Richard Beckinsale

Richard Arthur Beckinsale (6 July 1947 – 19 March 1979) was an English actor, who played Lennie Godber in the BBC sitcom Porridge (along with its sequel series Going Straight) and Alan Moore in the British ITV sitcom Rising Damp. He was the father of actresses Samantha Beckinsale and Kate Beckinsale.

Richard Beckinsale
Lenniegodber.JPG
Beckinsale as Lennie Godber
Born
Richard Arthur Beckinsale

(1947-07-06)6 July 1947
Died19 March 1979(1979-03-19) (aged 31)
Resting placeMortlake Crematorium, Kew, London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1962–1979
Spouse(s)
  • Margaret Bradley
    (m. 1965; div. 1971)
  • (m. 1977)
Children

Early lifeEdit

Beckinsale was born in Carlton, Nottinghamshire, the youngest of three children, to an Anglo-Burmese father, Arthur John Beckinsale, and an English mother, Maggie Barlow.[1][2] Beckinsale stated in a 1977 interview that he was a distant relative of the actor Charles Laughton.[3]

While attending College House Junior School in Chilwell, Beckinsale appeared in his first of many school plays, playing Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[4] As a teenager at Alderman White Secondary Modern School, he played the lead in Tobias and the Angel and also appeared as Hsieh Ping-Kuei in Lady Precious Stream, which earned him a positive review in the Nottingham Evening Post.[5] Beckinsale left school at 15 with ambitions to become a professional actor but he was still too young to go to drama school. He spent a year working in numerous manual labour jobs, including a grocer's, an upholsterer's apprentice, and a pipe inspector.[6][7]

At 16, Beckinsale enrolled at Nottingham College, Clarendon, taking the drama teacher's training programme and spent the next two years there, until he was old enough to apply to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[8] After failing his first audition for RADA, Beckinsale was accepted on his second attempt, becoming just one of 31 successful applicants from a total of more than 12,500.[9] While at RADA, Beckinsale won a prize for comedy.[10]

After graduating in 1968,[11] he moved to Crewe to begin in repertory theatre. He also appeared in various other repertory productions around the country, including Hull, Leeds, London, and Colchester.[12] While at Crewe, Beckinsale played such roles as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, and the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet.[13][14][15] Following his stint in 1969 playing Hamlet, Beckinsale took a brief hiatus from acting and worked at a bottle factory, before returning to acting soon after.[16][17]

CareerEdit

First television appearancesEdit

Beckinsale made his television debut in 1969 as a police officer in Coronation Street, in which he had to arrest veteran character Ena Sharples.[18] He later had a small role in a 1970 episode of A Family at War, playing a young soldier.[19]

The LoversEdit

After being recommended by several other actors for the part, Beckinsale landed his first starring role as Geoffrey in the sitcom The Lovers (1970–71), opposite fellow newcomer Paula Wilcox.[20] The show put both leading performers in the eye of the public and, like many sitcoms of the time, a film version was made.[21]

PorridgeEdit

From 1974 to 1977, Beckinsale starred as prison inmate Lennie Godber alongside Ronnie Barker in the hit BBC sitcom Porridge. Beckinsale expressed relief at landing the role, due to his concern about being typecast as Geoffrey from The Lovers.[22] Barker had suggested actor Paul Henry for the role of Godber, due to Henry being from Birmingham (as Godber was meant to be), but director Sydney Lotterby chose Beckinsale instead.

Beckinsale initially played Godber with a Birmingham accent, but this was eventually abandoned.[23] Actor Brian Glover, who played the character Cyril Heslop on Porridge, stated that Heslop's line "I read a book once; green it was" from the first episode, New Faces, Old Hands, was actually Beckinsale's idea.[24]

Rising DampEdit

While appearing in Porridge on the BBC, Beckinsale simultaneously starred as naive medical student Alan Moore in the ITV sitcom Rising Damp[25] also from 1974 to 1977. Beckinsale was the only member of the cast not to have appeared in The Banana Box, the play on which Rising Damp was based. Writer Eric Chappell stated: "Although not the oldest, he was the most experienced sitcom actor of the quartet, having already appeared in The Lovers and Porridge. This allowed him to be something of a calming influence on the show – a calming influence that was often needed."[26]

Beckinsale had previously worked with Leonard Rossiter in the 1974 Johnny Speight drama If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have To Invent Them.[27] Due to a scheduling conflict with the play he was starring in, I Love My Wife, Beckinsale was unable to appear in the fourth series of Rising Damp.[28]

Going StraightEdit

In 1977, Porridge was brought to an end with his character of Godber being released from his prison sentence in the final episode. He subsequently starred alongside Barker in Going Straight (1978), a spin-off of Porridge in which the two criminal characters are seen on the outside rebuilding their lives.

