Charlie Drake made most of his money in the autumn of his career inshows and pantomimes. His luck held until the Christmas of 1974, when he was starring in Jack and the Beanstalk at Bradford.
As a publicity stunt, he auditioned local girls for one of the parts and Sue Moody, a 22-year-old housewife, was chosen. Three days before the show opened, Equity phoned to say that as Moody was not a member she must leave the theatre at once. Drake would not remove her and was fined £760, which he refused to pay.
Equity temporarily banned him from working in provincial theatres. The ban cost him £60,000 that year in lost earnings, but had a far more disastrous effect on Drake’s long-term career. Unable to play in the provinces Drake faded from public view for 18 months.