Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Life Is A Paradise To What We Fear Of Death

Another week, another From The North bloggerisationisms, dear blog reader. And, yer actual Keith Telly Topping remains, at this present time of writing, neither a fit nor healthy chap and is, seemingly, in the middle of a lengthy run of bad luck. Either a mirror got broken somewhere in the vicinity of the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House which this blogger was unaware of, or no black cats have thought it worthwhile crossing yer actual Keith Telly Topping's path. In case they got accidentally trodden on, no doubt.
But firstly, before we get into all that malarkey, one of this blogger's favourite actors, Maurice Roëves has died at the age of eighty three. In a career spanning over six decades, Maurice acted in hundreds of TV shows and movies including The Sweeney, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Eagle Has Landed and John Byrne's 1987 Tutti Frutti in the memorable role of Vincent Diver, 'the iron man of Scottish Rock' who ended up setting fire to himself on-stage. He also appeared in Eastenders and Irvine Welsh's The Acid House. Maurice's agent, Lovett Logan, sent a statement to the Edinburgh Evening News: 'It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of our wonderful client, Maurice Roëves. Maurice had a hugely successful career in both theatre and screen, which spanned several decades, starting in his home country of Scotland and moving to London and the United States. He was loved by his legions of fans for many of his performances. As well as being a truly dedicated and gifted actor, he was also a real gentleman and a delight to have as a client. We will miss him greatly and our thoughts and love go out to Vanessa and his family.'
Born in Sunderland, John Maurice Roëves was brought up in Glasgow and launched his career at the city's famous Citizen's Theatre (where he was a contemporary of Bill Patterson, Alex Norton and Billy Connolly). Roëves' most recent role was a small part in the 2020 BBC television drama The Nest. His wife, Vanessa, told the BBC that Maurice had been in ill health 'for some time.' Despite playing mostly tough characters, soldiers and villains on-screen, Vanessa said that Roeves was 'a softie' in real life and that no part was too small for her husband. And, when Tutti Frutti was repeated recently during the launch of the BBC Scotland Channel, she said that Roëves was 'delighted at having come full circle.' Vanessa also said that the family would often joke: 'Does your character make it to the end of this one?' because many of his characters would be killed off during the dramas in which he appeared.
The Roëves family moved to Glasgow when Maurice was seven years old where his father was a cotton mill manager in Partick. As a child Maurice suffered from asthma and considered his recovery from it was, at least in part, due to playing the bugle in The Boys' Brigade. He toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher but after national service in the Royal Scots Greys Armoured Corps, Maurice was persuaded to follow his father working in the flour mill and, by the age of twenty four, he had become a sales manager. But he returned to his studies and secured a place at the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama - now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Whilst there, he won a gold medal for his acting. After graduating he got a job at the Citizens Theatre as an assistant stage manager and found himself playing small roles in-between sweeping the stage floor. His first major role was as Lorenzo in The Merchant Of Venice when, apparently, screaming fans would gather at the stage door after the show to catch a glimpse of Maurice. Noting the buzz created by this performance Disney sent a talent scout to Glasgow to see Roëves act. He was then screen-tested and offered his first film role, Disney's The Fighting Prince Of Donegal in 1966. That led to a television debut in the BBC's Wednesday Play Cock, Hen & Courting Pit the same year. Despite launching a film and TV career, Maurice continued in theatre roles, appearing in Macbeth at the Royal Court where he played Macduff opposite Sir Alec Guinness in the title role.
His first notable television role was in a thriller series called Scobie In September in 1969 and, subsequently, its sequel, The Scobie Man three years later. He went on to appear in Doctor Finlay's Casebook, Doomwatch, Thirty Minute Theatre, A Family At War, Out Of The Unknown, Jason King, The Shadow Of The Tower, Dixon Of Dock Green, Paul Temple, a lead role in the acclaimed political thriller Scotch On The Rocks, Sutherland's Law, Oil Strike North, Play For Today, Warship, Target, Danger UXB, The Nightmare Man, a terrific performance as the mercenary Stotz in the 1984 Doctor Who serial The Caves Of Androzani, On The Line, The Chinese Detective, Magnum PI, Remington Steele, Bergerac, Days Of Our Lives, North & South, Rab C Nesbitt, The New Statesman, Spender, Moon & Son, Baywatch, Grafters, the 1998 BBC adaptation of Vanity Fair, A Touch Of Frost and Skins. He portrayed both Adolf Hitler - in the 1981 Playhouse production of The Journal Of Bridget Hitler - and Rudolph Hess - in the following year's TV movie Inside The Third Reich. He played Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in Jimmy McGovern's 1996 TV film Hillsborough and was memorable as the gangster Vinnie Peverell in the award-winning Waking The Dead two-parter Final Cut (2003). In 2006, he appeared in the BBC docudrama Surviving Disasters, portraying Sir Matt Busby in the story of the Munich Air Disaster. He starred as Robert Henderson in BBC Scotland's drama River City and appeared as a retired police superintendent in Southcliffe. His film roles included appearances in Ulysses, Oh! What a Lovely War, A Day At The Beach, Hidden Agenda, Escape To Victory, The Big Man, Judge Dredd, Beautiful Creatures and Brighton Rock. In 2003, he appeared in May Miles Thomas's film Solid Air whilst he played football trainer Jimmy Gordon opposite Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall in The Damned United (2009).
A memorable Hollywood screen role for Maurice was in 1992's The Last Of The Mohicans acting with Daniel Day-Lewis and Wes Studi. Studi played Magua, a native American villain who ripped the heart from Colonel Munro, played by Roëves. Maurice's friendship with Studi lasted for more than twenty five years and they met often at Wes's home in Santa Fe where, according to Studi on social media, they 'shared haggis together.' In 2014, Maurice stated that he had moved to Nottinghamshire with his wife, Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson and that they spent part of each year at a condo in New Mexico. His first wife was the Scottish actress Jan Wilson. He is survived by his second wife, Vanessa and his daughter from his first marriage, Sarah-Anne.