BloomersEdit

Beckinsale starred in his final television comedy, Bloomers, the five completed episodes of which eventually aired in September and October 1979. He played Stan, an out-of-work actor who takes a job as a partner at a flower shop. This was the first sitcom of Beckinsale's in which he had the leading role.[29]

Other workEdit

In between series one and two of The Lovers Beckinsale starred in an ITV children's show titled Elephant's Eggs in a Rhubarb Tree. The show featured jokes, poetry, and music.[30]

He had the lead role of a young detective in the 1971 Armchair Theatre episode Detective Waiting.[31]

Beckinsale appeared in the films Rentadick (1972)[32] and Three for All (1975) and made appearances in several other television series such as the Stephen Frears-directed ITV Playhouse episode "Last Summer" in 1977.

Throughout his tv series run, Beckinsale also did a nineteen-month run in the West End play Funny Peculiar, for which he was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for "Actor of the Year in a New Play" and "Comedy Performance of the Year."[33] He later did a six-month run in the London debut of the Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart play I Love My Wife.

Shortly after his 30th birthday, Beckinsale was the subject of an episode of This Is Your Life. Ronnie Barker and Fulton MacKay of Porridge, Leonard Rossiter and Don Warrington of Rising Damp, and Paula Wilcox of The Lovers all gave tributes during the show.[34]

In 1977, he starred in a radio comedy series called Albert and Me with Pat Coombs and John Comer.[35] He also appeared in an advertisement for Asda which aired in 1978 and early 1979. Beckinsale appeared in the film version of Porridge released in 1979. It was to be his last and only completed work of the year.

In October 1980, Frederick Muller Ltd. posthumously published a volume of Beckinsale's poetry entitled "With Love" (ISBN 0-584-10387-5).[36][37][38]

Personal lifeEdit

Beckinsale was married twice. In 1965, he married his pregnant girlfriend, a local Nottingham woman named Margaret Bradley, whom he had met in 1964 while singing at a folk club. Their daughter, actress Samantha Beckinsale, was born on 23 July 1966. When Beckinsale was accepted into RADA, they moved to London. Beckinsale became immersed in student life and he and his wife grew apart.[39] They separated in 1968 when Margaret took Samantha back to live in Nottingham and Beckinsale left London to work in repertory in Crewe.[40] They divorced in 1971 and Beckinsale did not see his daughter for years.

Margaret later remarried and her new husband raised Samantha as his daughter. Samantha was unaware that her real father was Richard Beckinsale until she was 11.[41] Beckinsale and Samantha reconnected soon after and spent time together, before his death in 1979.[42]

Beckinsale met actress Judy Loe in 1968 at Crewe repertory.[43] They soon began dating and lived together for years. Their daughter, actress Kate Beckinsale, was born on 26 July 1973.[44] They finally married in 1977, prior to Kate starting nursery school.[45]

Beckinsale enjoyed playing the guitar and singing, and he performed in folk clubs in Nottingham as a teenager.[46][47] He also enjoyed playing football and often played in charity matches with the Entertainers XI team.[48] Beckinsale was a fan of Manchester United football team.[49]

Beckinsale's widow, Judy, stated that he suffered from occasional panic attacks and that, during his run with the play Funny Peculiar, had several instances of having to start the play over again, due to forgetting where in the play he was and being on Valium.[50]

Due to his good looks and being on television so often, Beckinsale received a large amount of fan mail, particularly from women.[51] Although Beckinsale was pleased with the success of the sitcoms he starred in, he expressed a desire to play more serious roles as he got older.[52]

