi Bowker), a young nun, singles Sister Philippa out and grows very attached to her.

A rich Christian from Japan wants to start a nunnery in his homeland. The abbess designates Dame Philippa to train five Japanese novitiates since she knows the language. Meanwhile Sister Agnes (Pamela Brown) continues to give Philippa a hard time no matter what she does.

Whilst the screenplay focuses on the inter-personal relationships between the nuns, this level of concentration inevitably casts adrift many important sub-plots found in the original novel such as the Abbey’s century old secret. Nevertheless, as a film adaptation, the production achieves much in conveying the strength and failings of the postulants and professed in equal measure.

Mother Love (BBC Tv Series) 1989

Rebecca (BBC Tv) 1999

Victoria & Albert (2001)

Diana Rigg at the BBC (DVD) 2011


Diana Rigg - The Unofficial Website


An unattractive homepage – bereft of any photographic content – detracts from what is otherwise an interesting collection of archive transcripts, screen caps, and comprehensive television, film and theatre listings.

Last updated in 2012 to reflect Miss Rigg’s guest appearance on the BBC’s Doctor Who” series.