Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Scene 47: A Tribute to Richard Briers

Today I'd like to talk about a great British actor Richard Briers, who died yesterday - please see the wonderful BBC report below - at the age of 79. He is an actor I am particular fond of because he played Tom Good in The Good Life, one of my favourite television shows, and which he is probably most famous for. 

The Good Life is a sitcom from the 1970's, about a couple, Tom and Barbara Good, who live in the suburbs, Tom with his nine to five typical job. On his fortieth birthday however, Tom decides he wants to do something and more and comes up with idea that they should go self-sufficient. I believe the show was popular at the time of broadcast, and is certainly still relevant today - but most importantly, the jokes are just as good and Richard Brier's cheeky performance in it, is wonderfully believable and funny. 

Before this writing this post I only knew about a few of the television shows Richard Briers had been in - though I guessed he would turn up in alot of television shows, being a such a well respected actor. 

Looking at CV though and the range of work he has done, the treasured shows and classics he has been in,  he really had a fantastic career.  

I knew he had another sitcom after the Good Life, in which he starred, called Ever Decreasing Circles - where he played a less charming, and more annoying character than Tom Good. However I had forgotten he had been the narrator of the old cartoon Roobarb, which returned in in 2005, and was the voice of Fiver in the animated classic in Watership Down. 

I am amused to find he has been in three of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare films, but perhaps that is not surprising as he was a theatre actor too, and played Hamlet himself in his younger days. More recently he was of course, in The Monarch of the Glen, and appeared in cameos in all sorts of television shows from Torchwood, to detective dramas like New Tricks and Marple. 

Finally, his last film, is a comedy called Cockneys vs. Zombies, where he plays a pensioner caught up in a zombie apocalypse - which showed that not only was he not afraid to do something really different, but if you watch the trailer, you can see he was still great  comedy actor, even in his seventies.

In summary, in my opinion, Richard Briers was a national treasure of British television, and I think the best way to pay tribute to his brilliant and varied work over the years is to go and watch it. 

Richard Briers, thank you, and rest in peace. 

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