DeathEdit

Beckinsale worked on the BBC sitcom Bloomers, all five episodes of which, were filmed prior to Christmas 1978.[53] According to his Bloomers co-star Anna Calder-Marshall, during the recording of the first episode, Beckinsale told her he had suffered some kind of black-out, and had some dizzy spells. This concerned him enough to make an appointment to see a doctor, but the doctor could not find anything wrong apart from an overactive stomach lining, and slightly high cholesterol. As filming on the series progressed, Beckinsale appeared increasingly tired, and "greyer and greyer", according to co-star David Swift.[54] Due to an industrial dispute at the BBC in late December 1978, the filming of the sixth episode of Bloomers had to be postponed until March.[55]

In January 1979, for an insurance policy for a film, Beckinsale passed a full medical examination in which his heart, lungs, breathing, and blood pressure were checked.[56][57] Beckinsale spent January and February working on the Porridge film and then prepared to start work on the film Bloody Kids in March.

A week before he died, Beckinsale complained to his wife Judy Loe of feeling unwell and said he was unable to take her to hospital. At the time, they both put it down to nerves; she was due to have an operation to increase the couple's chances of having another child.[58] Loe underwent the operation on Wednesday 14 March and while she remained in the hospital recuperating, Beckinsale continued to work on Bloody Kids and resumed work on the sixth episode of Bloomers, commuting between London by day and Southend-on-Sea by night.[59] On the evening of Saturday 17 March, he attended a farewell party for The Two Ronnies, who were about to leave for Australia.[60]

According to David Jason, who was at the party, Beckinsale left the party at around 11:30, in order to attend another friend's party.[61] Jo Apted, wife of The Lovers director Michael Apted, stated that Beckinsale attended a party at her house on Saturday night and felt unwell the next day.[62] On Sunday 18 March, he worked on Bloomers and gave Anna Calder-Marshall a lift home afterwards.[63] To her surprise, he began to talk about his fear of dying, and of being alone in the house.[64] He then took his five-year-old daughter Kate to visit Loe in hospital.

Upon leaving the hospital, Beckinsale dropped his daughter off with relatives to spend the night. Afterwards, he returned to his house in Sunningdale, Berkshire. At some point that day, he called his elder daughter Samantha, and made plans to spend some time with her the following weekend. Before going to bed, he telephoned a couple of friends and during the conversation, he repeated that he had been feeling unwell, and also said that he had some pain in his chest and arms. He seemed in good humour though, and made a joke out of it.[65]

 
Beckinsale's memorial plaque in St Paul's in Covent Garden

When he did not arrive at the rehearsal for the sixth and final episode of Bloomers the next morning, a member of the production team rang his house, and the phone was answered by family friend Rosana Bradley, who had been staying at the house to help take care of Kate, but who had not been there the previous night. She said Beckinsale was still sleeping, and she left the phone to wake him up. When she returned, she said that she was unable to wake him, and was advised to call a doctor. Shortly after, it was confirmed that he had died during the night, of what appeared to be a massive heart attack.

The post-mortem examination revealed that he had coronary artery disease, which caused the heart attack.[66] Beckinsale had expressed worries about his cholesterol to friend Stephen Frears over dinner just days earlier, but he seemed healthy and fit and had no cardiac problems in his medical records. According to Frears, Beckinsale's high cholesterol may have been a factor in his early death.

Beckinsale's death was met with great shock. Rising Damp co-star Frances de la Tour stated: "It is such a shock that someone as young and obviously fit as him should die so suddenly. The last time I saw him he had given up smoking, not that he smoked very much, anyway. He was always concerned about keeping fit and we used to tease him about it. He used to play a lot of charity soccer. But the terrible thing is that he was a family man. I am most distressed for his family."[67] The Lovers creator Jack Rosenthal stated: "He must have had one of the biggest futures any actor could hope for. He was a very honest boy and he had that same quality in his acting."[68]

Beckinsale was cremated during a private service in Bracknell, Berkshire[69] and his remains were then taken to Mortlake Crematorium.[70] Although Beckinsale left more than £65,000 in his will, only approximately £18,000 was left after taxes and other costs.[71] On 19 April 1979, one month after his death, more than 300 people attended a memorial service at the actors' church St Paul's in Covent Garden.[72] Porridge co-star David Jason attended, as well as Beckinsale's Bloomers co-star, Anna Calder-Marshall. Leonard Rossiter, Fulton MacKay, Richard Briers, and Porridge writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais gave tributes. La Frenais stated: "I was always amazed by Richard's talent. I'm convinced he would have become an international actor."