So, dear blog reader, back to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's trials and tribulations. And, What a marvellously crap day last Thursday turned into. After a week of relatively peaceful nights thanks to the increased strength painkillers this blogger had been prescribed, the previous night, for some unknown reason this blogger just couldn't get a wink of sleep. So, he was jolly grumpy and cross they next day anyway and then, during the morning, the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House chest freezer, after nearly three decades of faithful service, chose that exact moment to go 'fzzzt' and die on this blogger. With terminal prejudice. Thus, effectively, losing about two hundred quid's worth of frozen stuff which was in there. Of course this was followed by a lengthy 'fortunately/unfortunately' list of occurrences, as these sort of things usually are. Unfortunately, this has happened just at time where it was virtually impossible for this blogger to simply go out and buy a replacement given both Keith Telly Topping's current back injury and the fact that many electrical retailers in the UK are still closed. Fortunately, this blogger had over a hundred knicker's worth of Argos vouchers and a - smaller, but still big enough for this blogger's needs - freezer was on sale on the Argos website for but one hundred and thirty quid. So, Keith Telly Topping quickly ordered that and, using is vouchers, it only cost this blogger twenty quid in total. And, it was free delivery, too. Unfortunately, the earliest that they could deliver the thing was 1 August. Fortunately ... actually, dear blog reader, there isn't a fortunately at this point, it's all 'unfortunately.' This blogger supposes one could regard the 'fortunately' as being without a freezer for three weeks gives Keith Telly Topping plenty of time to throw out all of the, by now rotting, stuff that he was looking forward to eating at some stage. Trust this blogger when he says that he, honestly, could not be more sick of his entire sodding life if a two ton bucket of rancid, watery shite was to be dumped on his head.
Still, things could only get better ... And, that evening, they did. Slightly.
As part of their coverage of the first test against the West Indies, Sky Sports Cricket had their very own Jonners-and-Aggers 'Botham didn't quite get his leg over' moment. During England's innings against West Indies Michael Atherton and Rob Key had been asking people to text in with stories about the resumption of league and club cricket across the country that day. Mention in one of these texts of someone called 'Hugh Jardon' taking 'six for nine' for Cockermouth CC brought a predictable two minutes of the commentary box collapsing into sniggering (you could hear Nasser doing his finest Monty Burns 'Heh! Heh! Heh!' at the back). The irony of all of this, of course, was that at the very moment the most famous product of Cockermouth Cricket Club, Ben Stokes, was both batting for and captaining England. Ian Ward's Twitter-feed helpfully provided the moment Athers realised he'd been diddled!
It was reassuring to discover, watching the second test this week, that this blogger is not the only person whose spectacles get all steamed up whenever he is wearing a facemask. Seriously, it makes shopping a nightmare. Unlike, Bumble Lloyd, however, this blogger has never tried to navigation getting into and out of a lift in this, frankly, Helen Keller-type state.
And finally, dear blog reader ...
Doctor Who.
Black Books.
Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
The Godfather, Part II
The Italian Job.
Doom Patrol.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Rutland Weekend Television.
The Young Ones.
From The North, dear blog reader, will return for its next bloggerisationisms update when this blogger has something worthwhile to report (hopefully not involving the state of his shattered back). Or, if someone yer actual Keith Telly Topping really admires dies. Whichever occurs sooner.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

"They Say He Is A Man Per Se & Stands Alone. So Do All Men, Unless They Are Drunk, Sick, Or Have No Legs"

From The North's latest bloggerisationisms update begins, dear blog reader, with one of our most popular semi-regular features. This one, in fact.
Qi. The two episodes broadcast recently which were recorded without an audience, sadly, highlighted a major problem that Qi - along with most other comedy shows - faced during the lockdown; comedy needs an audience. Theres no ifs or buts, it just does. The presence in one of those episodes of That Bloody Awful Walsh Woman was an additional drawback, admittedly. Thankfully, this week's episode (which was, presumably, filmed earlier in the run) did have real, live actual people there to laugh at the jokes of the panellists and, as a consequence, it was just like old times. Particularly with sometime From The North favourite Gyles Brandreth being on especially good form; not only in, seemingly, his being related to pretty much everyone in history, but also, with his stories of meeting Mick Jagger on a Caribbean beach and John Lydon in The Midland Hotel. (And, the latter's - extremely two word - greeting!)
Doom Patrol - another properly magnificent preview episode arrived at the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House this week (Finger Patrol). This blogger particularly enjoyed Cliff's dream title sequence for his imaginary crime-fighting series, Steele & Stone.
Yellow Submarine. ('It's all in the mind!')
I, Clavdivs.
Almost Famous.
The Sweeney.
We Hunt Together.
Hot Fuzz.
The Plot Against America.
War Factories.
Art Of Persia.
The Usual Suspects.
Yorkshire Walks.
Wire In The Blood.
Apocalypse Now.
The Joy Of Painting.
Actual proper live Sky Sports Cricket. (Although, how ironic was it that after months of waiting, the first day of the England versus West Indies test series was reduced to about fifteen overs due, largely, not to rain but to bad light? Did nobody think about, you know, switching the bloody floodlights on?)
... and Would I Lie To You? Obviously. Because, a week just wouldn't be a week in the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House without us all gathering round the fire to listen to various implausible - but, usually, true - stories of From The North favourite Bob Mortimer's misspent Teeside youth.
One of the things that has kept this blogger - along with, seemingly, many many others out there on the Interweb - amused during the last few months has been Toyah Wilcox and Robert Fripps's regular - delightfully mental - Sunday Lunch vodcasts published on YouTube. One of their most recent efforts was 'a visual representation of what King Crimson's 'Fracture' sounds like to Toyah. "A mouse on caffeine tap-dancing!"' Bless the pair of them for their contributions to the world's sanity. Or, lack of sanity for that mater. And, not for nothing, but by Hell that Mrs Fripp is still a fine lookin' lady.
On a similar theme, good old mad as toast Brian Blessed's regular powerful and inspiring posts on Facebook during lockdown have been exactly the sort of thing you'd expect from this remarkable man. Brian has had much going on recently in his personal life with his wife in and out of hospital, yet he still finds the time to deliver positive words of wisdom like this. His story about meeting Muhammad Ali at the BBC during the 1960s is particularly memorable. Good on ya, Big Man.
There's been lots of really fascinating stuff turning up on some of the more obscure corners of Facebook of late - many of which this blogger has been pointed in the direction of by some of his dear Facebook fiends. Like, for instance, two future Doctors almost coming face-to-face for the first time when William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton both appeared in a 1959 episode of the Harry Alan Towers crime drama series Dial 999. (The full episode, Fifty Thousand Hands, incidentally, can be viewed here.)
