Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Eric Sykes

Incomparable is probably the easiest way to describe this quiet man who has the ability to make me laugh with just an adjustment of a facial muscle.

Born in 1923, or possibly built in a Lancashire munitions factory using spare parts from broken Spitfires, he has appeared on radio, TV and film for more than sixty years.

His film, alongside the immortal Tommy Cooper, The Plank, was, is and always will be the thing of genius. I mean, where would the Chuckle Brothers be without it?

Also worth mentioning is the lovely sitcom he did with the wonderful Hattie Jacques, Sykes. So very British and still so very funny.

In more recent years he has appeared in Harry Potter, where he gets eaten by a large snake (not Derek Guyler!), The Others with Nicole Kidman and lately in Son of Rambow where he didn't play the lead.

An extraordinarily talented man and one of Britain’s greats.



wastedpapiers said...

I have to agree with you there CJ, A true genius and much under-rated I think. Why they dont repeat all those old SYKES series is beyond me!

He was great in Son Of Rambow - one of my favourite films of last year. Good to see it get an award in the Culture Show last night.

C.J.Duffy said...

He has that incredible ability to make anything seem funny and even while acting in a serious role still has a certain spark that seems ready to fire at any given moment.
I too wish they would repeat his old show's.
Let's start a campaign!

Roger Stevens said...

I loved him. He was deaf, wasn't he?

Might look up the plank on You Tube.

Anyone with very young children watching ceebeebies at 5 to 5 every night. They're using a couple of my poems.

wastedpapiers said...

Was deaf? He's still alive i think. Good luck withthe poems Roger- I hope they do them justice!

C.J.Duffy said...

Eric is very much still alive, thank goodness.

My children were very young but now, suddenly, they are not.
One is in business and talks of Accountants and cardiac arrests.
One was a Marine Commando with rifles and knives and brisk chats.
One is a princess who dreams of Eastenders and X-Factor fame.
The youngest is blonde, blue eyed and creative and talks a lot.
I have no idea where the time went but then I look in the mirror
and see my hair in retreat and crows lines where laughter lines used to sit.
Yes, my children were young once
and so was I, I think?

Roger the Saurus said...

I want to know why he hasn't been knighted. Did you catch the recent documentary on BBC radio 7?

wastedpapiers said...

Yes, I listened to most of it Roger the S. Very funny. Not sure that being knighted is all that great really when you consider all the idiots that have been knighted! I'm sure he would rather have a lifetime achievement award from his peers. He probably has already?

Roger the Saurus said...

He won a lifetime achievement award at the British comedy awards in 1992. It was presented to him by Spike Milligan who told him "Take care of it as I'm due to win it next year. Eric replied "You should live so long"

Wastedpapiers said...

I was going to write a thing about Eric Sykes but I see we have already featured him. I watched the great night devoted to him on BBC 2 last night- available on iPlayer I expect. Reminded me what a great talent and lovely man he was.

Roger said...

2I wish they'd release more of his stuff on DVD - the original "Rhubarb rhubarb" with Harry Secombe, "It's your move" with Tommy Cooper, "Mr H is late" with Jimmy Edwards, "The big freeze" with Spike Milligan.

Wastedpapiers said...

It's Your Move and Mr. H is late are on DVD- I'll have to send them to you Roger.

Roger said...

You have to be careful as a lot of these were remade and not always that successfully. For example, ThePlank was remade with Arthur Lowe instead of Tommy Cooper and Rhubarb rhubarb was remade with Bruce Forsyth. Neither of these later versions were as good as the originals

Wastedpapiers said...

I must admit I did not know there were earlier versions of The Plank etc. I'll have to check which ones I have. Most from a DVd called The Eric Sykes Collection that I got cheaply from The Works.