Monday, 22 February 2016
Happy Birthday Kenneth!
Today marks a very special anniversary. One of my very favourite comedy heroes, the late great Kenneth Williams would have celebrated his 90th birthday today. I have been a fan of Kenneth for as long as I can remember so it is important to me that this occasion receives as much recognition as possible.
If he were alive today, he would probably celebrate the occasion in the way he normally dealt with birthdays. He'd take great umbrage, flair his nostrils and dump all his birthday cards in the dustbin!
Kenneth is quite simply a legend. I know he'd hate that but that's what he is. The star of 26 Carry On films, of iconic radio series such as Hancock's Half Hour, Just A Minute, Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne. He endeared himself to the nation on countless chat shows, on Jackanory and Willo The Wisp. He was a star of revue on the West End stage as well as countless plays. He worked in the theatre with Maggie Smith, Edith Evans and Ingrid Bergman. Although he was often down on his talents, his life and career, much of what he achieved has endured and become iconic.
Away from the limelight, the man himself has become equally legendary. The publication of his diaries in 1993 and his letters the following year revealed a thoughtful, intelligent, sometimes difficult and troubled but always thoroughly entertaining man. He was an original and a one off. There will never, ever be another Kenneth Williams.
This week I will be marking the anniversary of Kenneth's birth with a wide selection of blogs. There will be classic clips, a discussion of his diaries and a look back at his relationships with a wide variety of friends and colleagues. I hope you will enjoy them.
So Happy Birthday Kenny, wherever you are. You are still loved, admired and remembered.