Also recently unearthed on Facebook's BBC Archive 'On This Day' page - on 7 July to celebrate Sir Ringo Starr's eightieth birthday - was a 1971 appearance by Ritchie Rings on Blue Peter (complete with his technicolour dreamcoat, seemingly) being interviewed by the late John Noakes to advertise some pieces of furniture he had designed.
A - potentially - significant From The North milestone occurred at 2.49pm on the afternoon on 8 July 2020, dear blog reader. This blogger is, genuinely, not sure whether he should be delighted by this blog's regular (and, newcoming) readership's continuing patronage or a bit saddened by his own Asperger's-like delight when seeing the blog's page hit counter tick from six million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine page-hits to seven million. Probably a bit of both, if yer actual Keith Telly Topping is being honest with you all (and with himself).
Which of course raises one startlingly obvious question; whether, if this blogger could - like Cher - turn back time, he would have started From The North in the first place back in 2006 had he but known that fourteen years later, seven million punters would've consumed samples of the nonsense which blogger frequently opines on this very blog? Makes you think, does it not?
It should be noted however, that, even despite the beginning of relaxation of worldwide lockdown (except in Leicester, seemingly), the last few months have seen From The North's regular daily traffic on the rise yet again. Clearly many people have had far too much time on their hands during these dark and troubled times.
Whom, in the wide, wide world was that masked - and decidedly broken - little old man, dear blog reader? Why, it was yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self of course. On Monday 6 July 2020 at approximately 9am, attending his local medical surgery for a pre-arranged appointment and making sure he didn't, you know, infect anyone. With his lurv. Or, indeed, with anything else.
So here, dear blog reader, are some of the various things that yer actual Keith Telly Topping learned from that day's but-third trip out of the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House in exactly five weeks since 'The Incident' ...
- Firstly, it's also worth highlighting that yer actual Keith Telly Topping was travelling with his - these days, constant - companion, Willie the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House walking stick. Because, obviously, this blogger simply can't go anywhere without his Willie. Nah, lissun ...
- First, the good news. This blogger's blood pressure was/is fine (there was a slightly high reading the last time it was taken a few weeks ago, probably because this blogger had not taken his Nifedipine that particular morning before attending the surgery for his appointment, something which he did remember to do on Monday). Nurse Kimberley was jolly pleased with this happenstance (as was yer actual Keith Telly Topping needless to say). And this blogger was also able to pick up his latest SSP note at reception which he subsequently emailed into work shortly after arriving back at the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House.
- The Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House rent was extremely paid at Church Walk Post Office after a short limp across from the surgery - three weeks worth, in fact, which will at least save this blogger the pure dead chore of going through all this leaving-the-house malarkey again next week.
- This blogger is also jolly happy to reports that most Greggs stores are back open (hurrah!) But - tragically - they aren't (yet) making or selling any stottie cakes. The young lady on the counter in the Walker branch was really apologetic about this, frankly, right shite state of affairs. This blogger noted that, whilst he fully realises this is the classic definition of a 'First World Problem' if ever there was one, Keith Telly Topping haven't had a stottie across his lips since March and he is now starting to suffer from some serious withdrawal symptoms (to the point that he's almost forgotten what they taste like). 'You're not the first person to say that' the young lady noted, sadly. But, we had a nice laugh about it and this blogger subsequently bought a packet of Sweet Treats just to show that there were no hard feelings. Still, a - necessary - piece of advice. Get your shit together, Greegs! People are starting to get desperate!
- Keith Telly Topping's local barber shop (Ario's) was, indeed, open again following the latest government relaxation of the lockdown malarkey a few days earlier; this blogger didn't go on that particular day as he was only passing the gaff on the bus (and, anyway, it looked quite busy at the time). However, as he subsequently told his dear Facebook fiends, later in the week he thoroughly intended to have a limp along to Welbeck Road with the intention that the Telly Topping barnet would be getting a jolly severe cropping. Because, frankly, this blogger was getting sick of looking in the mirror and seeing the Moog player of some disgraceful 1970s hippy prog-rock combo looking back at yer actual Keith Telly Topping. Who the bloody Hell let Rick Wakeman into the gaff?
- Now, an important public service announcement: Poundland are, seemingly, doing an absolutely roaring trade in just about everything at the moment. At least three-quarters of the shelves in the Clayton Street branch were either empty or very low on stock when this blogger was in the gaff on Monday. Fortunately, of course, all of the real essentials that this blogger needed were extremely available for purchase. Which was nice.
- Two twenty five packs of Marks & Spencer cocktail party sausage were also soon to be back in the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House frigidaire after over a month of the gaff being without any. This, dear blog reader, is very much a good thing.
- Having gone to the bank to get a mini-statement, on this blogger's way back to the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House whilst passing Haymarket Bus Station, whom in the wide wide world should this blogger bump into (painfully) but his old mucker Christopher Armstrong who was on his way into work (and was sporting a flaming severe haircut into the bargain, let it be noted). It was so nice for this blogger to see (and, even have a brief - probably, non-government recommended - hug with) a friendly face. The first one that this blogger had seen - apart from a few medical staff and the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House postie - in weeks. This blogger and yer man Chris had a brief natter about, you know, stuff-in-general whilst waiting for Chris's bus to arrive. And, this blogger did ask Chris to pass along to work the - presumably extremely shocking - news that yer actual Keith Telly Topping is, indeed, still alive. Albeit, more than a bit broken and feeling rather sorry for his very self.
- So, dear blog reader, this blogger eventually made it back to the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House just about in one piece. And, once he'd gotten his purchases nicely stored away in the cupboard, e-mailed his latest SSP note into work and had a brief chat about his external adventures on Facebook he, gratefully, retired to his stinking pit for a couple of hours for, necessary and deserved rest. (Nurse Kimberley had said, earlier in the morning, that the only real cure for torn muscles is rest ... plus some industrial strength painkillers, obviously. And whilst yer actual Keith Telly Topping may be a crass and ignorant fool in many ways he always does what his medical care professionals advise. Well, almost always.)