Briers said: "The character of Lennie Godber had a kind of innocence which was a danger but also a kind of protection against prison life. Richard had a similar innocence. It made him vulnerable but he was never one for upstaging, scene-stealing and the kind of action which substituted technique for truth. Richard made us laugh and also charmed us. He was an effortless charmer." Beckinsale's widow, Judy, stated: "It was a celebration, not a memorial service."[73] A memorial plaque was later placed in the church in Beckinsale's honour.

Unfinished workEdit

At the time of his death, Beckinsale had almost completed the BBC sitcom Bloomers. Writer James Saunders's original script reveals that Beckinsale was due to attend the sixth and last rehearsal for the final episode of the series on the day he died, with the show to be recorded the following day. The five completed Bloomers episodes were aired later in the year.[74]

Plans had been drawn up to make a film version of Rising Damp and ultimately the film was made in 1980. Christopher Strauli was recruited to replace Beckinsale, playing a different character.

He was also in the middle of making a television film, Bloody Kids, which then had to be re-cast. This role marked a change in direction for Beckinsale, playing a hard-nosed detective character in contrast to naive characters he had played before. Director Stephen Frears stated that there are a small number of scenes in the film in which Beckinsale is just off camera, as well as a scene in which he is in a car, although indistinguishable to the viewer.[75]

Legacy and tributesEdit

Three days after Beckinsale's death, Going Straight won a BAFTA award. Ronnie Barker delivered a brief acceptance speech in tribute to his co-star.

When Beckinsale's book of poetry, With Love was published in 1980, Judy Loe, Ronnie Barker, and Richard Briers appeared on The Russell Harty Show to talk about the book and recite some of the poetry.[76]

In 2000, 21 years after his death, a documentary was broadcast on ITV in tribute, called The Unforgettable Richard Beckinsale. It featured interviews with his widow, the actress Judy Loe, as well as his father, sister, closest school friend and two daughters. Also contributing were his co-stars, Ronnie Barker of Porridge and Don Warrington of Rising Damp. Barker, remembering Beckinsale's premature death, said: "He was so loved. He hadn't done much but he was so loved that there was a universal sort of grief that went on."

In the 2006 film Venus, during a scene inside the actors' church, St Paul's, Peter O'Toole's character, an aging actor, points out Beckinsale's plaque, as an example of an actor who died in his prime.[77]

In 2007, actor Alan Davies nominated Beckinsale as his chosen subject for the BBC Radio 4 series Great Lives. Judy Loe and Stephen Frears participated in the discussion of Beckinsale's life and career.[78]

A biography of Beckinsale, titled The Richard Beckinsale Story was published in 2008 by author David Clayton. It featured interviews with family, friends, and co-workers of Beckinsale's.[79]

In 2013, a blue plaque in Beckinsale's memory was unveiled at his former school, College House Junior School in Chilwell. Kate Beckinsale, Judy Loe, David Walliams, and Michael Sheen attended the ceremony.[80]

Channel 4 aired a three-part documentary in 2014 called Porridge: Inside Out, in celebration of Porridge's 40th anniversary. During this series, there was a memorial segment dedicated to Beckinsale, in which Judy Loe and Kate Beckinsale took part.[81]

ITV3 aired a two-part documentary in 2016 called Rising Damp Forever which looked back at the making of Rising Damp. There was a memorial segment for Beckinsale during the series in which his daughters, Samantha and Kate took part.[82]

In 2018, as part of an art project in Beckinsale's former hometown of Beeston, a mural of him was commissioned by the town council and painted by the French street artist, Zabou.[83][84]

Rising Damp co-star Frances de la Tour said of Beckinsale's acting ability: "Richard was a brilliant young actor as so many have testified. His comedy was based on the truth. That is what people mean by 'timing.' So we believed him at all times. There is no greater testament. Ronnie Barker was similar, which is why they worked so well and movingly together."[85]

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Coronation Street PC Wilcox 1 episode
1970 A Family at War Private Grey 1 episode
1970–1971 The Lovers Geoffrey Scrimgeor 13 episodes
1971 Armchair Theatre Lewis 1 episode
1972 Rentadick Hobbs Feature film
1973 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Richard Frobisher 1 episode
1974–1977 Rising Damp Alan Moore 12 episodes
1974–1977 Porridge Lennie Godber 17 episodes
1975 Three for All Jet Bone Feature film
1975 Play for Today Michael Robson 1 episode
1977 ITV Playhouse Johnny 1 episode
1978 Going Straight Lennie Godber 4 episodes
1979 Porridge Lennie Godber Feature film spin-off of TV series
1979 Bloomers Stan 5 episodes

