Long before John Peel became a regular fixture in our lives, another much more glamorous member of the Peel tribe was already leading the way into a girl-powered, bright and glamourous future. Emma Peel was the sophisticated side-kick of John Steed in the British 1960s television series The Avengers.
Part special agent, part undercover spy, Emma solved crimes and stopped baddies with a mixture of wit, charm and black belt grade martial arts, all without spilling her champagne. The name Emma Peel came from the notes from the production team who, when choosing a name for their new all action heroine, has abbreviated the term “Man Appeal”, to just M.Appeal.
Emma Peel demonstrated that it was indeed possible to mix intelligence, style, fast cars, and toughness in one package, with Emma Peel, you felt that anything was possible. Her attitude was an inspiration…if only she’d had a guitar as well.
Played by the actress Diana Rigg, Emma Peel soon became a feminist icon in her own right, and her trademark catsuits or “EmmaPeelers”, which were manufactured in crimplene, presumably to make them more exciting should one ever have to fight one’s way out of a burning building, were made available to mere civilians.