- On the bus back home, this blogger picked up a copy of the Metro for something to read during the twenty minute journey. Have you ever had one of those moments, dear blog reader, where you glance at a headline and you misread one of the words of it and that one misread word completely changes the entire meaning of the story? It happens to yer actual Keith Telly Topping more often than he would like and it did again on that day. On page five of the - alleged - newspaper was a story about the Health Secretary, the vile and odious rascal Hancock's appearance on the BBC's The Andrew Mar Show on the previous day. The headline was Sweatshops Will Be Fined & Closed Says Hancock.
Unfortunately, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping, misread the first word as sweetshops. And, for more than few seconds, this blogger was genuinely thinking to his very puzzled self, 'I know that Chocolate Bon-Bons and Lemon Sherbet Dip aren't exactly everyone's cup Rosie Lee, but that's a bit harsh, isn't it?'
It was, this blogger must report one of those days, dear blog reader ... And, as D-Ream (a popular beat combo of the 1990s, you might've heard of them) once said ... 'Shoot Me With Your Love, Baby'. Probably.
They say that every picture tells a story, dear blog reader. Which is, frankly, a right load of old effing toot. Nevertheless, some of them undeniably do. Like this one, fr instance, which tells the story of the day later that week when yer actual Keith Telly Topping had his but fourth trip out of the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House since 'The Incident' and finally - after what seemed like months - paid to get his riah shriven'd. He is, incidentally, now considering changing his name to Shaun Telly Topping. This blogger is, of course, most delighted of all that he no longer resembles a member of The Michael Schenker Group.
Ario's was open on Thursday and the queue wasn't too long (just a couple of punters ahead of this blogger). And, the big bonus was that the five minute limp back to the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House wasn't too awful ...
Particularly as this blogger really deserved this.
The - short - limp to the barber's shop and back was also instructive when this blogger spotted a sign which, he presumes, was there to advertise something which every home should have a tub of.
On a slightly more serious note, dear blog readers are pointed in the direction of a fascinating piece by the Sydney Morning Herald's Sarah Knapton, Coronavirus Pandemic May Not Have Started In China, Experts Say. Which, if only for the reason that its very existence is likely to put a geet massive scowl on the ugly mush of President Rump makes this article certainly worth a few moments of your time.
And now, for the latest of From The North's semi-regular Oh, Yer Actual Keith Telly Topping Wants One Of Those feature. This week, Keef's Richards' new tee-shirt.
So, dear blog reader, would you like to see some footage of a cow that got stranded at the bottom of a steep bank on the Northumberland/Cumbria border being freed? Of course you would, you're only human after all. The Galloway apparently got stuck at the Crammel Linn waterfall near Gilsland on Monday. It is thought some stupid shit-fer-brains numbskull of a visitor left a gate open and the cow found its way down from its field to the water's edge. The area had been hit by heavy rain for days and the frightened animal was, thus, unable to make its way back up the hill due to the soft ground. The fire and rescue service from nearby RAF Spadeadam joined other rescuers in a bid to try and guide the animal to safety but, in the end, it had to be sedated and airlifted out by an RAF helicopter. Some people pay good money for that sort of thing, dear blog reader.
The innovative and influential scores of Ennio Morricone - who died this week aged ninety one - revolutionised the music of the film industry. He became famous for scoring the Spaghetti Westerns directed by his friend Sergio Leone, such as A Fistful Of Dollars, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and this blogger's particular favourite, Duck, You Suckers! His sparse soundtracks were a vital component of Leone's revolutionary take on the Western genre. Yet this association often pained Ennio because he was, in fact, a composer of great versatility with more than five hundred film and TV scores to his credit. Despite his Hollywood success, he remained true to his roots, composing many scores for Italian cinema.
Ennio Morricone was born in Rome in Nov 1928. His father was a jazz trumpeter and the young Morricone took up the instrument at an early age and was writing short compositions by the time he was six. At school, his classmates included Leone - with whom he would later form one of the great director/composer partnerships in cinema history. 'We weren't friends, we were schoolmates,' Morricone once said. 'I mean, we were seven years old so we were playing together, but you can't call that a friendship.' Later, his first love was scoring classical pieces but, in order to make a living, he began composing background music for radio drama. He later turned his hand to film scores, but none of them made much impact until his school friend Leone asked him to write the soundtrack for Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (A Fistful Of Dollars). With scarcely any budget, Morricone was unable to replicate the lush strings of the early Westerns, instead using electric guitars and a variety of sound effects to punctuate the often violent action on-screen. In doing so, he underlined the mythical emptiness of the surrounding landscape and the brutal realities depicted in the film, which would influence Westerns for years to come. Most famously, Morricone penned the memorable and intriguing theme to 1966's Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo, the third of the Dollars trilogy. With the sounds of coyotes, the trotting of drum rhythms and electric guitar twangs, the instrumental soon became a worldwide phenomena. A cover version by Hugo Montenegro in 1968 was a pop hit in both the US and the UK. The theme also conjured up the familiar imagery of a young Clint Eastwood riding a mule over burning deserts, re-establishing the all-American genre with a unique European irony.
Morricone went on to become one of the most prolific composers of his era, with hundreds of film scores in his repertoire. 'I am disturbed when people think about me as a specialist for Westerns,' he once said. 'They are only a relatively small percentage of the music I've written.' His desire to maintain a European bulwark against a dominant US film culture was also important to him. He even opted for handwritten scores over the newly modernised forms of computer scoring. Morricone's work was seen as influential in bringing a certain popular style to the classical sound. He used period jazz phrases in his score for Once Upon A Time In America, to set the right historical context. His score for The Mission (1986) was described as so moving that rather than complementing the film, it overwhelmed it. A no-nonsense professional, Morricone left a legacy of compositions that convey a timeless aura. In 2007 he was, belatedly according to his many fans, awarded an honorary Academy Award, only the second film score composer (after Alex North) to receive such an accolade. His six competitive Oscar nominations from 1979 to 2016 were for Days Of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, Malena and The Hateful Eight. He finally won for the latter, Quentin Tarantino's revisionist Western. It was Morricone's first Western score for more than three decades. Some deemed his score for Leone's gangster masterpiece Once Upon A Time In America to be his best work. Another favourite was Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, to which Morricone's son, Andrea, also contributed. In 2001, for the first time performing in London, Morricone conducted two symphonic concerts dedicated to his film scores at The Barbican Centre. Similarly, for his seventy fifth birthday in 2003, a concert of film music at London's Royal Albert Hall saw musicians conducted by Morricone playing music from a selection of his compelling scores. He never bothered to learn English despite his prominent presence in Hollywood and never lost touch with his Italian roots, remaining in Rome for most of his life. 'I was offered a free villa in Hollywood,' he said. 'But I said, "No thank you, I prefer to live in Rome."' Morricone's desire to reflect parts of his personality throughout his carefully produced compositions enhanced and transformed the emotional impact of the films and he successfully adapted his work to many different styles of cinema. He once said: 'Working for the cinema has been a precious experience because it gave me the chance to experiment with my ideas, to listen to them performed by an orchestra, and then use them for a precise aim.'
