Veteran British comedian Norman Collier died Thursday March 14, aged 87. Family man Norman will be missed by wife Lucy, children (one boy and two girls), grandchildren, great grandchildren and his many fans.
One of his daughter's made the announcement to the media. Norman had suffered from Parkinson's disease in recent years and was living in a local nursing home, close to Hull.
Comedian Norman Collier was born in my home town Kingston-upon-Hull on December 25, 1925. He was of the old school generation of Comedians. Those, that at one time, politically correct new wave comedians thought were past it. In recent years many of these veteran comedians have once again become popular. Audiences have realised that they were just so funny but sadly their days are numbered.
Norman was one such comedian. An entertainer through and through his were humble beginnings. He reportedly
weighed an eye wateringly massive 15 lb 4 oz at birth. Ouch. His poor Mum. In adulthood he was not a large man in either height, weight nor width, so it just goes to show. What, I don't know.
The eldest of eight children times, were not easy for the Collier family back then. Like many comedians of his era his fooling around went from the workplace to a means of making a living, with a little help and encouragement.
Norman retired not that long ago and in 2012 his health took a turn for the worse. If you look online though you will still find many hilarious clips of Norman in his heyday. His stand up routine was quirky and either loved or loathed. His routines included a supposed faulty microphone and his infamous chicken routine.
Whilst you may think he never made the big time, as such, Norman was popular around the UK and beyond. He would appear on various TV shows until the demise of variety in the UK. He appeared in pantomime and summer seasons. The work was always there, at least for most of the time.
He was more talented than those who only remember his two main routines may believe. He never used racist or abusive words in his act. He never needed to. His was almost farcical humour and always funny.
His son-in-law John told the Birmingham Mail that Norman's mission in life was to make people laugh, and he did just that.
Tuesday the BBC reported that London born British actor Robin Sachs had died Friday, aged 61. Robin lived alone and his body was not discovered until Tuesday
Robin is famous for his villainous role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His Buffy character Ethan Rayne was the arch enemy of regular character Giles. This was not his first villainous character however. Previous roles included the evil General Sarris opposite Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest.Friends, family and colleagues have been paying tribute to Robin.
His official website
carried an announcement from staff which read, "Please join us in raising a glass to Robin - goodbye, dear friend. Thank you for all the laughter and the cookies. We will miss you so very much."
Other tributes indicate that Robin was a 'good guy' and will be greatly missed.Theatre work included Shakespeare classics such as
Hamlet and Twelfth Night. Popular TX and film production involving Robin included Dynasty: The Reunion, Vampire Circus, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager and Torchwood: Miracle Day. He will be remembered by modern audiences though for his role in Buffy.In the last ten years Robin had concentrated on voice over work, including providing
the voice of Zaeed Massani, the co-founder of the Blue Suns mercenary company. Not heard of this film? That is because it is a computer game. One of the new range of impressive games wowing gamers around the world.February 5, the day Robin was found dead, would have been his 62 birthday. The cause of death is not known. His website however claims his death was sudden and unexpected.RIPSource: BBC
- Frontman of sixties band The Troggs, Reg Presley, has died aged 71. Reg was the writer of 'Love Is All Around', one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Reg Presley was born Reginald Maurice Ball on June 12, 1941. He died in the early hours of February 4, 2013. Born in Andover, Hampshire, Reg stayed a 'local' in spite of his fame.
Reg died following extensive treatment for lung cancer. Last year his battle with cancer led to his retirement. Until 2011 he was still performing. Announcing his retirement, in 2011, Reg
told fans, "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the cards and calls and for your love, loyalty and support over the years. I shall miss you all."
Sadly Reg also suffered a series of strokes in the last couple of years.He died at home in Andover. His wife Brenda and close family members were with him.
will be memorable to baby boomers for his antics as lead singer with sixties band The Troggs. 'Wild Thing' was their sixties notable winner. It hit the number one spot in the US charts and number two in the UK. Later recorded by the legendary Jimi Hendrix
It became a cult classic.
The Troggs had other hits such as 'With a girl like you' but 'Wild thing' remains their stand-out number. Reg however had more recent fame when his composition 'Love is all around' was recorded by Wet Wet Wet. In 1994 their cover version of this song stayed at the No.1 position of the UK Singles Chart for fifteen weeks. Hardly surprising as it was the theme song for the highly successful movie 'Four weddings and a funeral'.
Reg received a huge amount of royalties on the back of this chart success. He was extremely interested in the possibility of aliens and crop circles. With the wealth of royalties 'Love is all around' made he funded research into crop circles. He went on to publish a book, in 2002, about extraterrestrial forces called Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us.
Plain speaking film director, food critic and personality Michael Winner
has died at the age of 77, according to the Telegraph.
In the UK, in recent years, Michael became more famous for one commercial in particular rather than his long film career. It was an Esure insurance advert where he uttered those now famous words, 'Calm down dear, it's only a commercial'.
The catch phrase caught on and even UK PM David Cameron
was known to use those words, when addressing a member of the opposition in the House of Commons. It came out much as the meaning in the commercial, that is a patronising put down to females, and Cameron was called to task.
Previously Mr Winner had become infamous for his reputation with the 'ladies' but ultimately he will be remembered for a 40 year career in the film industry. Michael also established the Police Memorial Trust
after WPC Yvonne Fletcher
was murdered in 1984.
His genre was not cast in stone and Winner diversified down the years. In the sixties The System (1963) and The Jokers (1966), were called 'social comedies'. The wit was sharp and the humour far from slapstick.
