But Peter Bowles fans will see him in something very different and a whole lot darker this week.
He’s one of the cast of Bafta award-winning drama Murder, which has returned to BBC2 with three new films.
It uses personal confessions to revisit the missing moments leading up to a death.
Creators Robert Jones and Kath Mattock couldn’t be accused of skimping on detail.
They spent months in the public galleries of the Old Bailey, researching real-life murder cases for inspiration.
And their writing obviously struck a chord with Peter.
Ask what made him want to take up the role and he says simply: “The script. It was groundbreaking for me.
“I loved the part, that’s it!”
The Lost Weekend is the episode in which Peter stars.
It involves a missing woman who’s been having an affair with an English aristocrat.
He’s named on social media, sparking a police investigation.
Peter plays the dad —appalled that his hellraising son is once again dragging the family’s name through the mud — who takes legal action.
Murder mixes CCTV footage, forensic evidence and the cast speaking directly to the camera, giving their version of events.
“It was new,” admits Peter, who’s now 79.
“Every actor likes a close-up, and for every shot to be a close-up was great!
“But not to be talking to another actor was interesting, as you can’t react.
“Some of the best acting is reacting and you couldn’t do that here.
“The thing is, partly because of my age, the most challenging thing was not letting myself down by muffling the lines, which luckily I didn’t.
“It’s quite a responsibility.”
Peter’s character Greville Cotterall is an earl and as the drama unfolds, the troubled relationship between him and son Dominic becomes clearer.
“His motto, in Latin, means not to be frightened,” explains Peter.
“Something happens to the boy when he’s 10, something at school, and I have to remove him from there.
“I decide to teach him a lesson and frighten him. It destroys the boy’s life and as the episode unravels, it reveals how I destroyed it.”
With the previous series having won such plaudits, Peter’s keen that the audience will once again take to the unusual style.
“I really hope they enjoy it,” he adds.
“Once you get into something of this format, you really get into it.
“It’s different, but because the writing is so superb.
“It doesn’t let you down, it draws you in.”
Murder: The Lost Weekend, BBC2, Thursday, March 10, 9pm
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