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Plenty on Wikipedia and on IMDd.  Those two websites are great for the date and place of birth, as well as listing the TV, films, stage and radio I've worked on.  What they don't do is describe what it was like working on those productions, alongside the wonderful and sometimes not-so-wonderful personalities involved. They also don't divulge the highs and lows of over 50 years of marriage, bringing up three kids as well as emerging grandchildren. If you're interested, Learning My Lines (my autobiography), Echoes (my first novel) are for sale through my website, as is an archive of my blogs from 2009-2013.

Sunday, 5 April 2015


I read in the papers a week or so ago that Fulham game against Brentford kicked off at 8.00.

I arrived at the Chancellors in Hammersmith, my favorite pub, in good time to get to the game. Got my pint and went outside.

A Fulham supporter comes out. Recognizes me. “ What a game.’ he says.
‘Four one,’
‘Could be.’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘We could win.’
‘We lost four one.’
‘Lost? It hasn’t started yet! Starts at 8,00.’
‘It’s finished! Kicked off at 3.00. You prat.’ and he stomped back into the pub. 

Yes, I did feel like one. How could I have got it so wrong? I felt like crying, we lost and I didn’t see it! I like to be there whatever happens. The door to the garden door opens and another Fulham fan comes out. I don’t want another conversation like the previous one. I start to dig into my pint.
‘Hello.’ he says cheerfully.
‘Hi.’ I say with my glass at my mouth.
‘That was a penalty, wasn’t it?’ he says showing me his ‘smart’ phone.
I watch it. ‘Yes.’ I say.’
‘My name’s Andy Onions.’ he says extending his hand. ‘I do comedy in the evenings. Run a comedy night in my local. For a a few amateurs and semi professionals.’ he stops suddenly and stares at me. ‘Oh, it’s you! You do the voice of Mr Benn. You did a VO of Mr Benn for one our company’s commercials.’ he fiddles with his phone. ‘Remember?’ he says showing me.
I didn’t remember. ‘Oh, yes.’ I say convincingly. He gives me his card.

So here I am, having missed the game but still Mr Benn pops up. How extraordinary.

This a true story.


  1. How disappointing to miss the match Ray, bet you said "Oh bother!"

    Talking of Mr Benn, he cropped up in a film I was watching recently on TV. Think it was "Life is Sweet" with Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent. Your famous Mr B, was on the TV in one of the scenes, just for a few seconds.

    Did you get round to signing Mark's petition re. plays on BBC, as I noticed a few more had signed?


  2. Mr Benn popped up in BBC2's Back In Time For Dinner this week. The family were experiencing the 70s and were all sat round with their dinner on their knees watching Mr Benn and your mellifluous, warm tones on the tele. Might it have been that you saw it on Ann? I'm a big Mike Leigh fan and I'm struggling to recall Mr Benn appearing in that.

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  4. Yes, it was in Back in Time for Dinner, Mark. I knew I'd seen Mr Benn in something recently, just couldn't remember which!

    I think they stereotyped some of the decades in that programme though, as I never, ever used Cadbury's Smash or had a fondue set! Still, I expect they had to portray the general theme and products available at the time.

    I like Mike Leigh's work too, such gritty stuff, hope they show more in future.


  5. A recent interview with Ray, and the page for Ray's Liverpool show, which may be of interest to some of us!

  6. Just caught up with your blogs, Ray. Didn't realise you were venturing to Liverpool - not far at all from me. My guilty pleasure is the Carry On films - would love to hear a few tales & for you to sign my original Abroad poster. I'm going out on a limb here (ie not consulted with wife!) but count me in! Look forward to it!

  7. And finally there are still a few remaining seats available for the Brighton show on 12th April...

    1. Hi Ray, sorry I haven't been in touch for a while, hope you are well and happy regards Simon(drew)