The estate was recently asked if we could carry out repairs to this original prop from The Secret Service, this is the communication unit featured on the desk of The Bishop, and seen in most episodes.
We advised that it would be best to carry out a sympatetic restoration so that the patina the unit has picked up in over 50 years stays intact.
We took moulds of the remaining buttons to create replacements for the lower and upper buttons on the unit, we also recreated the labels saying “Agents” etc.
Small repairs were carried out to some minor wood splitting.
The original handset and cord was missing so these have been recreated and fitted.
The current owner often displays his collection at events, so look out for it featuring in an event soon.
The unit is actually based on a real life office switchboard, which also featured in the series showing a human hand pressing the buttons. The unit was made by “PYE” which was another company owned by Lew Grade and ATV.
This type of unit can also be seen in ITC shows including The Champions & Department S, and can even be spotted in Carry On & James Bond films!
The puppet prop actually started life in the previous series “Joe 90” and can been seen in the episode “Trial at Sea”
We have just picked up a full sized unit and will refurbish to match the on screen one soon, so look out for future updates.