In his prime, Mike Yarwood was the plastic face of impersonation. For a decade or so he became the televinstitution of political and theatrical satire. He was topical, funny, believable, and authentic.
For the most part he was also harmless.
But times changed. Perhaps he became too universal, too successful. At any rate his style and popularity declined. The more biting and insightful of the Rory Bremner generation gained ascendancy. We began to know our politicians better. Mimicking their behaviour was no longer adequate; we needed to see their characters lampooned as well. And with their increasingly aberrant peccadilloes being revealed in the press, Bremner's scathing style assumed ascendancy.
How quickly a nation forgets its star entertainers. Yarwood made a whole generation laugh out loud. Tens of millions tuned into his Christmas shows. Now he goes almost unmentioned. Such is the fickleness of fame.
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