Seventies movies such as The Mechanic (1972) and The Stone Killer (1973) were panned by some. High on blood and guts, but low on substance they did however have some audience appeal. That appeal was less inclusive than his early films.
Death Wish (1974) starring Charles Bronson
became his most famous film. A plot involving rape and revenge it pulled no punches. Critics either loved ot loathed it. Claims of gratuitous violence did not stop Winner making sequels.
As is so often the case the sequels were not the box-office success of the original Death Wish. However, the public 'loved it'. The plots were thinner and the violence increasingly excessive. The Telegraph reports one critic as saying, “Michael Winner stacks the deck to make vigilante justice the only recourse against widespread crime.” This was a reference to Winner's alleged exploitation of 'American paranoia over rising urban violence'.
Born on October 30, 1935, Winner died today, January 21, 2013. He was born in London to Jewish parents. Winner's mother was Polish and his father was of Russian extraction, according to wikipedia
Michael's films include, Some Like It Cool
(1971), Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
(released 1976, Appointment with Death
in 1988, Bullseye!
(1990), Dirty Weekend
(1993), and Parting Shots
Since January 1, 2007 Winner had more than one brush with death. In Summer 2012 he was given 18 months to live after a liver-failure diagnosis. In an interview he said that he had explored the possibility of an assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. He decided against this option.
His wife Geraldine confirmed that he had passed away at his home in Kensington, west London, today. Michael met Geraldine Lynton-Edwards in 1957. They finally became engaged in 2007 and married on September 19, 2011.
Sad news today. Actress Sophiya Haque has died. She was diagnosed with cancer only a few weeks ago and was aged just 41. She died peacefully in her sleep, confirmed her partner. Sophiya had contracted pneumonia and develpoed a blood clot on her lungs.
Sophiya Haque played barmaid Poppy Morales in the UKs long running 'TV soap', Coronation Street. She appeared in the 'Street' for about six-months leaving in June 2009. She was also a Bollywood actress.
Her latest work was in the West End production of Privates on Parade. She was working until Christmas. Poppy has had a busy career, which included movie, musical, television and stage work.
Trubutes have been pouring in. Award winning theatre producer Michael Grandage said , "The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory"
RIP condolences to loved ones.
Readers may remember Robert Kee from the early days of TV-AM. Partnering David Frost the TV-AM was not a success when it launched in 1983. By 1992 the franchise to run TV-AM went elsewhere.Kee however was much more than just a TV or news presenter.Robert began a career in journalism following World War Two. He worked for the Times and Observer before moving into a career in Television.
Kee was at the cutting edge of current affairs programs, such as First Report.Author of The Green Flag, Kee was knowledgeable about Ireland and its history.
The three volume book was later made into a 3-part series, which was broadcast in both the UK and the US. It was called, A Television History.
'He joined the campaign for the release of the imprisoned Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, who had been convicted of taking part in the Guilford pub bombings in 1974, and wrote a pivotal book Trial & Error about the case in 1986', reports the BBC
.Robert's writing continued. He is survived by his wife and three children.RIP
Alfie Fripp, thought to be the longest serving British prisoner of war, during the Second World War, has died aged 98. Alfie spent most on the War as a PoW in 12 different camps in Europe. At one time he was held in Stalag Luft III. Prisoner escapes at this camp were dramatised in the epic film, The Great Escape, which starred Steve McQueen and many others.
Squadron leader Alfie Fripp was shot down in 1939, by German planes, The Luftwaffe. During his incarceration Alfie
helped 76 men escape from the camp in Poland, in one escape. Sadly most of the escapees were recaptured and 50 were executed, by order of Adolf Hitler.Mr Fripps died in hospital today in Bournemouth in the south of England. The PoW Association announced his death,
as did his niece on Facebook. The mailonline
described Alfie as "Last of the '39ers': Hero of the REAL Great Escape"RIP
During the Great Depression of the last Century a group of unemployed men marched from Jarrow in Tyneside to London. The march in October 1936 was organised by the Socialist Party. Also called the Jarrow Crusade
the men walked 300 miles. Today the BBC has reported that the last survivor of the march died on December 26, 2012. He was called Con Shiels and died aged 96
.Con was aged just 20 when he set off with his father and the other protesters to walk to London. Former UK deputy PM John Prescott called him an "inspiration"RIPMore here
South African-born Tony Greig has died following a battle with lung cancer. A period of ill health with lung related problems led to the diagnosis of lung cancer early in 2012. Tony was 66-years-old when he died.Tony was a well respected and well known celebrity in the sporting field of Cricket. He was a former England team Captain who played in 58 tests for England. How did such a mixed ethnic origin qualify him to play for England? Well apparently a Scottish parentage was enough. After leaving playing cricket Tony moved on to commentating on it, in Australia. Before this however he left the English cricket circle and moved on to play as part of Kerry Packer's, shall we say infamous, squad. Grieg was held partly responsible for an exodus from the England cricket team by players who moved to Packer's World team.Having lived in Oz since the late 70s Tony's death will be felt in the Antipodes as well as in the UK. SkyNews reported that:
"Beloved Tony Greig, former England cricket captain, has passed away today at the age of 66," Channel Nine said in a statement. "Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and testing revealed he had lung cancer."
The Channel Nine statement continued: "Tony Greig is a name synonymous with Australian cricket - from his playing days as the English captain we loved to hate, to his senior role in the revolution of World Series Cricket ... and more than three decades of colourful and expert commentary.
"To his family and friends we pass on our best wishes."
There are reports that in the end Tony suffered a heart attack. He was hastily taken to a local hospital but it was too late