Monday, 13 April 2020

Britain, besieged by coronavirus, bids "Farewell" to it old Princes of Laughter, Language, Lyrics and the Law

  Tim Brooke-Taylor
In a statement, his agent said on Sunday : “It is with great sadness that we announce Tim’s death early today from Covid-19.”

He was 79 and a much-admired fixture of British comedy for five decades who became a household name as one third of 'The Goodies.'

His fellow 'Goodie', Graeme Garden, was “terribly saddened” by the loss of someone who had been a close colleague and friend for more than 50 years and said : "Tim and I met at Cambridge University in the early 1960s and have enjoyed working together almost constantly from that time onwards, on radio, stage and TV. He was a funny, sociable, generous man who was a delight to work with. Audiences found him not only hilarious but also adorable." 

Bill Oddie, the third 'Goodie', tweeted : 'Fifty years and he only got cross with me once ... well maybe twice ... no quite a lot actually! No one could wear silly costumes or do dangerous stunts like Tim. I know it hurt 'cos he used to cry a lot. Sorry Timbo. A true visual comic and a great friend x.'

Tim was interviewed about 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' and 'At Last The 1948 Show' in 2011.

   Eddie Large 
His son, Ryan McGinnis, broke the news about Eddie's death in a Facebook post on 2 April, explaining that his father had caught Covid-19 while in hospital.

He was 78, a Glaswegian comedian, whose real name was Edward McGinnis, who found fame alongside Syd Little in the 1970s and 80s, when their TV performances attracted millions of viewers.

Syd said : "We did everything there was to do in showbiz and we did it together. Happy times."

Lenny Henry, remembered his “energy and electricity” and wrote: “Eddie Large died. Midnight Matinee Great Yarmouth 1978. They finished part one. I’d never heard laughter like it. Rude, raucous and rollicking. Dunno how they did it, but Eddie’s energy and electricity and impressions and props and improv were hugely impressive. R.I.P.”

Performing together in 1987.
  Andrew Jack
Andrew died in hospital as a result of the effects of coronavirus at the end of March. His wife, Gabrielle Rogers, tweeted : 'We lost a man today. Andrew Jack was diagnosed with coronavirus two days ago. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all ‘with’ him.' 

He was 76, was a dialect coach for actors and an actor himself, who appeared in three Star Wars films and had been working as dialect coach on a new Batman film.

The actor Sam Neill said Jack was a “lovely man” and “joy to work with” and Mark Hamill said : "I’m so sorry and saddened to hear we have lost Andrew Jack. He was such a kind gentleman who was deeply gifted & beloved by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to his family."

Andrew explaining his craft in 2011.

   Umar Afzal
Umar had contracted the virus, appeared to be improving but died at home on 8 April.
He was 71, was a broadcaster and certified interpreter who specialised in translating Urdu and Pashto into English and had a weekly show on south Asian TV and radio channels. He was passionate about helping children of Pathan immigrants and learnt Pasto.
His brother Nazir, a former Chief Prosecutor, said : “I remember his ability to reduce stress and conflict with ease. His joy at life. For being my friend, not just my brother.”

  Dixon J Scott
After contracting the virus, Dixon passed away in Darlington Memorial Hospital.

He was 70 and a was a solo cabaret and country music singer and sang with country and western bands including 'Custer’s Land Band' and 'Ridge Riders'. His love of music began as a 14-year-old in a choir and over six decades he built up a strong following on the North-East club and country music circuits.

His wife said : “He had a very strong following but was very humble, he didn’t realise how good he was. His signature tune on the North-East circuit was 'My Son', the number of grown men reduced to tears when he sang that is unbelievable. I’m very proud.”

Dixon's tracks on SOUNDCLOUD.

 Michael Gerard
He was diagnosed with Covid-19 on 18 March and died four days later at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

He was 73 and as a teacher and musician specialised in teaching visually impaired children. He played many instruments, but was most accomplished at the violin and founded several orchestras in Leicester.

His daughter, Sushila, said : “He was a hoarder, which worked well for this occupation as he always had a boot full of noisy toys and tinsel that he used to help children.” 

Leonard "Nipper" Read
Leonard had been admitted to hospital with a foot infection and then contracted coronavirus.

He has died at the age of 95 and was the legendary Scotland Yard detective best known for bringing the Kray twins to book in 1969. Known as “Nipper” because of his height, Read was widely respected even among the organised criminals whom he pursued and the Krays named a pet boa constrictor, 'Read', in honour of their pursuer.

John Grieve, a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, described him as an inspiration to a generation of detectives and “a paradigm of what a dedicated detective should be”. 

Leonard interviewed on 'This Morning'.

    Sir John Laws
Sir John was seriously ill in hospital with sepsis and other health problems, subsequently contracted the virus and died on an isolated ward at Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London.

He has died at the age of 74 and was a leading authority in public law and democracy, asserting the primacy of the constitution over parliament in the balance of power in Britain. He rose to become an Appeal Court Judge then a High Court Judge and retirement from the bar, was elected a Visiting Professor of legal science at Cambridge University.

Mark Hill QC, the Chair of the Ecclesiastical Law Society said : “John was the most gregarious of men, with a quick and lively wit, who enjoyed life in all its richness. A loyal and generous friend, he will be remembered for his love of Greece and of cats. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Sir John described his decision to follow a career in the law in an interview in 2017.

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