Yet another sad loss to the showbiz world was announced today; the actor John Bardon, perhaps most famous for his role as Jim Branning in EastEnders, has passed away following a long illness aged 75.
Bardon had been a regular on the BBC's long running soap from 1999 to 2011., though an extremely debilitating strokes in 2007 reduced his appearances in later years. Before this role, Bardon had a varied and eclectic career which saw him win the Laurence Olivier Award for 'Best Actor in a Musical' for 1987's Kiss Me, Kate and recreate the magic of legendary music hall comedian Max Miller in the play Here's A Funny Thing at the Liverpool Playhouse, the Edinburgh Fringe, London's Fortune Theatre and, for television, on Channel 4 in 1982. He also appeared in films such as East Is East, playing the National Front supporting neighbour, Fierce Creatures and Clockwise (both with John Cleese) and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. Television roles from the 1970s to the late 90s included Dad's Army (he would go on to star in the Private Walker role in theatrical spin offs featuring the cast) Are You Being Served?, The Sweeney, Only Fools and Horses, Miss Marple, Birds of a Feather, Hippies, The Paradise Club, Minder, Further Up Pompeii, Casualty, The Bill, Up The Elephant and Round the Castle, Get Back and Rumpole of the Bailey, in which he played one of the Timson family - a legendary clan of South London villains who would routinely call upon the barrister's services ("That alibi has been clubbed together by all the family like one would do when buying a bike for a child's Christmas" being one of my favourite Rumpole quotes)
Bardon's demise is just one of three announced in the media today; Donald Sinden (whom I posted news of earlier) and the Rev Ian Paisley (well, if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say it at all! Note: it's also why I never posted about Joan Rivers either!)