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Richard Arthur Beckinsale | English Actor 1947 to 1979". Richard Beckinsale. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  2. ^ Barratt, Nick (4 November 2006). "Family Detective". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  3. ^ "He's A Cell-Out!". Jackie. 20 August 1977. My family's related to that famous actor, Charles Laughton. He's probably best known in his role as the Hunchback of Notre Dame," Richard explained. "He's somewhere on my great-great-grandmother's side!
  4. ^ Clayton, David (2008). The Richard Beckinsale Story. Stroud: History Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7509-5061-9.
  5. ^ Clayton, p. 23
  6. ^ Clayton, pp. 26–29
  7. ^ Caisley, Sarah (21 June 1975). "Richard Beckinsale: Stage Struck – And He Was Only Nine Years Old...". My Weekly. I was too young to go to drama school so I filled in time doing various things for a year. I worked in a grocer's shop and then I made a brief attempt at being an upholsterer's apprentice and after that I worked for a firm making sewer pipes. By the time I left school – at fifteen – I definitely knew I couldn't be anything but an actor.
  8. ^ Caisley, Sarah (21 June 1975). "Richard Beckinsale: Stage Struck – And He Was Only Nine Years Old...". My Weekly. I was able to live at home in Nottingham and for two and a half years I took what was mainly an 'O' level course for teachers of drama. The idea was to take a teacher's diploma and then go to Teachers' Training College. I was one of the first students to go there and it has turned out to be quite successful. Quite a few well-known names have made their start there. But...I never intended to teach. I was still filling in time till I could be accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where I went when I was 18.
  9. ^ Clayton, p. 38.
  10. ^ "Scene Scope". Petticoat. 10 April 1971. I won the prize for comedy at RADA, but it's not been one of my great loves.
  11. ^ "RADA: Student & Graduate Profiles". RADA. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  12. ^ Clayton, pp. 55–63.
  13. ^ Clayton, pp. 55–63.
  14. ^ "Personal Column". The Stage and Television Today. 13 November 1969. Richard Beckinsale is playing Hamlet in Ted Craig's production of that play now at Crewe Theatre.
  15. ^ "Bard Tops B.O, Take". The Stage and Television Today. 27 November 1969. Ted Craig's Hamlet, with Richard Beckinsale as the Prince at Crewe Theatre broke all Rep records there with audiences totalling some four thousand for its ten performances.
  16. ^ Davis, Victor (20 April 1976). "Why Richard is revealing all...". Daily Express. He was a 21-year-old Hamlet with the Crewe Rep, a part, he says, that made him a bit looney for a while. "Afterwards I took a job in a bottle factory at Parsons Green – as a form of therapy.
  17. ^ Young, Sally (22 November 1975). "OK Let's Meet Richard Beckinsale!". OK. I think the only time I've ever been depressed about my work and thought seriously about giving it all up, was just after I played Hamlet. I didn't like it at all and when the play finished I just went off and got myself a job in a bottle factory. That was almost as bad as playing Hamlet and eventually I went back to acting!
  18. ^ Clayton, pp. 56–57.
  19. ^ "Beckinsale, Richard (1947–1979)". BFI Screen Online. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  20. ^ "Two Kinds Of Loving". Daily Mirror. 27 October 1970. Jack Rosenthal: I interviewed scores of young actors. Three of them told me the boy I wanted was Richard Beckinsale.
  21. ^ McGarry, Peter (16 July 1973). "Hello Young Lovers – Nice To See You Again". Coventry Evening Telegraph.
  22. ^ "He's A Cell-Out!". Jackie. 20 August 1977. 'The Lovers' was the first TV I'd ever done," Richard explained, "and I was worried that from then on everyone would think of me as a bit of an idiot like Geoffrey – which was why I was so glad when 'Porridge' came up.
  23. ^ Barker, Ronnie (1988). It's Hello From Him!. Great Britain: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 158. ISBN 0-450-50813-7. I put Paul Henry's name forward but Sydney Lotterby, the director, explained that he was thinking of Richard Beckinsale. "A new lad, very funny, remember 'The Lovers'?" "Yes," I agreed, "but he's Nottingham and Lennie Godber is from Birmingham." "Doesn't matter," said Syd, and of course it didn't. In early Porridge's Richard tried to do a Birmingham accent but he gave up about three weeks in.
