Saturday, 17 September 2011

"Because graded grains make finer flour"

It is an apophthegm which may serve as a metaphor for many things, and those of us of a certain age remember the line as an advertisement for Homepride Flour, spoken by John Le Mesurier (1912-1983), star of stage and screen, with memorable appearances in many great English film comedies, such as: Private's Progress; Brothers in Law; Carlton-Browne of the FO; I'm All Right Jack; The Pink Panther; Our Man in Marrakesh; The Italian Job; television and wireless appearances with Tony Hancock, as well as stage work. But it is as the vague Sergeant Arthur Wilson, in Jimmy Croft and David Perry's television comedy Dad's Army (1968-1977) that he will be most remembered.

Devoted to gin and tonic; strong cigarettes (to which former wife Hattie Jacques attributed the vagueness), and Ronnie Scott's, he memorably drafted his own death announcement for The Times, informing the world that he had "conked out".

As an aside: how can Ronnie Scott's still be Ronnie Scott's without the layers of smoke hanging there?

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