Friday, 30 December 2016
Boogie down with David now
Before I get to the annual "roll of honour" for what has to have been one of the most remarkable years for "beloved celebrity deaths" - of course there are always loads of notable names who die in any twelve-month period, but among those we said goodbye to in 2016 were people who I (and many, many others) genuinely loved - I feel the need to do a little preamble.
We bid RIP this year to some "names" of the highest magnitude (Muhammad Ali, Prince, John Glenn, Robert Stigwood, Fidel Castro, George Martin, Robert Vaughn, Nancy Reagan, Leonard Cohen, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and all), and to numerous British "national treasures" such as Terry Wogan, Caroline Aherne, Ronnie Corbett, Jimmy Young, Paul Daniels, Ed Stewart, Liz Smith, Andrew Sachs, Brian Rix, Cliff Michelmore, Jean Alexander, Frank Kelly and Ian McCaskill. We lost people whose innovations were a big part of my childhood, such as Carla Lane (creator of some of the biggest TV comedies of the 1970s including The Liver Birds), Gordon Murray (who created Camberwick Green), Janet Waldo (the voice of "Penelope Pitstop" in Wacky Races), Sylvia Anderson (the voice of "Lady Penelope" in Thunderbirds), Jimmy Perry (creator of Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Hi-Di-Hi) and Vlasta Dalibor (co-creator of the puppet show Pinky and Perky).
And then there were those without whom my life would have been so very, very different; people who I never knew but nonetheless were a constant source of inspiration (and were "there for me" in many a milestone moment); the ones whose loss is very painful indeed - George Michael, Pete Burns, Victoria Wood, and the greatest of them all, my idol David Bowie.
In recognition of the fact that it is the weekend, and there is indeed "The Party Of The Year" to look forward to tomorrow (I spent today shopping for the buffet, and the music playlist is almost done!), I feel it is only fitting for the great man himself to jolly-up the mood with John, I'm Only Dancing (Again) - and Thank Disco It's Friday!
Hold onto your hats, though, dear reader - next up is that "great list"...