Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers

This week in Mailbox: We reveal the name of the mystery man from our March competition and we also announce the four lucky winners who can expect parcels from Radio Prague. Listeners quoted: Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Gina Cenkl, Bart Caspers, Mofizur Rahman, Uchenna Ezeani, Kirk W. Samlalsingh, Paul R Peacock, Colin Law, Harold Yeglin.

Welcome to Mailbox. Another month has passed and that means it's time to reveal the mystery person from our March competition and announce the names of the four lucky winners who will be getting Radio Prague goodies.

We asked you to tell us the name of a Czech-born British film actor, perhaps best known for his part in the "Pink Panther" movies with Peter Sellers. And the answer is neither Robert Miller nor David Niven but...

"When I read the question, I thought 'Now who has played with Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther who could possibly be Czech-born? Goodness, it couldn't be Herbert Lom, could it?' I have always thought of him as being British, because I saw him so often on British TV when I was young. Actually, I saw him on Japanese TV just a couple of weeks ago in Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage (made in 2004, but only just reached us over here!)"

That was a quote from an e-mail from Christine Takaguchi-Coates from Japan. And another faithful listener, Gina Cenkl from Boston sent us this answer:

"Inspector Dreyfus is still alive, age 90. I never knew this much about Herbert Lom. Thanks for posting the question and making me look him up. Lom has no intention of retiring, and says he will go on pulling faces till he drops! It's good to know that this old pro has a few more films left in him."

Herbert Lom in 'The Pink Panther Strikes Again'
Bart Caspers follows us here in the Czech Republic:

"I think the mystery person you are referring to this month is Mr. Herbert Lom (born as Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru in Prague on 11 September 1917)."

Mofizur Rahman is writing from Bangladesh:

"I think the person you are asking for is Mr. Herbert Lom, a Czech-born character actor best known as Peter Sellers' long-suffering boss, Inspector Dreyfus, in the Pink Panther movies."

Uchenna Ezeani listens to Radio Prague in Nigeria:

"I was fascinated when I heard about the March quiz question, to me it was very necessary that Radio Prague should promote this world icon. Until now it never occurred to me that Herbert Lom was a Czech. I love British films a lot and the answer is of course easy to me."

Kirk W. Samlalsingh tunes in to our broadcasts in Canada:

"His career which began in the 1930s comprises more than 100 film and TV credits. Apart from playing the role of Commissioner Dreyfus in many of the Pink Panther movies, he has also been cast as the Phantom of the Opera, Napoleon Bonaparte and even Captain Nemo."

Paul R Peacock from Australia had this to say:

Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers
"The British film actor you seek is Herbert Lom, which is a name much easier for many of us, and I'm sure for himself when writing out a cheque, than his birth name of Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru. He has appeared alongside such greats as Jack Lemmon, Alec Guinness, and Robert Mitchum, but he is probably best known for his appearances in The Pink Panther movies, certainly to me as I have seen every one of them."

Colin Law from New Zealand wrote this:

"Herbert Lom's most recent appearance was in the 2004 Miss Marple's TV movie 'The Murder at the Vicarage' as Professor Dufosse."

Harold Yeglin is writing from the United States:

"Herbert Lom played the role of Dreyfus - Inspector Clouseau's boss - in the Pink Panther movies and in each was nearly driven crazy by the goofy Clouseau's antics."

Many thanks for all your answers and personal comments. The lucky four who will get small presents from Radio Prague this time are Bart Caspers from the Czech Republic, Uchenna Ezeani from Nigeria, Rosemary Arsenault from Canada and Harold Yeglin from the United States. Congratulations and your parcels are in the post! If you haven't been lucky this time why not try it in April!

It sometimes happens that two inventors simultaneously come up with the same idea independently of each other. This was for instance the case with the lightning rod which was invented by Benjamin Franklin and also a Czech scientist at roughly the same time. We'd like to know the name of the Czech inventor.

Please send your answers as usual to Radio Prague, 12099 Prague or you can also send us a quick email to [email protected].

Before I go, I'd like to thank you all for tuning in to Mailbox and writing in to us for the time I've been in charge of the programme, which has almost been three years. This has been my last Mailbox as I'm handing the programme over to my colleague Coilin O'Connor who I'm sure will bring some fresh new ideas to the programme. Good-bye.