Saturday, 31 March 2018

RIP Bill Maynard

Veteran comic actor and TV legend Bill Maynard has died aged 89.

In a career that spanned eight decades, Maynard could be found in several Carry On films as well as their naughtier rivals, the Confessions movies, In Sickness and in Health and Worzel Gummidge. He had the starring role in two successful TV sitcoms in the '70s and '80s, Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt! and The Gaffer, and he took more dramatic roles in the likes of The Sweeney, Colin Welland's Play for Today, Kisses at Fifty, and the Andrew Davies Screen One drama Filipina Dreamgirls. Away from acting he tried his hand at singing, coming second in the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest, and - far less successfully - at politics, standing against Labour's Tony Benn as an independent candidate in the 1984 Chesterfield election and losing his deposit (hahaha) as a result. He even had his own radio show on BBC Radio Leicester from 2003 to 2008. But it will be his role as the scruffy old reprobate Claude Jeremiah Greengrass in the long running series Heartbeat and its crossover The Royal from 1992 to 2003 that Maynard will perhaps be best remembered for. 

Ill health and a series of strokes had plagued Maynard in recent years but he returned to our TV screens last year for a brief, two-line cameo in The Moorside, the drama about the real life case of the Shannon Matthews hoax kidnapping, just to prove to audiences that he wasn't dead yet!

Sadly, following a fall from his mobility scooter that broke his hip, Maynard passed away in hospital in Leicestershire.


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