Louis Mahoney, who has died aged eighty one, was one of the first black actors to appear regularly on British television, becoming a recognisable face during a successful fifty five-year career. His charismatic performances culminated earlier this year with a terrific appearance in the divorce drama The Split (2020) as a bungee-jumping priest completing items on a pre-death bucket list. He cropped up as a guest actor in a huge number of popular dramas, from Dixon Of Dock Green to Holby City via three roles in Doctor Who (as a newscaster in 1973's Frontier In Space, a vital role in 1975's Planet Of Evil and, latterly, a touching deathbed scene with Carey Mulligan in the acclaimed 2007 episode Blink). In Fawlty Towers, his patient, professional doctor gives chase to a concussed Basil Fawlty in the episode The Germans (1975). He cemented his reputation as a reliable and versatile performer by playing recurring roles, including Delbert Wilkins' Grandfather Jake in the terminally unfunny The Lenny Henry Show (1987), Elvis in Harbour Lights (1999) and aged werewolf, Leo, in the cult series Being Human (2012). He was also an ardent campaigner for the betterment of BAME actors, serving of the council of the actors' union Equity, eventually as its vice-president. Louis was a long-standing campaigner for racial equality within the acting profession, as a member of the Equity Afro-Asian Committee (previously The Coloured Actors Committee), founding Performers Against Racism to defend Equity policy on South Africa and as co-creator, with Mike Phillips and Taiwo Ajai, of the Black Theatre Workshop in 1976. A fierce critic of apartheid he persuasively argued that members should not perform to segregated audiences in South Africa and for a boycott of TV programme sales to that country. He stepped down in 2002 with the industry, in no small part due to his dogged campaigning, a better place for emerging black actors than it had been when he started his own career. While acknowledging that there was still work to do, he was never bitter.
Born in Banjul, in the Gambia, he was the eldest of six children of James Mahoney, headteacher of St Mary's School of Gambia and his wife, Princess. Louis was educated at the Methodist Boys' high school before setting sail for Britain in 1957 to enrol at the University of London to study medicine. A childhood memory of the audience reaction and proud look on his parents' faces as he performed in a school play eventually caused him to drop out and pursue a theatrical career, training at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduation in 1963, he worked at Colchester Rep and four years later became one of the first black actors to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company; he returned to the RSC exactly thirty years later. He worked with directors such as Richard Eyre, Rufus Norris and Matthew Dunster and at venues including the National Theatre, the Royal Court, the Almeida and, in 2018, the Bridge (in Alan Bennett's Allelujah! for Nicholas Hytner). His big screen work echoed the subjects of his activism - he played the official who facilitates safe passage for Donald Woods in Cry Freedom (1987 - 'that film did a lot to end apartheid,' he claimed) and in Shooting Dogs (2005) he was extremely moved to be working with crew members and extras who had been caught up in the horrific Rwandan genocide depicted in the film. He also had roles in Guns At Batasi (1964), Hammer's The Plague Of The Zombies (1966), Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981), White Mischief (1987) and Captain Phillips (2013).
His CV also included appearances in Danger Man, Z-Cars, The Troubleshooters, Menace, Special Branch, Quiller, The Professionals (two roles including one in the notorious episode Klansmen which was never transmitted on terrestrial TV in the UK), Miss Marple, Yes, Prime Minister, Bergerac, The Bill, Casualty, Counterpart, River, You, Me & The Apocalypse, New Tricks, Random, Waking The Dead, Oscar Charlie, Urban Gothic, Shooting Fish, Turning World, Faith, One Foot In The Grave, Runaway Bay, Love Hurts, The Real Eddy English, Black Silk, Play For Today, The Old Men At The Zoo, The Rise & Fall Of Idi Amin, The Spoils Of War, The Final Conflict, General Hospital, Crown Court, Born Free, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Adam Smith, Jason King, Softly Softly: Task Force, Slave Girls, The Man In Room Seventeen, Voodoo Blood Death, Public Eye and Sea Of Souls. Mahoney's last TV appearance was in the Tracy Beaker CBBC spin-off, The Dumping Ground.
A fit man - he used to boast about easily outrunning the National Front in Ilford in the early 1960s - Louis was a passionate cricketer. A fast bowler who had played at club level in the Gambia, he joined the Gentlemen of Hampstead and took part in charity matches (once bowling England test legend Tom Graveney). He also did voluntary work for disadvantaged young black people. He is survived by his daughter, Sashola, from a 1971 marriage which ended in divorce and three grandchildren and by his sister, Cynthia.
Jackie Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and former Republic of Ireland manager, has died aged eighty five. The former Leeds United defender had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and had also been suffering from dementia. One of English football's most popular - if, occasionally, controversial - characters, Big Jack was in the team that won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966, alongside his brother, Bobby. He made a record number of appearances for Leeds and achieved unprecedented success with the Republic of Ireland. He spent his entire club career with Leeds United from 1950 to 1973, helping the club to the Second Division title in 1964, the First Division title in 1969, the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1968 and 1971, as well as five second-place finishes in the First Division, two FA Cup final defeats (including the brutal two-game affair against Chelsea in 1970) and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final loss. His six hundred and twenty five league and seven hundred and sixty two total competitive appearances are both club records. He also scored ninety five goals for the club, making him ninth on their list of all-time scorers. Called up to the England team days before his thirtieth birthday, Charlton went on to score six goals in his thirty five international appearances and to appear in two World Cups and one European Championship. He, of course, played in the World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966 and also helped England to finish third in Euro 1968 and to win four British Home Championship tournaments. He was named the football writer's Footballer of the Year in 1967. After retiring as a player he led Middlesbrough to the Second Division title in 1974, winning the Manager of the Year award in his first season. He kept Boro as a stable top-flight club before he unexpectedly resigned in April 1977. He then took charge of Sheffield Wednesday in October of the same year and led them to promotion from the Third Division in 1980. He left The Owls in May 1983 and went on to serve Middlesbrough as caretaker-manager in 1984. He was Newcastle United manager for the 1984-85 season then took charge of the Republic of Ireland national team in February 1986 and led them to their first ever World Cup in 1990, where they reached the quarter-finals. He also led the nation to successful qualification to Euro 1988 and the 1994 World Cup. He resigned in January 1996 and went into retirement.
