Some of my favorite things to watch on TV are the British comedy TV shows. Shows like, “Are You Being Served? “ “Vicar of Dibley,” “Red Dwarf”, “One Foot In The Grave”, have always been among my favorites. I would rather watch an episode of “Keeping Up Appearances” than an hour of “Law and Order.” If there is one thing I love about our local PBS station it is the Saturday night Brit-coms.
I believe one of the main reasons why I love British comedies is the fact that there is no age bracket. Many of the best shows have older actors unlike the US where they have to be young, pretty and sexy. One of the best shows to put older actors to work was a show called “Waiting For God.”
It is the story of two highly strung residents of a retirement home who cause madness and mayhem for the management and their families. The series ran from 1990 to 1994 on the BBC but has achieved cult status in the US in reruns. The show starred Stephanie Cole and Graham Crowden as Diana and Tom.
It is Graham Crowden that has died at the age of 87.
I have followed Crowden’s career as he was one of these quirky character actors that would pop up in many of my favorite films. He played as the Master of Lunacy in “The Ruling Class” (1972) with Peter O’Toole and as the Leader of Fanatics in “Jabberwocky” (1977) directed by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam. Other films include the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), “Out of Africa” (1985), and 2003’s Calendar Girls.
He stared with actor Malcolm McDowell in three movies: “If” (1968) , “O Lucky Man!“ (1973) and “Britannia Hospital” (1982).He has been in several other TV series including the British period pieces “The Way We Live Now” ( 2001) and “Vanity Fair” (1998). It was also rumored that Crowden was offered the job of the 4th Doctor Who for the TV series but he turned it down.
Most recently I have enjoyed Graham Crowden’s voice in the BBC’s sci-fi comedy “Nebulous”. He played Sir Ronald Rolands, the main character, Professor Nebulous’ boss and leader of K.E.N.T. – the Key Environmental Non-Judgemental Taskforce.
He will be missed.