Scottish-born Alastair Hunter was pleased that Hadleigh's dour old manservant in Yorkshire Television's "Hadleigh" series was called Maxwell -because it justified Alastair native accent creeping into the part now and again.
"You couldn't get a more Scottish name than Maxwell, so that could mean that although his grounding was a Yorkshire one, he could have had his roots in Scotland", explains Alastair, who admitted that he was somewhat nervous about playing a Yorkshire accent which was heard by Yorkshire people.
Alastair who lived in London for about 30 years, was born in Ayrshire. He started his career in banking, according to the wishes of his architect father, who wanted him to gain a business background. Coming from an artistically inclined, although not a particularly theatrically minded family, however, Alastair had always fancied the stage as his profession and he loathed banking.
"I stayed in it three years, just long enough to honour my father's wishes, and then went into repertory", he recalled. He started at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, and then moved to different companies throughout the country. He first went to London In 1937 and appeared in various films, including "A Yank at Oxford", in which he was a student, and "Q-Planes", in which he played a co-pilot with Sir Laurence Olivier;
His first TV was the juvenile lead in "Campbell of Kilmhor", broadcast from Alexandra Palace in 1938. Shortly afterwards he was in his first West End play, "Saloon Bar", with Gordon Harker, and the war broke out during the play's pre-West End tour. Alastair had a Territorial Commission and left the play to join his regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers. After his seven years service - he was with the British Expeditionary Force in France and the Far East - he was given a small part in "Born Yesterday" by Sir Laurence Olivier in order to get him back on his feet in the theatre. Then, following one or two repertory tours, he went into the play "Noose" at London's Saville Theatre. Subsequent credits in the West End Include "To Dorothy a Son" in which he played Cameron at the Garrick and Savoy, and the part of Turton in "Passage to India" at the Comedy. At the same time he also appeared in many television plays, probably his strongest part being that of Ephraim Caird in "Witchwood".