Born into a noted footballing family in Ashington in May 1935, Jackie was initially overshadowed by the prodigious talent of his younger brother, Bobby, who was taken on by Manchester United while Jack was doing his National Service. Four of his uncles were league footballers - Jack Milburn (Leeds United and Bradford City), George Milburn (Leeds United and Chesterfield), Jim Milburn (Leeds United and Bradford Park Avenue) and Stan Milburn (Chesterfield, Leicester City and Rochdale) whilst the legendary Newcastle United and England centre-forward Jackie Milburn was his mother's cousin. The economy of Ashington was based entirely around coal mining and, though his family had a strong footballing pedigree, Jack's father was a miner. Jack was the eldest of four brothers - Bobby, Gordon and Tommy; their father, Bob, had little interest in football, but their mother, Cissie, played football with her children and later coached the local school team. As a teenager she took Jack and Bobby to watch Ashington and Newcastle United play and Charlton remained a lifelong Newcastle supporter (even after his not-particularly-successful year managing the club). At the age of fifteen he was offered a trial at Leeds, where his uncle, Jim, was full-back, but Jack turned it down and instead joined his father in the pit. He soon handed in his notice after finding out just how difficult and unpleasant life was working deep underground and he applied to join the police force whilst he reconsidered the offer from Leeds. His trial game for Leeds clashed with his police interview and Jack chose to play in the game; the trial was a success and he joined the ground staff at Elland Road. 'This part of the world produced its fair share of footballers and nobody was particularly impressed if a lad went away to play professional football,' he noted in later years. 'In fact we never used to say going away to play football, we just used to say "going away." Growing up in North East England working class culture meant working hard for little pay and becoming a professional footballer was a realistic ambition for talented players, though it still required hard work and rarely offered more than a good working wage.'
     Manager Raich Carter handed Jack his first professional contract when Charlton turned seventeen and he made his first team debut in April 1953 against Doncaster Rovers, taking John Charles' place at centre-half after Charles was moved up to centre-forward. As he had not been given any specific instructions before the game Charlton asked Carter what he was expected to do; Carter reportedly replied: 'See how fast their centre-forward can limp!' Jack then had to serve two years National Service with the Household Cavalry and captained the Horse Guards to victory in the Cavalry Cup in Hanover. His National Service limited his contribution to Leeds, however, and he made only one appearance in the first team during the 1954–55 season.
Developing into a tough, no-nonsense centre-half during the late fifties in a somewhat struggling second division side, it was the arrival of Don Revie as manager at Leeds in 1960 that was to have the most significant effect on Jack's career. Initially, Revie was not a fan of Charlton and played him up front at the start of the 1961–62 season, but Jack soon moved him back to centre-half after he proved ineffective as a forward. He reportedly became frustrated and difficult to manage, feeling in limbo playing for a club seemingly going nowhere whilst his younger brother was enjoying huge success in Manchester. Revie told Charlton that he was prepared to let him go, but never actually transfer listed him. Liverpool manager Bill Shankly failed to meet the thirty thousand knicker that Leeds demanded for Charlton and, although Manchester United manager Matt Busby was initially said to be willing to pay the fee, that deal also eventually fell through. During these discussions Charlton had refused to sign a new contract at Leeds but, frustrated by Busby's hesitance, he signed the offered contract whilst making a promise to Revie to be more professional in his approach. The 1962 season was the beginning of a new era for Leeds as Revie began to mould a team in his own image - classy, skilful, uncompromising, hard-as-nails, greatly admired but little-liked outside of West Yorkshire. In a game against Swansea Town in September, Revie dropped many senior players and played Charlton in a new defensive line-up with Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Norman Hunter and Rod Johnson. With the exception of Johnson - soon replaced at left-back by Terry Cooper - this defensive line-up would remain pretty much consistent for much of the rest of the decade. Charlton took charge of the defence and suggested a zonal marking system; Revie allowed Charlton to become the key defensive organiser. Aided by new midfield signing Johnny Giles, The Peacocks put in a strong promotion challenge and finished fifth, before securing promotion as second division champions in 1964. Other players that began to make their mark on the first team included Billy Bremner, Paul Madeley and Peter Lorimer, all of whom would remain with Leeds until the end of the 1970s. Like his great central defensive partner, Norman Hunter, who also sadly died recently, Jack's no-nonsense approach often disguised the great ability he had as a footballer.
Charlton caused controversy in October 1970 during an appearance on a Tyne Tees TV football programme; he claimed that he had 'a little black book' of names of players whom he intended to hurt or to exact some form of revenge upon. He had to appear before the Football Association but was found not guilty of any wrongdoing after arguing that the press had misquoted him. He admitted that, although he never actually had such book he did have a - short - list of names in his head of players who had made nasty tackles on him in the past and whom he intended to put in a hard, but - allegedly - fair, challenge on if he got the opportunity in the course of a game. With Charlton approaching his thirtieth birthday, he was called up by Alf Ramsey to play for England against Scotland at Wembley in April 1965. He was so surprised at his call-up he subsequently asked Ramsey why he had picked him. Charlton revealed Ramsey's deadpan response was: 'I pick the best team for my pattern of play, Jack - I don't always pick the best players.' Ramsey later said that he picked Charlton to play alongside Bobby Moore as he was a conservative player able to provide effective cover to the more skilful Moore, who could get caught out if he made a rare mistake. Just over a year later, Charlton was part of the only England side to date to win the World Cup. 'People say to me "was that the most memorable day of your life?" and I say "not really" because unlike our kid and Bobby Moore, I hadn't been with them for years and years aiming for this,' Charlton told Desert Island Discs in 1996. 'I'd just come in, done it and gone. The most joy as a player was winning the league championship with Leeds at Liverpool.'
