Friday, January 09, 2009

Unlikely Fact of the Day (No.1 in an occasional series)

In a 'Which Dad's Army character are you?' contest, I am always picked as Sergeant Wilson. That suits me fine. When I was a child I used to love Clive Dunn's infantile antics, but with maturity I came to appreciate John Le Mesurier's dry wit and resigned ennui.

I was reading about Le Mesurier earlier today and in addition to the usual anecdotes about his marriage to Hattie Jacques and his drinking sessions in the demi monde of 1960s Soho, I was also surprised to discover that he was a huge fan of Earth, Wind and Fire.

Le Mesurier's third wife, pictured above, recalls that 'he was very fond of the band and had most of their records'.

The image of an English gentleman, born in 1912, popping out to buy the latest Earth, Wind and Fire album is an endearing, if somewhat surreal one.


depesando said...

That's the most interesting thing I've read all week.

It was a shame his character made such a small appearance in last year's 'Heroes of Comedy" series on BBC4, and then only as an aside to Tony Hancock - he would have made an excellent subject in his own right - as would Hattie Jacques, they should do another series based on female comics, a pretty rich vein. Joan Sims - Pat Coombs, and Hattie Jacques were all just as fascinating and underrated ( I think Ruth Jones would be a brilliant Hattie )

JonathanM said...

He also starred in the 1953 movie The Pleasure Garden, with a very svelte Hatti Jacques made by the Californian poet and experimental film-maker James Broughton and filmed in Crystal Palace park.

There was also a part for Lindsay Anderson as 'Toff in a hat.'

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I adore John Le Mesurier and have read his autobiography as well as those of his third wife (who left him to have a torrid affair with Tony Hancock but then eventually returned and came to appreciate her husband to the end).

My favourite John Le Mesurier story is of him walking past a huge poster of Jimmy Saville in the 1970s proclaiming 'It's the age of the train' to which he exhorted 'C**t!'

Aside from that he was mostly a perfect gentleman and by far my favourite of the Dad's Army crew. You could emulate no finer Steerforth!