Liam Rudden: Brandon’s secret for a happy marriage

Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber. Pic: Comp
Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber. Pic: Comp
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SO, I had a chat with Michael Brandon earlier in the week about A View From The Bridge, currently running at The King’s.

To anyone who watched TV in the 80s, of course, Brandon will forever be one half of crime-fighting duo Dempsey And Makepeace, in which he starred with Glynis Barber, who first came to fame as Soolin in Blakes 7 and who more recently appeared in EastEnders as Glenda Mitchell.

The pair have been married for 25 years now, but been together a lot longer, Brandon told me when we talked - they were just about to head off to the launch of Barber’s new book, The In-Sync Diet, published by Autharium.

Dempsey and Make-peace may have been first broadcast 30 years ago now, but it’s a show the pair cannot escape.

“It is fascinating. Everywhere we go, including France and Eastern Europe, people stop and say, ‘You’re that guy... you’re Dempsey.’ It goes on and on,” he laughed.

Long marriages are famously few on the ground in the world of showbiz, and needless to say the laid-back New Yorker had a suitably witty answer when I asked him the secret.

“I read that a woman marries a man with the belief that she can change him into the man she wants. And she can’t.

“But a man marries a woman because he believes she will stay the way she is. She doesn’t... my wife today is more beautiful, than ever, smarter than ever, she really has grown into herself.”

Which sounded a bit like Barber might be the boss?

“Well, let’s put it this way,” he laughed, “As King, I rule benevolently. Maybe that’s the key. I let her think she’s the boss... and she let’s me think I’m the boss.”