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Claire Rayner obituary

12 October 2010 10:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Popular agony aunt, writer, broadcaster and patients' champion who began her career as a nurse

Claire Rayner, who has died aged 79, was probably the best known and best loved agony aunt. She became an icon to a generation of young women and men and was accorded the accolades of being parodied by Ronnie Barker in the television series The Two Ronnies and the puppeteers Fluck and Law in their Spitting Image show, prompting her to say "I'd rather be Barkered than Flucked"; becoming part of rhyming slang (Claire Rayners = trainers); and being referred to in songs by Tom Robinson and Marion Montgomery. The latter's version of But Not For Me started with: "Oh Claire Rayner, don't you dare/ever tell me he will care/I'm certain/this is the final curtain."

She was born in the East End of London, the child of what she always called a "disastrous" marriage, »

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