The Anonymous Widower

Keep Your Fingers Crossed And Don’t Anticipate Disaster

This is June Whitfield’s own words at the end of her obituary in The Times today,  after she had been asked for tips on how to remain positive in old age.

I’ll drink to that!

December 31, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Up For Grabs: Rene’s Fallen Madonna With The Big…

The title of this post, is the same as that of a short humorous article in today’s Times.

It’s the prop for that running gag in ‘Allo ‘Allo!

The picture, has turned up for auction in Bristol.

Who was it who said, he who laughs last, laughs loudest?

Will we be expecting a repeat on BBC2?

November 17, 2018 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 is a ‘threat to Soho’s soul’ says Stephen Fry

This is the title of an article on the BBC.

This is the sort of attitude displayed by Victorians who thought that railways would upset their grouse or disturb their dinner psarties.

Stephen Fry should stick to comedy!

Or is he being ironic?

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Comedy Is Universal

‘Allo ‘Allo! was shown in many countries around the world.

With the sad death of one of the show’s stars; Gordon Kaye, today, I typed his name in quotes into Google.

I found entries from all over the world. But a lot more than I would have expected.

It just shows the universal reach of comedy.

January 23, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

I’ve Listened To The Tape

I went to Liverpool University in the Autumn of 1964.

The University in those days had a Rag \Week, which in Liverpool was called Panto Week.

This link to the University of Liverpool web site, gives a flavour.

There used to be a debate in the Mountford Hall of the Guild of Undergraduates and usually someone locally famous was invited. In 1965, it was The Scaffold.

I don’t know how I got there, but a few days after seeing the Scaffold, I ended up in a Hall of Residence listening to a tape of the debate of the previous year.

It was a virtuoso performance by Ken Dodd and it went on for hours.

I wonder, if that tape still exists!

January 1, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

What Are They Doing With Auntie?

I took these pictures around the old BBC Television Centre in White City.

Everybody must have their favourite image of the site from years ago.

I particularly remember an episode of Michael Bentine‘s It’s A Square World, where they flooded the building, using some superb special effects and lots of real water. I think that section started with Bentine interviewing Jack Hawkins and talking about making wartime naval dramas, with a big screen showing the sea, which then burst out of the screen. According to Wikipedia, he also sent the building into space.

But then Bentine was a unique comic genius.

November 4, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Dave Allen

I have just watched a documentary on Dave Allen, who to me was perhaps the best comedian of his generation.

His robust attitude to religion, described here in Wikipedia is summed up by the first statement.

He was a religious sceptic (according to Allen himself, “what you might call a practising atheist”, and often joked, “I’m an atheist, thank God”)

My views on religion, run on similar lines, although I had virtually no religious education., compared to Allen.

My father had the same attitude to religion as I do, but his most passionate conviction was probably as an anti-fascist, although some might find that strange, as he had been a lifelong supporter of the Conservative Party.

I seem to remember that he liked Dave Allen, but I can’t be sure.

Although, he used to get me out of bed to watch That Was The Week That Was, as he was very much a lover of provocative comedy and a hater of the pompous and self-important!

January 4, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

I remember a BBC television comedy series called Citizen Smith, which starred Robert Lindsay as Wolfie Smith. This sums up the theme of the series.

Wolfie is the self-proclaimed leader of the revolutionary Tooting Popular Front (the TPF, merely a small bunch of his friends), the goals of which are “Power to the People” and “Freedom for Tooting”. In reality, he is an unemployed dreamer and petty criminal whose plans fall through because of laziness and disorganisation.

But today, I was watching the BBC News and they were discussing the Lambeth slavery case.

Later in the article on Citizen Smith, this paragraph appears.

The Tooting Popular Front was inspired by the numerous minuscule leftist political groups active in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. One model may have been the then somewhat well-known “Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought”, a particularly far-left group led by Aravindan Balakrishnan, who became a suspect in the Lambeth slavery case of 2013.

Sadly John Sullivan, who wrote Only Fools and Horses, in addition to Citizen Smith, died in 2011, so he can’t tell us if his fictional revolutionaries were based on Balakrishnan’s group.



November 26, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye And Farewell

Sadly, David Frost has passed away. I was surprised he was only eight years older than me, as I thought he was older than that.

I posted here my memories of That Was The Week That Was. Frost must have been in his early twenties, when he starred in that program.

How many comedians and performers are successful at that age now? And they say, it’s a young person’s world.

Incidentally, when I talk to my peers today, I find very few others, who at fourteen used to watch TW3.  I think it shows the sort of attitude that my parents, and especially my father, had to life.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Comedy Turn At Highbury Corner

I went up to the new littleWaitrose at Highbury Corner this afternoon. No problems in the shopping and in fact the shop is better than its medium sized sister at Islington, as the gluten-free selection is better and the self-service tills are easier to use.

Catching the 277 bus home, I was treated to one of the funniest comedy drunk acts in quite a few years.  An obese lady, probably about fifty, with hair died a bright purple, was trying to board a bus. The stream of invective would have outshone a navvy, who had just dropped a sledge-hammer on their foot. When I arrived the lady driver of the bus, opened the door and let me in.  she seemed totally unmoved at the invective and smiled widely, when I said thanks for waiting for me.  In the end, the drunk was left on the pavement, still screaming loudly, much to the amusement of passengers.

One of the great advantages of Routemasters and their predecessors, was that the conductor could give a signal for the driver to leave quickly. I’ve actually seen a conductor do this, when a drunk was balanced on the rear platform and then give a small push, to make sure the drunk toppled into the road. Health and safety would stop such extreme measures these days.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment