I say, Mr Derek…
If you think this week’s ALAW sounds as if it’s a bit ‘make do and mend’, you’d be right. I wanted it to be an uplifting five-line eulogy for the actor Derek Fowlds who died recently, but I left it too close to my weekly deadline to produce a well-polished one.
I best remember Fowlds as Mr Derek, Basil Brush’s straightman in the puppet fox’s TV show, and then as Bernard Woolley in the renowned Yes Minister series.
His rôle in the latter was as a support to the two leads, but his delivery and comic timing elevated it well above that of a mere bit part and included the punchline to one of the best sketches in the entire series. (I never saw him in Heartbeat, a long-running daytime TV drama that he valued for giving him financial security in his later years).
Here’s the limerick:
I say, Mr Derek has died,
But memories of him will abide
As a stooge to a puppet
(A fox, not a muppet)
Who then sat at a Minister’s side.