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.