3 items from 2015
Comic writer best known for his Reginald Perrin novels, serialised for television starring Leonard Rossiter
David Nobbs, who has died aged 80, became established in the 1960s as a gag writer for popular performers of the day such as David Frost and Frankie Howerd. This funded his greater ambitions as a novelist, and in 1975 he struck gold with The Death of Reginald Perrin, in which office politics and meeting-filled drudgery at Sunshine Desserts make Reggie Perrin so fear that “his past was his future’s jailer” that he fakes suicide and assumes a fresh identity. A much-loved television adaptation, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, starring Leonard Rossiter as Perrin and Pauline Yates as his long-suffering wife, Elizabeth, ran between 1976 and 1979, and Nobbs embarked on a series of sometimes interconnected novels and scripts chronicling changes to British life across the decades.
Related: David Nobbs, Reginald Perrin creator, dies at 80
Related: Crossword blog: David Nobbs, »
- Christopher Hawtree
Stage and screen actor who played Reggie Perrin’s long-suffering wife in the television comedy
The gentle good nature of the BBC’s anarchic 1970s comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin that made it such a hit owed much to the innocent yet tacitly conspiratorial support of Reggie Perrin’s wife, Elizabeth, played by Pauline Yates, who has died aged 85. She was a spirit of domestic calm in the mayhem created by David Nobbs’s other characters, led by Leonard Rossiter as the erratic Reggie Perrin, whose bizarre behaviour she treated as normal and in need of no explanation.
The show ran for three series between 1976 and 1979, in the course of which Elizabeth became almost as serenely batty as Reggie. Although she was practically teetotal, Yates needed a large gin and tonic at the end of each recording.
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- Simon Tait and David Nobbs
Actress Pauline Yates has died, aged 85.
Yates's family have said that she "died peacefully in her sleep" yesterday (January 21) in Denville Hall nursing home in Northwood, Middlesex.
During a career that spanned six decades, Yates became a regular performer in 1960s TV series, including Armchair Theatre, Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Gideon's Way, Nightingale's Boys, The Human Jungle and The Ronnie Barker Playhouse.
She returned as Elizabeth Perrin for The Legacy of Reginald Perrin in 1996, and continued to perform on stage. Her most recent roles were in Rose and Maloney and Doctors in the early 2000s.
3 items from 2015
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