BIO

How Leslie Howard’s death… saved Derek’s life!

Before Flight 777 took off from Portugal to England, 7-year old Derek had to vacate his seat, so that VIP Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes in “Gone With the Wind”) could take his place. The Dakota was shot down by the Nazi Luftwaffe, with the loss of all lives. “Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave A Damn” was screened at San Francisco’s 2015 Mostly British Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary.

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“TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes”… as a phony BBC TV interviewer, Derek plays a joke on Ned Beatty and we promise you a good laugh! 

Derek Partridge Today

Derek…today!

Bringing Intelligence & Adventure, Experience & Accomplishment

– From Derek’s Story… to Yours.

At 85, Derek has enjoyed a rich, varied and wide-ranging experience of life, traveling in 75 countries and—speaking French, German Italian and Spanish—has lived and worked in 8 of them.

Educated at Dalton School (NYC), Charterhouse, a top British public (private!) school and the Universities of Paris and Barcelona. He won the Royal Air Force Certificate of Merit as Best All Round Recruit and was Runner-Up for the Sword of Merit at Officer Cadet Training Unit.

He became Managing Director of Partridge & Wilcox Landscaping, Joint MD Conservation Tools & Technology, MD Rome’s Centro Traduzioni Cinema (film script translation), Director Heritage World Travel, General Manager Honorhouse Products (isometric & isotonic exercise equipment). Fellow of the British Institute of Directors, junior exec Colman, Prentis & Varley (international ad agency). City of London Special Constable and Los Angeles County Honorary Deputy Sheriff.

He was a feature writer and columnist for the London Daily Express Group’s Investor’s Guide magazine; journalist and European editor for several US and UK clay target shooting magazines (eg: Gun Digest, Guns & Ammo, Gun World). Columnist “Look and Listen” (Rhodesia’s TV Guide). Interviewed hundreds of people as a radio and TV host. TV news anchor at RTV (Rhodesia), Sky TV (London), FNN (now CNBC), EuroNews (Scandinavia) and WKAT-ABC (Miami). 2 Emmys, 2 Tellys, Voicey Lifetime Achievement Award.

Derek hosting live talk show Frankly Partridge at Rhodesian TV

Derek didn’t like killing wild creatures, so he took up clay target shooting. As a member of the British International Clay Shooting Team, he set a world record at the Nordic Championships in Denmark and won the Grand Prix of Paris. Consultant to Armi Perazzi (Italian Olympics-winning shotguns), Armas Kemen (Spain), Eley Ammunition, Winchester Ammunition and Alfred Nobel’s Nitro Nobel. Chairman British International Clay Target Shooting Federation, Life VP English Clay Pigeon Shooting Association. He used to describe his golf handicap as himself… but now plays in the 90s.

Derek's Trap Shooting Awards

Derek’s Trap Shooting Awards

He guest-starred in Classic Star Trek, Star Wars Rebels, Remington Steele, Murder She Wrote, Dallas and T.J. Hooker. Worked in films with David Niven, Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery and Susan Strasberg. Starred as the “bad guy” opposite Jack Palance in “The Ivory Ape”, with Tom Skerritt and Michelle Philips in “Savage Harvest” and, had the lead role as a ghost in “Dearly Departed”.

Derek presenting at the 2001 NAHA Awards

Derek Emceeing the 2001 NAHA Awards at the Hollywood Palladium

In Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, Derek was Rhodesian TV’s chief news anchor, host of “Frankly Partridge” and “The Kwhizz Kids”. Being nationally known, he used this to do “good deeds”, including raising funds for black schools destroyed by black terrorists. Over 10 million copies of his 6-page leaflet “Rhodesia – As It Really Is” were distributed in 42 countries. It was described by Peter Simple in his London Daily Telegraph column, “Way of the World” as: “a drop of truth in an ocean of lies”.

Aged 7, Derek was awaiting take-off at Lisbon airport to return to England… he had to vacate his seat, so VIP Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes in “Gone With the Wind”) could take his place. Flight 777 was shot down by the Nazi Luftwaffe over the Bay of Biscay. He narrated and hosted: “Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn”, winner Best Doco at a San Francisco Film Festival; “Charles Lindbergh: Democracy and Dissent, War and Propaganda”. “Magical Egypt” two, eight-hour series.

Derek has been married three times: first for 10 years to Jill Curzon, who starred in the BBC TV series “Hugh and I” and in “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.”; they are still friends. He spent several years with the late June Barry, who portrayed June Forsyte in BBC TV’s 1967 series “The Forsyte Saga”, seen worldwide by 160 million viewers. He was married to Karla, a Canadian lady… who left, after she got the proverbial 7-year itch! Then, 20 wonderful years with Joyce… sadly followed by 5 years as caregiver to her Alzheimer’s. In 2019, through online dating, he met Charo, a beautiful, former Aero Mexico exec and fellow octogenarian. They both describe their relationship as the best they have experienced in their lives.

Derek also lives with 3 rescued cats, described in one of his books: “My Lovable Rescued Kitties”. The other three books, all from Waldorf Publishing, are: “Thought-Provoking Thoughts About Living”, “A Smile Is My Passport” (his journey to 24 countries in 33 days) and “Poetry, Paintings and Short Stories” by Louise Partridge, his late mother.

Additional Resources & More From Derek

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