Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year, New Knights

HAPPY 2010

First of all, I'd like to extend hearty congratulations to Nicholas Hytner and Patrick Stewart, Knighted in the New Year's Honours List.

Both were contributors to We Could Possibly Comment - Ian Richardson Remembered .

Nicholas Hytner was one of the first people to agree to provide input, having worked with Ian in his National Theatre debut in The Alchemist, which was sadly his last stage role. Nicholas has worked wonders at the National Theatre and his latest innovation, broadcasting selected productions live around the world, has been such a blessing to so many people who would otherwise not get the chance to see these shows.

I interviewed Patrick Stewart in September 2007, in his dressing room at the Gielgud Theatre, where he was starring in Macbeth. He was extremely courteous and focused and provided a highly insightful tribute to Ian.

2010 already - it's frightening how quickly the decade has flown past.

I spent a good bit of New Year's Eve, having declined invitations to go out, watching the series Strange, in which Ian played a rather sinister Canon. I'd obtained the DVD a couple of months ago and as it wasn't a commercial recording hadn't got round to checking it yet.

Strange, penned by Andrew Marshall, was about a defrocked priest, John Strange - played by Richard Coyle - and his battle against various demons, aided by a nurse, played by Samantha Janus, and side-kicks played Andrew Lee Potts and Timmy Lang. Ian's Canon Black was there attempting to thwart his former charge at every turn, whilst giving dog's abuse to his young assistant, Doddington - played by Samuel Barnett. Ian had some wonderful lines in the series, invariably of the caustic kind.

Here's a very clever YouTube piece, which combined one of the best Rolling Stones tracks ever with visual clips of Canon Black very effectively.


  1. I'd never heard of that, Sharon. Looks as if it would be right up my street.

    On the awards front - I've always wondered why Margaret TD has never received one.

  2. It was a pretty good series, Michael. They even had Tom Baker in one of the episodes.

    Yes, she should have had something (and sometimes I'm confused and think that she has) - just as Ian should have been knighted. Many of the recipients have deserved their awards and many others haven't. By the same token, I can think of several people - like Margaret and Ian (though he was made a CBE in 1989) who should have received more recognition.

  3. He *wasn't* knighted? I think of him as "Sir" Ian Richardson. Guess *I've* knighted him, anyway. (Although birthday or New Year's honours from me don't really stack up to much...)

  4. A great many people assumed that Ian was knighted - if you do a Google search on 'Sir Ian Richardson', you'll get quite a lot of hits.

    A great many people thought that he should have been knighted.

  5. Hello, glad you liked the video - bit complicated to explain the motive behind it. I am a great admirer of Richardson, and very sad I only became properly aware of his work since his death. Just stumbled upon your blog today, and learning so much more about what a versatile actor he was.