Saturday, 5 September 2015

Kenneth Williams on Parkinson


I've just stumbled across this video on YouTube and thought it was worthy of a blog post all of its own. Kenneth Williams became a legendary chat show guest in the 1970s and 1980s and regularly appeared on the Parkinson show. 

As Michael Parkinson has often said, Kenneth was a gift for these kind of shows. In those days, before everyone only appeared because they had something to promote or flog, famous faces came on for a chat or an enjoyable exchange. Good talkers were always in demand so the likes of Kenneth, Billy Connolly and Peter Ustinov did very well. 

This video is basically a compilation of some of Kenneth Williams' finest anecdotes from his many appearances on the Parkinson Show. Interestingly, Michael Parkinson highlights that both men disliked each other quite strongly to begin with and they are indeed complete opposite. Parky no doubt spotted Kenneth's many gifts and Williams was asked back because he was so popular and good for the show.

One of my favourite snippets from all these shows sees Kenneth appear alongside his great friend Maggie Smith. Amidst all the naughty jokes and clever stories, the two friends read a poem by John Betjeman for the man himself who was a fellow guest. It's a lovely moment.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video - it features one of my favourite ever Kenneth stories, involving his experiences working with Dame Edith Evans and a late night meal after a performance of Gentle Jack in the theatre. Always makes me hoot with laughter!






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