  24. ^ "Writer/actor whose work conveys a distinctive tone". The Stage and Television Today. 20 September 1984. I was in the initial series of Porridge, playing a very thick character called Heslop. People still come up to me in the street and say to me "I read a book once – green it was." It was a great line but Dick Clement or Ian La Frenais didn't write it, Richard Beckinsale did. The writers set up the situation to get the line out, but it actually came from Beckinsale.
  25. ^ Murray, James (7 November 1975). "Richard's straight double". Daily Express. It's a memorable Friday for young actor Richard Beckinsale who appears on rival channels as straight man to two of the funniest characters on television. On ITV he teams up with Leonard Rossiter as the mickey-taking student in the seedy "digs" of Rigsby in "Rising Damp." And on BBC1 later in the evening, he's locked up in Slade prison again for another stretch of "Porridge" with that imperishable convict clown Fletcher, in the person of Ronnie Barker. Mr. Beckinsale makes a very impressive foil to both. There are similarities in the two characters he plays – the young listener having his ear bent by two would-be veterans of life's ugly traps. But he manages to pinch some of the thunder from the stars with a clever sense of timing of the throwaway punchline. Can it be long before he earns a show of his own?
  26. ^ Chappell, Eric (2002). Rising Damp: The Complete Scripts. London: Granada Media Group. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-233-99944-2.
  27. ^ "If There Weren't Any Blacks..." British Classic Comedy. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  28. ^ Chappell, p. 419.
  29. ^ "TV star Richard's last role". Daily Mirror. 23 March 1979. Judy Loe: "It was the first series in which he was playing the main part. I know people will want to see it. I think it's a very good comedy.
  30. ^ "Around the studios – Thames". The Stage and Television Today. 11 February 1971.
  31. ^ "Detective Waiting (1971)". BFI Screen Online. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  32. ^ Tarratt, Margaret (September 1972). "Rentadick Review". Films and Filming.
  33. ^ "Olivier Winners, 1976". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  34. ^ "This Is Your Life – Richard Beckinsale". Big Red Book. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  35. ^ Matthews, Peter (5–11 November 1977). "Radio 1, Radio 2". Radio Times.
  36. ^ Morley, Janice (24 October 1980). "Message To A Wife Left Behind". Daily Express.
  37. ^ ATV Today: Richard Beckinsale. Media Archive for Central England. 27 November 1980. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  38. ^ McGowan, Frankie (27 October 1980). "To Judy with all my love". Liverpool Echo.
  39. ^ Woodward, Ian (March 1977). "Life and Richard Beckinsale". Woman & Home. We had a child and we were both happy, but I was trying to reconcile being a student with being a husband and a father, and it wasn't easy.
  40. ^ Clayton, pp. 38–42
  41. ^ Brennan, Zoe (16 March 1995). "Samantha has a burning need to be secretive about her life". Daily Express.
  42. ^ Clayton, pp. 146–147.
  43. ^ Clayton, pp. 44–48.
  44. ^ Clayton, p. 81.
  45. ^ Clayton, pp. 124–125.
  46. ^ Clayton, pp. 31–33.
  47. ^ Fallon, Gerry (8 January 1977). "Imagine Being Arrested By Richard!". OK. Back in my College days in Nottingham I used to run the local Folk Club. I'd compere and sing there.
  48. ^ Clayton, pp. 114–118.
  49. ^ Young, Sally (22 November 1975). "OK Let's Meet Richard Beckinsale!". OK. Richard admits that work takes up most of his time, but if he gets any spare days he enjoys playing football for the showbiz team and they have matches for charity. "And I also support Manchester United," he grins.
  50. ^ "Great Lives". BBC Radio 4. 9 January 2007.
  51. ^ Irwin, Ken (26 March 1977). "The Reluctant Virgin". Daily Mirror. Tall and extremely good-looking, Beckinsale is now a TV pin-up – and has fan mail to prove it. Letters pour in from adoring fourteen and fifteen year-old schoolgirls who ask for his photograph. They come, too from young housewives who fancy him.
