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Graham Stark obituary

Prolific comedy actor who worked with Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Hattie Jacques

The stony-faced, beaky comedy actor Graham Stark, who has died aged 91, is best remembered for his appearances alongside Peter Sellers, notably in the Pink Panther movies. His familiar face and voice, on television and radio, were part of the essential furniture in the sitting room of our popular culture for more than half a century. A stalwart in the national postwar comedy boom led by Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Dick Emery, Eric Sykes and Benny Hill, he worked with them all in a sort of unofficial supporting repertory company that also included Hattie Jacques, Deryck Guyler, Patricia Hayes and Arthur Mullard. He was also a man of surprising and various parts: child actor, trained dancer, film-maker, occasional writer, and dedicated and critically acclaimed photographer.

Like Gypsy Rose Lee, he had a resourceful and determined
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Graham Stark obituary

Prolific comedy actor who worked with Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Hattie Jacques

The stony-faced, beaky comedy actor Graham Stark, who has died aged 91, is best remembered for his appearances alongside Peter Sellers, notably in the Pink Panther movies. His familiar face and voice, on television and radio, were part of the essential furniture in the sitting room of our popular culture for more than half a century. A stalwart in the national postwar comedy boom led by Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Dick Emery, Eric Sykes and Benny Hill, he worked with them all in a sort of unofficial supporting repertory company that also included Hattie Jacques, Deryck Guyler, Patricia Hayes and Arthur Mullard. He was also a man of surprising and various parts: child actor, trained dancer, film-maker, occasional writer, and dedicated and critically acclaimed photographer.

Like Gypsy Rose Lee, he had a resourceful and determined
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Pat Ashton obituary

My mother Pat Ashton, who has died aged 82, was an actor for over four decades. Probably her most important TV role was that of Annie, wife of a burglar (Bob Hoskins) who comes out of prison to find that his old friend (John Thaw) has moved in, in Thick As Thieves (1974). When Yorkshire TV declined a second series, the writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais took the idea to the BBC, where it was developed into the much-loved series Porridge.

Pat was born and raised in Wood Green, north London. During her early years, the piano was the focus of entertainment at home, with her brother Richard playing all the popular songs of the day. Her grandmother had been a trapeze artist, performing in front of the tsar in Russia, and Pat quickly became fascinated with music hall, learned to tap-dance from an early age and went on to
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Pat Ashton obituary

My mother Pat Ashton, who has died aged 82, was an actor for over four decades. Probably her most important TV role was that of Annie, wife of a burglar (Bob Hoskins) who comes out of prison to find that his old friend (John Thaw) has moved in, in Thick As Thieves (1974). When Yorkshire TV declined a second series, the writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais took the idea to the BBC, where it was developed into the much-loved series Porridge.

Pat was born and raised in Wood Green, north London. During her early years, the piano was the focus of entertainment at home, with her brother Richard playing all the popular songs of the day. Her grandmother had been a trapeze artist, performing in front of the tsar in Russia, and Pat quickly became fascinated with music hall, learned to tap-dance from an early age and went on to
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ronald Wolfe obituary

Co-writer of TV sitcoms On the Buses and The Rag Trade

At the height of his writing partnership with Ronald Chesney, Ronald Wolfe, who has died aged 89 after a fall, enjoyed huge success with the sitcom On the Buses; its bawdy humour was panned by the critics but lapped up by the viewing public. Originally turned down by the BBC, the idea for a comedy based around the antics of a driver and conductor giving their inspector the runaround at the Luxton Bus Company appealed to Frank Muir, head of entertainment at the newly launched ITV company London Weekend Television.

Reg Varney played Stan Butler, at the wheel of the No 11, and Bob Grant was his lothario conductor, Jack. The pair made life hell for the miserable Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis). Blakey's "Get that bus out" and "I 'ate you, Butler" were two of the most frequent lines that flowed
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ronald Wolfe obituary

Co-writer of TV sitcoms On the Buses and The Rag Trade

At the height of his writing partnership with Ronald Chesney, Ronald Wolfe, who has died aged 89 after a fall, enjoyed huge success with the sitcom On the Buses; its bawdy humour was panned by the critics but lapped up by the viewing public. Originally turned down by the BBC, the idea for a comedy based around the antics of a driver and conductor giving their inspector the runaround at the Luxton Bus Company appealed to Frank Muir, head of entertainment at the newly launched ITV company London Weekend Television.

Reg Varney played Stan Butler, at the wheel of the No 11, and Bob Grant was his lothario conductor, Jack. The pair made life hell for the miserable Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis). Blakey's "Get that bus out" and "I 'ate you, Butler" were two of the most frequent lines that flowed
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Doctor Who complete reviews: The End Of Time

David Tennant is Santa Claus. And Noddy Holder. And Cliff Richard.

Well he might as well have been back in the Crimbo week of December 2009 when it seemed that you couldn't get away from the bloke. Particularly in the week leading up to the much-anticipated Christmas/New Year special, there he was – on various breakfast and mid-morning TV programmes; on Children's BBC; heck, he was even on the novelty BBC idents, bellowing orders at time-travelling reindeer. You could hear the cries of “Squee!” in the air from London to Boston.

Still, the Tennant fangirls had to make the most of their beloved hero, since he was about to become the latest casualty in the mammoth two-part adventure The End Of Time. Yes, it's time to play the Regeneration Game again as Doctor Ten finds that the Pork Chops Carmen prophecy is about to come devastatingly true.

The End Of Time
See full article at Shadowlocked »

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