Monday, 1 September 2008

British Comedy Is All The Poorer

Britain may not have much to shout about anymore, but just occasionally we do still manufacture a great comedy show as our nod toward a GDP.

Last Friday one of the writer/producer lynchpins of our comedy world (and former BBC Head of Light Entertainment) who had a hand in many of our comedy hits over the last 20 years - Geoffrey Perkins - was tragically killed in a hit and run accident on Marylebone High Street in Central London, at the age of only 55, and still at the peak of his career.

There is not a great deal I can add to this excellent Telegraph obituary of him, except to say that it shouldn't be forgotten that Geoffrey was also an excellent performer in his own right, co-writing and co-starring in the precursor to The Day Today - KYTV - as 'Mike Flex' - taking the mickey out of how terrible digital TV was going to be, back in the days when most of us only had 5 terrestrial channels - which makes KYTV's version look a REALLY quality digital TV channel now! (see clip below)

Reading the obituaries over the weekend, it is clear that Geoffrey was much loved in the television industry, and his judgement, highly respected. In addition he was not of the faceless bland accountancy or bean counting ilk who sadly run so much of television these days, but someone who came from the performing arena himself and could see things from all sides, but particularly the all-important creative side, without which there is not a great deal of point in commissioning a TV series!

RIP Geoffrey - I do hope Father Ted (aka Dermot Morgan, whom we also lost far too soon) was there to meet you after all you did for him!

Geoffrey Perkins fan tribute site


Lucy Fishwife said...

I loved Geoffrey Perkins - and I remember noticing he was behind most of the comedy I enjoyed. What a shame, and a loss.

KAZ said...

What can be a better legacy than to have made millions of people laugh?

I still record and play back Father Ted episodes again and again.
Does this mean we are stuck with 'My Family' from now on.

Sha said...

Do you think there's a special comedy VIP area in heaven? Where all the comedy genii can get together and compare notes.

teeni said...

Wow - that is so sad. He was so young. I agree with kaz though that he left a great legacy. I hope others in the business learned from him.

Brother Tobias said...

He's been making us laugh for so long it's hard to believe he wasn't older. Going to be hugely missed; life is indiscriminate.

Wisewebwoman said...

I just loved Father Ted.
How random life is, how careless its final sting!.

Steve said...

Now that is sad.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh thats sad, I think its so unfair when someone who is so contributory gets sent home early!!

mw said...

Much said all round about his TV work but little comment on his major contribution to radio (I refer, of course, to HHGTG though I gather he also worked on that other stalwart of the acronymic community, ISIHAC)

Can Bass 1 said...

My dear - I had no idea about this until I read your post. How tragic!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Lucyfishwife, yes it's amazing indeed how many cast lists he cropped up on!

Kaz, I do hope we are not stuck with My Family for eternity now. That's the trouble when we lose our tele-visonaries and there are so few of them to the pound!

Sha - we can only hope so. And also that they are capable of coming back and haunting the less original producers/writers until they choose a career to which they are more suited! HR perhaps.

Teeni, looking at the fan tribute site, it seems that Geoffrey inspired a lot of upcoming script writers and others whose dream it was to meet him! I'm sure he also inspired no small number of colleagues and performers in workaday life too, not least throught having to be the consummate diplomat in addition to his creative talents - to navigate various series through inevitably stormy waters to the screen.

BT - quite so. Indeed I still thought of him as a clean-cut thirtysomething from his KYTV days, though sadly his good luck in the boyish good looks dept evidently didn't extend to all areas of his life.

WWW - as if there weren't enough crosses to bear without the Reaper and his bloody randomness!

Steve - Indeed it is. But what, no an entire litany of Geoffrey P's achievements from a hard-core telly junkie like you?

Sagittarian - quite right - why can't they send all the druggies 'home early'? Or the politicians?

MW - Yes I was reading about Geoffrey's not inconsiderable contributions to the radio world in the obits, but since I did not really become acquainted with his work until KYTV (being a nipper at the time), I thought I'd best leave those bits to experts like yourself who knew what they were talking about.

Can Bass 1, Tragic is the word. However I'm glad they let you have a portable in the vestry at least!

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