  52. ^ Irwin, Ken (26 March 1977). "The Reluctant Virgin". Daily Mirror. His comedy shows – 'The Lovers,' 'Porridge,' and 'Rising Damp' – have all been winners. "I like to think I've got the knack of picking only the good ones," he smiles. "But it's pure luck, really." – "I'd like to take more serious parts as I get older," he says. "There's a character actor in me trying to get out.
  53. ^ Andrews, John (20 March 1979). "Star of television comedy Porridge dies at 31". The Guardian. A decision on whether to show the first five episodes, filmed before Christmas, will now depend on the wishes of Mr. Beckinsale's family.
  54. ^ Clayton, pp. 155–156.
  55. ^ Andrews, John (20 March 1979). "Star of television comedy Porridge dies at 31". The Guardian. The cast of Bloomers were stunned by yesterday's news. A BBC spokesman said that Mr. Beckinsale was "lively and bright" at rehearsals over the weekend which brought the cast together after a three-month delay caused by an industrial dispute. He said: "Everybody was really happy and jolly, celebrating their return together. Even with hindsight no one is saying he looked bad or anything.
  56. ^ Pratt, Colin (21 March 1979). "TV Star's Last Hours, By Wife". Daily Express.
  57. ^ Barker, Ronnie (1988). It's Hello From Him!. Great Britain: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 154. ISBN 0-450-50813-7. Answering himself, Richard said, "There's nothing, absolutely nothing, when you die. It all goes black...finish." I'll never be able to convey the poignancy of that conversation with Richard Beckinsale, Lennie Godber of 'Porridge.' It took place about six weeks before his totally unexpected death from a heart attack in 1979. Richard was only thirty, and had just been declared fully fit after an exhaustive check-up connected with insurance on a film.
  58. ^ Clayton, p. 157.
  59. ^ Pratt, Colin (21 March 1979). "TV Star's Last Hours, By Wife". Daily Express.
  60. ^ Barker, Ronnie (1988). It's Hello From Him!. Great Britain: Hodder & Stoughton. pp. 162–163. ISBN 0-450-50813-7. His passing, so suddenly and so young, was a terrible jolt. We'd been with him only the night before. Ronnie C. and I, and our families, were off to Australia for a year. – There was a farewell party at Langan's Brasserie. All our friends came along, including Richard, but he left early because he had to attend another function. My last memory of him is sitting with Joy, teasing her, pretending to whisper sweet nothings. Then it was, "Cheerio, see you in a year's time – don't stay over there forever," and he was gone, happy and full of life as ever.
  61. ^ Jason, David (2013). David Jason: My Life. Random House UK. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-1448164202.
  62. ^ Pratt, Colin (21 March 1979). "TV Star's Last Hours, By Wife". Daily Express.
  63. ^ Bell, Jack (27 September 1979). "Mixed feelings for Anna". Daily Mirror. He drove me home from rehearsal. He looked a little peaky, but was very jolly," said Anna. "Next day we waited five hours for him to arrive at rehearsal – and I had a horrible premonition.
  64. ^ Clayton, p. 158.
  65. ^ Clayton, p. 159.
  66. ^ "Heart attack killed TV star". Reading Evening Post. 21 March 1979. TV comedy star Richard Beckinsale had coronary artery disease, a Bracknell post mortem revealed today. This led to a heart attack which killed the 31-year-old star of Porridge at his Berkshire home on Monday. Reading pathologist Dr Edmund Hemsted found that death was due to natural causes.
  67. ^ "Post-mortem on TV actor postponed". The Belfast Telegraph. 20 March 1979.
  68. ^ Callister, Ian (20 March 1979). "'Porridge' star was set for a big future". The Liverpool Echo.
  69. ^ "A Last Kiss For Richard". Daily Mirror. 29 March 1979.
  70. ^ Clayton, p. 173.
  71. ^ "Star leaves £18,000". Reading Evening Post. 21 July 1979. Porridge TV star, Richard Beckinsale, who lived in Devenish Road, Sunningdale, left just £18,000 in his will published today. Beckinsale, 31, died of a heart attack in March. He left £65,701, but taxes and other costs cut it to £18,074
  72. ^ Clayton, p. 175.
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  85. ^ Clayton, p. 126.

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