Nicholas Parsons

It is so sad to read of the death of the great Nicholas Parsons. He has dominated tv and radio for all my life- I remember “sale of the Century” and the “Benny Hill show” with affection when I was little and more recently, I cannot think of a weekend without a fix of “Just a minute”, even doing catch-ups in Moscow and Athens (though Gyles Brandreth took over at least once this summer- he did well, but it was not quite the same, was it?). But, most of all, I also greatly appreciate the fact that he bothered to write to me once about my hero, Edward Lear. He was, indeed, often the person of choice to recite limericks  on the radio and the tv – and his “Owl and the Pussycat” was excellent. With his passing, Lear-o-philes will be the poorer.

I also remember seeing him on stage in the “Rocky Horror” but, particularly, as the narrator in “Into the woods”, popping up at the end of act 1 with a daisy head-dress. I am about to do a programme on radio Fubar about rap and his opening of the Sondheim piece (along with the witch’s rap about vegetables of course) must qualify. It was a brave piece to do and he brought it off with aplomb.

I am not sure anyone has mentioned his Dr Who appearance as a vicar? Or that he took over from Tim Brooke Taylor as rector of St Andrews, my first university? What a wonderful man! Much to be missed.

 

More Lear limerick drawings

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-10-15-45Lear wrote 212 limericks.

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The Dong with the luminous nose is not strictly a limerick-screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-09-09-04

A poster for our exhibition in Wolfson, Oxford showing the owl and pussycat posingfor passports before embarking on their 366 day pea green cruise.

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Some Edward Lear Pictures

David Watson has put together many of the Edward Lear compositions to form a Suite. We shall post a version of this shortly. In the meantime, in celebration, here are some Edward Lear illustrations.

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owl and cat japanese

lear and Howard Carter

Here is the Dong with a luminous nose-

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The Edward Lear project “Following Lear”

On Friday I did an interview for local radio about the Lear project. This is the first time I have done anything for this beyond the few exhibitions. It has been, now, nearly 10 years in development so it is well-worth talking about and here are some sketches in preparation for Lear’s most famous poem that closes the documentary. More, undoubtedly, about this later on!

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