My parents seperated when I was fifteen years old. As far as seperations and divorces go my parents could not have handled things better. They had a rough job what with me being a good four years mentally behind most children my age, crammed with social difficulties and the like. I was a mess as a kid, arguably only a toned down one now. Restless and at times unstable.
There was one thing growing up that helped ease me. Audio. I’ve always responded well to it, from a young age it’s been a go to to calm me down. Being a child growing up in the nineties that meant tapes, and I wore them to breaking point, over and over and over again. There was one show I would listen to for hours on end that got me through the confusion inside my head, helped me make sense of changes at home, moving out, and the turmoil I landed myself in time and again in the years hence.
That show was I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
When I heard Tim Brooke-Taylor had died this morning, that hurt. That hurt on the kind of level most reserve for family. I only met him twice, both as a fan of course. He was friendly, charming and so genuine, the kind of man you got that from in such short encounters. The last time I met him, I met two other heros of my childhood no longer with us. Humphrey Lyttleton passed away less than a month later, and of course we lost Jeremy Hardy not long ago.
But, and you’ll have to forgive me as this is where I might lose you, to me they’re not really gone. Not even Willie Rushton, who left these shores before I even got my first tape. Listening to them has always been the one thing that comforts me when the world stops making sense. I even told mum I was making sure to bring all my recordings with me to my grandparents house. I’ve needed them a lot during this time.
Thank you Tim. You never knew me, but I owe a lot to you. To Graeme and Barry, to Willie and Jeremy, to Colin and John, to Jack and Humphrey. Y got me through so much back then, and still do now. I never had it in me for comedy as I hoped in my childhood to follow in your footsteps, but I hope I can one day move people in the way you moved me.