After his retirement in 1973 - he played his final game for Leeds on 28 April in a three-one defeat at Southampton on the same day that his brother played his final game for Manchester United - Jack moved into management with great success at Middlesbrough and, later, Sheffield Wednesday. Jack was appointed manager of the club he had supported as a boy, Newcastle, in June 1984 after being persuaded to take the job by his cousin, Jackie Milburn. Arthur Cox had just left the club after leading The Magpies to the First Division and Kevin Keegan had recently announced his retirement. Charlton's first action was to release the popular Terry McDermott from his contract. He had little money to spend in preparation for the 1984-85 season, though he did have exciting young talents in Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley and a teenage Paul Gascoigne was on the verge of breaking into the first team squad. However, Jack's chosen attritional style of play - and the signing of two target-men forwards, Tony Cunningham and George Reilly - was not popular with United supporters. Charlton stroppily resigned at the end of a pre-season friendly against Sheffield United after fans at St James' Park started calling for his dismissal, a decision which he later said that he had taken in haste and regretted. Jack was soon approached by the FAI to manage the Republic of Ireland. Charlton had developed his tactics, which were based on the traditional British four-four-two system, as opposed to the continental approach of using deep-lying midfielders, as he noted that most of the Ireland international squad plied their trade in the English and Scottish leagues. Crucially he instructed all members of his team to press opposition players and, in particular, force ball-playing defenders into mistakes. And, he scoured the land for English and Scottish-born players who had some Irish ancestry and, therefore, qualified to play for the Republic. He found plenty. His success in qualifying for the 1988 Euros (where Ireland, infamously, beat an under-performing England) and the 1990 World Cup (where they reached the quarter-final before losing, narrowly, to Italy) made Big Jack a legend in Eire. Ireland also qualified for the 1994 World Cup where they beat Italy in New York thanks to a Ray Houghton goal. They then fell to a two-one defeat to Mexico in Florida, during which Charlton had a memorably funny pitch-side argument with a hapless FIFA official who was preventing substitute John Aldridge from taking the pitch after his teammate, Tommy Coyne, had already left the pitch and sat on the bench. For his protestations, Jack was fined and suspended by FIFA for the final group game against Norway and had to watch the game from the commentary box as Ireland qualified with a nil-nil draw before losing to the Netherlands in the next round.
Ireland failed to qualify for Euro 96, despite a strong start to the group, when they won their opening three games. Injuries to key players such as Roy Keane, Andy Townsend, John Sheridan and Steve Staunton didn't help. After beating the highly fancied Portugal, the Irish then endured an embarrassing goalless draw with Liechtenstein, before losing twice to Austria. They finished second in the group, ahead of Northern Ireland on goal difference, but as the worst performing group runners-up they had to win a play-off game at Anfield against the Netherlands; Ireland lost two-nil and Jack resigned after the game. 'In my heart-of-hearts, I knew I'd wrung as much as I could out of the squad I'd got - that some of my older players had given me all they had to give.' Charlton married Pat Kemp in January 1958 with his brother Bobby acting as his best man. They had three children: John, Deborah and Peter, who was born just hours after his father played in the 1966 World Cup final. During the 1960s he ran clothes shops in Leeds and he also later operated the souvenir store at Elland Road. Charlton was also, famously, a keen amateur fisherman. He appeared on Desert Island Discs in 1972 and 1996 and chose to take with him The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer and Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Encyclopaedia Of How To Survive, a spyglass and a fishing rod to his mythical desert island. Charlton was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1973 and he was appointed an OBE the following year. In 1996, he was awarded honorary Irish citizenship, the highest honour the Irish state gives to foreign-born nationals. He was also made a Freeman of the city of Dublin and was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick. In 1997, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland. Charlton was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the game. There is a life-size statue of Big Jack at Cork Airport, representing him sitting in his fishing gear and displaying a salmon. An entertaining man with a happy knack for coming up with a memorable quote, Jack was a regular on the chat show circuit both during and after his playing career. His story about waking up on the morning after the 1966 World Cup final in a house in London and having no idea where he was or how he got there was a particularly good one. He did much media punditry after retiring from management whilst he made the 1975 Tyne Tees coaching series Play Soccer and made a few scattered acting appearances - usually playing himself - in TV series as diverse as Emergency - Ward Ten, They Think It's All Over and Who Stole The World Cup?. His 1972 single 'Simple Little Things'/'Geordie Sunday' (Bell Records 1247) has only a very few contenders for being the worst record ever made by anyone. Ever! Seriously, dear blog reader, particularly the b-side - once heard, never forgotten.
Jackie revealed in his self-titled 1996 autobiography that he had a strained relationship with his brother. Jack felt Bobby began to drift away from the family following his marriage to Norma, who reportedly did not get on with their mother. Bobby did not see his mother after 1992 until her death in 1996 as a result of the feud, though he and Norma did attend her funeral. Though the two brothers remained somewhat distant, Jack presented Bobby with his BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Lifetime Achievement Award in December 2008. Jack is survived by Pat and their three children.
And finally, dear blog reader, whilst From The North's obituary sections over the last few years have been extensive and have included many people whom this blogger really admired, there was one significant figure missing late last year simply because his death occurred during a period when From The North was on something of a hiatus. That's something which this blogger needs to, belatedly, put right.
     Kenny Lynch, who died aged eighty one on 18 December 2019 after a battle with cancer, was one of the few people of Caribbean origin prominent in the British entertainment world of the 1960s and 1970s. A talented singer and songwriter, with Top Ten hits to his name in both guises, he became a familiar television presence via his frequent appearances on variety shows, sitcoms and quiz programmes. He formed close professional and personal relationships with the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Roy Castle and the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, appearing as a guest on their shows. For many years he formed a double act with Tarbuck, performing with him at summer seasons in Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight and elsewhere; they also appeared together at The Royal Variety Performances in both 1981 and 1987.
