Thursday, 8 March 2007

Are You Being Served?

They played and we laughed

As time has gone by, English Comedy that has suffered the loss of people who made us laugh with jokes, innuendo, double-entendre and gesticulations that looked dirty, maybe corny but all good family fun. The writers exhibited genius most worthy of emulation and this has hardly been equalled by contemporary fare.

This age of political correctness now makes shows like Mind Your Language, Mixed Blessings, Love Thy Neighbour, The Benny Hill Show, The Kenny Everett Show, Rising Damp, Father Dear Father, The Many Wives of Patrick or the Carry On films less palatable for our 21st Century sensibilities. Yes! Minister and Yes! Prime Minister is timeless.

This morning, I hear with sadness the death of John Inman at 71 made most popular for his role as the slightly limp-wristed Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries in Are You Being Served ?

The underlying subtext to this all is how for years in the 60s, 70s and into the 80s, we were entertained by many who hid their sexualities and despite the rumours there was a sense of discretion even from tabloids not to touch the private lives of the many who entertained us or made us laugh till when they felt comfortable to come out of the closet.

Popular amongst them now is Sir Elton John and Sir Ian McKellen but one must mention the many that have passed on like Kenny Everett, Sir Nigel Hawthorne, Patrick Cargill, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams.

My thoughts are with his partner - Ron Lynch, family and friends - he was one of the many who truly did make us laugh. Rest In Peace - John Inman .

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