Goodbye Ken and thanks

I saw in the papers today that Ken Campbell has popped his clogs. Ken was probably most famous as the actor who played Alf’s neighbour in the TV show In Sickness and in Health with Alf Garnet.

Though his TV career was not vast his impact on comedy was enormous. I saw him twice, once at The Almeida Theatre in Islington and once during The Brighton Festival. On both occasions he had the audience speechless with laughter.

I recall a sketch where he had a puppet reading from a script and looking up each time the audience made a sound. At each interruption this damn puppet would look up and stare sternly at the culprit until silence was restored.

The puppet stared and the audience held their breath until an explosion of laughter would break forth from some isolated individual, the puppets would jerk it’s head around and stare. The tension built and built until we were in suppressed hysterics.

A fantastic, inventive and good hearted man.

Goodbye Ken and thanks.

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