(By Julie anne Johnson from Cheltenham, UK (Terry Wogan°○●○•°) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
Ah right, well then, settle down by a nice fire, attracted by the prospect of a second custard cream, as we attempt to pay tribute to young Sir Terry of Wogan, the man off the TV. And radio, you say, with some justification.
Sir Terry Wogan was a TV institution in the UK for fifty years. As he himself said in his farewell address to the radio, people had grown up listening to him, and their children now had children of their own. So mum first heard him pre-BBC, and now I'm a dad. Weird thing, time.
(I could carry on in Terry style, but it would be pastiche, and the man deserves far better...)
Gene Wilder was an actor of supreme comic timing, who became known to millions of children first and foremost as Willy Wonka. That his Wonka was not the one in the head of the writer is well known, but then, contrary to many expectations, I'm not sure Johnny Depp was either. And anyhow, in this case of Roald Dahl vs the viewing public, Wilder appears to have the overwhelming support of a few billion to one.
BBC weather girl who directed two documentaries about terminal cancer after her own diagnosis. Before I Kick the Bucket is poignant, informative, and actually quite funny in places, and highly recommended.
French poet, historian and the man who translated Shakespeare into French. He was winner of the French Academy’s highest prize in 1981.
“Mr. Bonnefoy (pronounced bun-FWA) burst onto the literary scene in 1953 with “On the Motion and Immobility of Douve,” a long poetic sequence that revolved around a mysterious female figure, Douve, whose shifting guises invoked the powers of death and rebirth and poetry itself. The work has often been compared, in impact, to the publication of Paul Valéry’s first column of verse, “La Jeune Parque” (“The Young Fate”), a generation earlier, in 1917. “It was a stunning achievement, a work of extraordinary technical mastery, playing with the traditional alexandrine, the 12-syllable line, but subverting it,” John T. Naughton, the author of “The Poetics of Yves Bonnefoy” (1984), said in an interview. “Readers sensed that a new voice had come on the scene, and that a new generation was coming to prominence after the war.” By 1978, when his collected poems were published, Mr. Bonnefoy’s position as France’s most important poet, and one if its most influential men of letters, was secure. After Roland Barthes died in an accident in 1980, Mr. Bonnefoy was elected his successor to the chair of comparative poetics at the Collège de France, making him the first poet to join the institution since Valéry in 1937.”
William Grimes, Yves Bonnefoy, Pre-Eminent French Poet, Dies at 93, New York Times 5 July 2016
(Michael's note: I knew Prince for a few songs - love Gold - but wasn't really a fan. I know lots were though, but no worries, you're in the hands of the superb Mr Arnold for his reminisces about the Artist formerly known...)
was Prince and he was, undoubtedly, funky.
The song benefits from one of George Martin's ingenious studio devices: recording specific parts at different tape speeds. Though McCartney handles the piano chords on "Good Day Sunshine," Martin — an accomplished keyboardist who contributed to a number of Beatle recordings — is responsible for the slowed-down honky-tonk piano solo that follows the abbreviated second verse.The result is a peppy break that sounds organic even though it's the product of tape-manipulation trickery. Martin's nuanced approach to recording technology — using it to serve the music, not as a gimmick — is arguably his biggest contribution to Revolver and everything that followed. "George Martin [was] quite experimental for who he was, a grown-up," said McCartney.”
Elvis Costello, on “Good Day Sunshine”, 100 Greatest Beatles Songs, Rolling Stone magazine, 19 September 2011
“She worked as a counsellor in the early 1970s and began writing fiction, winning £1,000 in a BBC competition for a TV play. In 1972, her husband, sister Joyce and mother died, and Denise found herself having to sell her jewellery, including her wedding ring, to feed herself and her son. The following year, despite her anxieties over what people might think, she married Jack Tomlin, the widowed father of her son’s best friend, and in the process acquired four stepsons. But the north-east in the 70s was a hard place to live – his business also collapsed, and Denise, Jack and their five children lived in sub-standard housing. Determined to build on her earlier writing success, Denise began producing short stories, television scripts and novels. Her first novel, Nurse in Doubt, a hospital romance, was published by Mills & Boon in 1984. The trilogy that followed, The Land of Lost Content (1984), A Year of Winter (1986) and Blue Remembered Hills (1987), was set in a fictional Durham pit village, Belgate, and reflected her love for the north-east. The last of her 20 novels, Don’t Cry Aloud (2015), looks at forced adoption, an issue she had encountered as an agony aunt.”
Suzie Hayman, Guardian obit 4 April 2016
Stage actress who became better known to TV audiences for her role as Julie Cooper in Eastenders.
“Having created the role of Tanya (for which she received an Olivier award nomination) in Catherine Johnson’s Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999, she graduated to leading lady Donna the following year and remained with the show until 2004.In 2006 she was seen as Phyllis in Follies (Royal Theatre, Northampton) and on tour as the Baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, reuniting with Catherine Johnson in 2009 to play the mother in her disturbing exploration of incest and child abuse, Suspension, at the Bristol Old Vic Studio.The same year she appeared in Oklahoma! for Chichester Festival Theatre and White Christmas at The Lowry, Salford.” Michael Quinn, The Stage obit, 8 March 2016
Irish footballer who played over 200 league games for Derry City from 2003 to 2012, and won the Irish Cup twice with them. He suffered a brain tumour in 2010, but returned to play football, including a ten goals in fifteen games stint at Glenavon before his cancer returned.
“The word legend is often over used to describe people but in Derry City circles Mark Farren was a true legend.The clubs all time highest goal scorer in the league of Ireland Mark, was an inspiration both on and off the pitch. Mark also played with Finn Harps, Monaghan United and Glenavon, but it is with Derry City that he really made his mark both on the field of play and in the supporters’ hearts. Off the pitch Mark also worked with the Football in the Community group at Derry City, coaching many young people and instilling in them a love for the game and the principles required, at times, to turn their lives around.”
Derry City official website
(Justin Hoch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
“Rickman was one of those actors who brought something
special to every film he did — you never got the sense that he was trying to
merely get the job done. My usual trick when interviewing actors was to go out
of my way to take them seriously — even if the movie or show wasn't all that
great, you had to respect their professionalism. Rickman was the only case
in which this didn't work for me. Not to take anything away from the other
actors, but it was clear with Rickman that he expected quite a bit more. And
of course I walked out of the hotel with miles and miles of respect for the
man, whose reputation, at that point already massive, only grew.”
Matthew DeBord, Alan Rickman was the toughest actor I ever interviewed – and
the smartest, UK Business Insider, 16 January 2016
I mean, there are people I'd have liked to spend more time on this year, who got a bit lost in the shuffle, because there's over 500 of these...
Year End Memoriams for January 2016 (and a few from 2015 we only found out about once New Year had passed...)
As with years passed, we take the time to remember those who have left us in the previous twelve months.
(Note - All quotes are italicised and sourced to their authors, except Telegraph obits, as they don't credit their own writers. As in previous years, this is a non-profit memorial with quotes used strictly for critique purposes.)