Comedian and actor Roy Hudd turned 80 last month.
He still tours, has appeared in the latest run of TV comedy Benidorm, and will be filming the new series of Broadchurch this summer.
Known best for his radio show the News Huddlines, Roy was awarded the OBE in 2014.
Who moulded you most?
My gran was the wisest woman I’ve ever met. The funniest too. I only found out recently my mum committed suicide – that’s why gran was lumbered with me.
Do you remember your mum?
I still have letters she sent me during the war after I’d been evacuated. One read: “I’m writing this slowly because I know you can’t read fast.” Got to laugh. Yet my family never told me everything about her. They only said she’d died.
Ever feel underestimated as an actor?
Not at all, but my missus is always going on about it. A great agent made me audition for Shakespeare years ago. He told me Variety was dying and I needed another string to my bow. Surprisingly, I got the job.
You helped Max Miller meet Doctor Who, didn’t you?
Did I? Really? No I didn’t. Oh wait, you’re right. I made an audio play for the BBC and I played Max Miller with Colin Baker as the Doctor. I forgot that as I’ve never heard it. I’d love to get a copy.
Who are the best actors you’ve worked with?
Frankie Howerd would be one. Every time he performed he was acting and he took comedy very seriously. June Whitfield would be another.
Who was funnier – Norman Wisdom or Danny La Rue?
It’s got to be Danny La Rue every time.
Ever get so lost in acting you forget yourself?
Only twice in my career. Once I was on stage as Fagin and I don’t remember any of that performance at all. I absolutely became him for that short time. Worrying, eh?
The bad review you’ve never forgotten?
I played the Palace Theatre in Westcliff-On-Sea, and the next day the paper said “Another nail in the Palace coffin”. It was fair mind you, but bad reviews stay with you forever.
Retire or go out all guns blazing?
I think I’ll go out with all GUMS blazing.
You have 24 hours left to live. How do you spend the time?
I’d get my conductor pal Ian Smith round with his orchestra and I’d go out singing my favourite songs. I want those angels to be a great backing choir when I get up there.
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