Rupert Murdoch's performance as a genial octagenarian proprietor, who turns up once a month to tel them they're all doing very well, has won him the coveted part of Young Mr Grace in the new movie version of hit sit com Are You Being Served?
Murdoch wowed audiences at the House of Commons Select Committee hearings. Many were stunned by his bravura performance as an easy going publishing magnate. The idea that any proprietor was accept that 'there's not much going on this week' from one of his newspaper editors is absurd. And yet, such was the power of Mr Murdoch's method acting, the entire audience was ready to suspend disbelief. In the closing scene, when the old man gets pied in the face by a failed standup leftie, the entire audience were out of their seats and cheering for the bastard from down under.
"I was amazed to find I was sympathising with such a despicable piece of dirt. I don't know if that was because of Rupert's performance, or the trick of having him assaulted by a double barreled trot in a goatee beard," said one critic, "but somehow, they managed to make me feel sympathy for the dirty digger.
Many likened Murdoch's performance to Wilfred Brambles portrayal of Albert Steptoe. Insiders say Gordon Brown - with whom Murdoch spent a lot of time - taught him how to do that weird thing with his mouth.
With a fine supporting performance by son James in the role of Harold Steptoe - at one stage James turned to his dad with a look that said "you dirtay auld man" - Murdoch's acting performance was judged a theatrical tour de force.