MCM: Simon Jones


This is one of those MCMs brought about by me realizing, hey, that’s Arthur Dent in Brideshead Revisited! And then I hit IMDB and see that my favorite survivor of Earth’s demolition to make way for a hyperspace express route has had a few key roles in recent frock flicks as well. He studied at Cambridge where, through the Footlights Dramatic Club, he met Douglas Adams, who would later write Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And through Adams, Jones became connected to various Monty Python members and was cast in their TV and film projects. That’s also how Simon Jones met his wife Nancy Lewis, when he had a role in The Meaning of Life (1983). Lewis was Monty Python’s U.S. manager at the time. While Simon Jones has done a lot of theater and voiceover work since then, he pops up in historical dramas just enough to justify this wee review.



Mr. Thornbury in Victorian Scandals (1976)

Simon Jones, Victorian Scandals (1976)

An early TV appearance, which, of course, I can’t find anything about except this blurry pic.


Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981)

Simon Jones, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981)

Not historical, but the one he’s best known for! Simon Jones is the iconic Arthur Dent. Accept no substitutes.


Lord Brideshead ‘Bridey’ in Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Simon Jones in Brideshead Revisited (1981)

The older brother & heir to the estate of Brideshead, this character is reserved & enigmatic but key to the goings-on.

Simon Jones in Brideshead Revisited (1981)

It’s a classic understated British upper-class fellow role that Jones gives a little something extra to.


Sergeant Eric Young-Love in Privates on Parade (1983)

Simon Jones, Privates on Parade (1983)

A World War II farce starring John Cleese, Simon Jones featured in both the play & movie version.


Sir Walter Raleigh in Blackadder II (1986)

Sir Walter Raleigh - Blackadder II (1986)

Oooh what a big ship I’ve got! Quite the hero for Queenie & rival for Edmund, what with his potatoes & all.


Anderson in American Friends (1991)

Simon Jones, American Friends (1991)

A sleepy little flick set in 1861, written & starring Michael Palin.


C.S. Lewis in The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis (2004)

Simon Jones, The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis (2004)

OK, it’s more of a docu-drama, but Jones got good reviews for bringing C.S. Lewis’ theology to life. Photo from Almay / PBS.


King George V in Downton Abbey: The Movie (2019)

Simon Jones, Downton Abbey: The Movie (2019)

With Geraldine James as Queen Mary.

Simon Jones, Downton Abbey: The Movie (2019)

The King & Queen’s visit to Downton provides what little plot exists in this film, & there’s even a blocked assassination attempt. Simon Jones gets to ride a horse!


Bannister in The Gilded Age (2022-)

Simon Jones, The Gilded Age (2022-)

He plays the butler for the old-money spinster Van Rhijns sisters, & he’s snooty AF.

Simon Jones, The Gilded Age (2022-)

He rules the servants with an iron fist, but he’s played both sides of the street & got caught by his mistress. Season 2 may give him more wacky plotlines.



Have you noticed Simon Jones in historical costume roles? What’s your fave?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

6 Responses

  1. M.E. Lawrence

    Such a gorgeous British face, in youth and old age. He and his wife were friends with some of my family; my mother used to tell me how sweet that Simon Jones was.

  2. Amy

    I just recently watched Brideshead Revisted for the first time- quite enjoyed it!- and when Simon Jones first came on the screen I recognized him from somewhere, but it took me a bit to place him: He was in the 90’s version of Miracle on 34th Street as the mom’s boss and the guy who takes them to the “catalogue house” at the end. Small part but I remembered him distinctly! He’s great!

  3. Gail

    Julian Fellowes demoted him – from King to Butler.
    THE Arthur Dent – I believe on the radio play as well.

  4. Lily Lotus Rose

    He looks totally different from his youth thru mature years. It’s time for a Brideshead re-watch. Thanks for this MCM.


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