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News - Sunday 15th November, 2015
I spent a lovely time with Terry Jones at the Central Hall, Westminster film convention yesterday. It was particularly nice to also be sat next to Carol Cleveland, which made all sorts of sense too. Bizarrely, Terry had just signed a stunning U.K. quad poster for ‘Jabberwocky’ – yes, he was in it. Just! – when I was told that actor Warren Mitchell had died, at the age of 89. He played the foul Mr. Fishfinger in Terry Gilliam’s glorious romp, but naturally remains best remembered as the ill-tempered bigot Alf Garnett, who first stormed onto television in the BBC situation comedy ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, before appearing in feature films, stage shows, recordings and even an installation at the Museum of the Moving Image. Alf was such an extraordinary, complete performance that he tended to out-shine the rest of a diverse and prolific career, whether that be enjoyable bit parts with Tony Hancock, and the Carry On team, or weighty stage roles barking out the words of William Shakespeare, and Arthur Miller. I only met Warren Mitchell the once, for an interview for my book on his friend and cohort Marty Feldman. He was a charming and modest man, who shared tales of Marty and much else. My affectionate appreciate of him was published in today’s Sunday Express.