In sitcoms he appeared unfazed either by the casual racism of Johnny Speight's Curry & Chips (1969), which also starred Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes, or by the more direct satire of Till Death Us Do Part. There were more substantial guest roles in drama series such as Z-Cars and The Sweeney. His CV also included appearances in The Little & Large Show, Cannon & Ball, Tickle On The Tum (as Mike the Milkman), The Kenny Everett Television Show, both the 1967 and 1979 versions of The Plank, The Chiffy Kids, Dawson's Weekly, Wink To Me Only, Room At The Bottom, No Hiding Place, Last Laugh In Vegas, The Baby Boomers' Guide To Growing Old, Flashback: The History Of UK Black Music, Pointless Celebrities, Lads Army, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Blankety Blank, Bullseye, Treasure Hunt, Punchlines!, A Frame with Davis, Star Games Seaside Special, Francis Howerd in Concert, All Star Comedy Carnival, The Golden Shot, Set 'Em Up Joe, The Stanley Baxter Show, Twice A Fortnight, Whistle Stop, Dee Time, Ready, Steady, Go!, Quiz Ball, Millicent, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Juke Box Jury, That's For Me, Discs A Go-Go, The Beat Room and Needle Match.
His films ranged from the pop music feature Just For Fun (1963), through comedies such as Carry On Loving (1970) and The Alf Garnett Saga (1972), to sexploitation movies like The Playbirds (1978) and Confessions From The David Galaxy Affair (1979) and even horror. In the case of the latter, there was a memorable appearance in Amicus's Doctor Terror's House Of Horrors (1965), directed by Freddie Francis. A portmanteau anthology of the kind that Amicus - Hammer's main rival of the era - specialised in, it showcased a wonderfully broad take on the theatre of the absurd strand which British horror movies used to do so well. Lynch appeared in the segment Voodoo along with his friend Roy Castle, which is sometimes criticised by modern critics as featuring racial stereotypes but is, in fact, one of the best parts of the movie - and not in an ironic or post-modern way, either - working as a clever pastiche of the white music industry's wholesale plagiarism of black delta blues. Kenny even got to sing a song in the movie, the rather lovely 'Give Me Love' backed by The Tubby Hayes Quartet which was, eventually, released in 2007.
A self-styled 'black cockney', Kenny was born to Oscar Lynch and his wife, Amelia in Stepney in March 1938 and grew up in the nearby Custom House area of London in a family of eleven children. His mother was British, of mixed-race heritage and his father was a Barbadian seaman who had served in the merchant navy during the first world war and, later, worked as a stoker at Beckton Gas Works. Kenny recalled that he did not experience much racism in his life until he was in his twenties. 'We were probably a novelty. Our neighbours would say: "We've got some black people living next door, you should come round and see them."' Lynch's first public appearance as a singer came at the age of twelve, with his sister Gladys, who later became well known as the jazz singer Maxine Daniels. He went to Farrance Street school and appeared in Peggy O'Farrell stage school shows at Stratford Town Hall and The Poplar Civic Theatre. At the same time he earned money by illegally street-selling knock-off goods; when he finished his education he took on various jobs, including as a porter in Billingsgate Fish Market. In 1957 he began his national service as a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps, where he became the regimental featherweight boxing champion and, after demobilisation, he was a barman in a Stepney pub, where he also sang. That work led to engagements with dance bands and at Soho nightclubs, where he was spotted by Shirley Bassey and the agent Jean Lincoln, who got him a recording contract with HMV.
Kenny was chosen to compete in the heats of A Song For Europe in 1962, although his entry, 'There's Never Been A Girl', lost out to 'Ring-A-Ding Girl' by Ronnie Carroll, who went on to represent the UK in The Eurovision Song Contest. In early 1963 Kenny was booked to tour with teenage pop singer Helen Shapiro; also on the bill were the soon-to-be famous Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) not to mention a then-unknown Dave Allen working as the show's compare. During the tour, John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed the song 'Misery', which they offered to Shapiro, who was then at the height of her popularity. When it was rejected by her producer, Norrie Paramor, Kenny recorded and released the song, in the process earning a minor place in pop history as the first singer to record a cover of a Lennon/McCartney composition. According to legend, whilst on the tour coach travelling from a gig in York to another in Shrewsbury, Lynch reportedly offered to help John and Paul write a new song, but quickly became frustrated and left them to it - at the time the duo were writing 'From Me To You'. 'Misery' failed to reach the charts - Lennon reportedly much enjoyed Lynch's soulful vocals on the cover but felt that session guitarist Bert Wheedon's contributions had 'ruined' the version - but the Be-Atles connection was maintained when Lynch appeared with other celebrities on the sleeve of Band On The Run, the 1973 LP by McCartney's band, Wings.
Lynch released a number of singles throughout the 1960s and he had Top Ten hits in the UK with a version of Gerry Goffin and Carole King's 'Up On The Roof' (1962), competing with the original by The Drifters and 'You Can Never Stop Me Loving You' (1963), which became a US hit when recorded by Johnny Tillotson. Lynch also composed or co-wrote songs recorded by Dusty Springfield ('He's Got Something'), Cilla Black (the hit single 'Love's Just A Broken Heart'), The Drifters and The Everly Brothers. He worked, briefly, as a songwriter at the Brill Building in New York, where he met the singer, pianist and songwriter Mort Shuman and the pair wrote 'Sha La La La Lee' for The Small Faces in 1966. Lynch oversaw the production for Hylda Baker and Arthur Mullard's comedy version of 'You're The One That I Want' a minor hit single in September 1978. In the early 1980s, Kenny formed a brief songwriting partnership with the former tennis player Buster Mottram, a long-time white nationalist political activist. The duo's 'Half The Day's Gone & We Haven't Earned A Penny' made the lower reaches of the charts in 1983.
In common with some other showbiz personalities, Lynch sometimes brushed shoulders with the seamier figures of London life. His circle of friends included associates of the Kray family and members of the East End boxing fraternity and in 2014 he attended the funeral of Joey Pyle, a former boxer who had worked for the Krays. In addition to his musical and acting talents, Kenny had an astute business sense. Many of his compositions were published by his own company and he was briefly an artist manager, as well as the owner of a Soho record shop and a North London restaurant. Kenny was also well known for his charitable efforts, especially in sporting circles. A life-long supporter of West Ham United, as a young man he had played football alongside Tommy Steele in a Showbiz XI, later playing cricket for a team led by Michael Parkinson and competing in pro-celebrity golf tournaments with Tarbuck and Forsyth. He also competed in - and finished - the 1982 London Marathon. He was appointed OBE in 1971.
In later years Kenny performed only occasionally, with a show at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in 2011 and a tour in 2015 with The Rat Pack, a tribute show to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Junior. He is survived by his daughters, Amy and Bobby.