A deaf playwright who performed alongside Laurence Olivier is offering a bottle of whisky to anyone who returns his stolen car.

Frank Long, 84, of Mitcham, has been housebound since his dark blue Nissan 1999 van was stolen from outside his home in Bond Road over the New Year.

Mr Long, who bought the car for £2,000 about five years ago, said: "I invested a lot of money in the car and I could drive it to Edinburgh or Cornwall. I knew it was reliable.

"By now no doubt it will have a new and fraudulent registration number.

"But it has recognisable stigmata: the front guard and rear offside were slightly crushed by a reversing vehicle and a rusty bolt is visible on the front windscreen wiper."

The new year has brought a series of unfortunate incidents for Mr Long, who has his bank card and cash stolen outside a Barclay's ATM on Upper Green East, at 12.45pm on Saturday, January 11.

After he inserted his debit card into the machine a woman, described as Asian in appearance, approached him from the right and put an unknown substance in his face.

An Asian-looking man wearing an orange and white cap then touched his left shoulder and as he turned around the female removed his card from the cash point and gave it to the man before they both walked off.

Mr Long said: "Sympathy is not what I seek, even at age 84 and somewhat lacking in mobility. What I seek are results, if that's not a redundant word these days.

"There's a bottle of whisky for anyone noticing my ancient steed and reporting it to me."

Mr Long, who has lived in Mitcham since 1973, grew up in Sheffield and left school at 13 before joining the RAF.

He said: "I had never heard the word Shakespeare. I was in the RAF for eight years and I tried desperately to educate myself in Singapore."

After failing to pass the maths entrance exam to attend university he started writing plays and was involved with a small theatre when he heard about auditions to be in a television adaptation of John Mortimer's autobiographical play, 'A Voyage Round my Father.'

Mr Long said: "I attended the casting and all of a sudden I heard my name called out. I thought I would be in the jury but I became a barrister."

He found himself performing alongside Mr Olivier, who played John Mortimer's father in the 1982 adaptation.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Frank Long (far right) performing with Laurence Oliver in A Voyage Round my Father

Mr Long has been a playwright for more than thirty years, writing comedies, thrillers, historical dramas and novels.

If you have any information about Mr Long's car, please contact Merton police by calling 101, quoting reference 1400036/14.

Anyone with information about the robbery should contact Merton police by calling 101, quoting reference 1400373/14.