Farewell to a truly great comic genius Jeremy Lloyd

Monday 5 January 2015

Picture credit: Twitter/@Daily_Express

Jeremy Lloyd, creator of 'Allo 'Allo! and Are You Being Served?, died just before Christmas.

But his soul goes marching on – if he was correct in his absolute and total belief in the afterlife.

Indeed Jeremy was not just certain that "the other side" exists – he also privately claimed to have had extensive personal contact with it during his long life (he was 84 when he died).

We knew him only in his last years. We met, suitably enough, in the closest place to Paradise we know – the terrace of the most beautiful restaurant in the world, La Colombe d'Or in St Paul de Vence, a medieval hillside village in the countryside behind Nice.

Jeremy and his lovely and much younger girlfriend Lizzie (later to become his third wife, of whom he said: "She is beautiful, clever and sent from heaven on mission impossible") were having lunch in the dappled sunlight and insisted we join them.

It turned out to be the funniest few hours either of us can remember. Jeremy was one of those people who is gifted with a pure, golden seam of humour.

It wasn't that he told jokes or cracked one–liners, it was simply that he expressed himself with a wit so dry that, like the most elegant of sherries, it took a few sips to get the measure of it. Then it was pure bliss.

He was 82 at the time but spoke with the elegance and humour of a latter–day Oscar Wilde.

This was, we reflected later, only what you might expect from a man who made a (very good) living from making people laugh.

But what surprised us was his spirituality. Jeremy Lloyd wrote and produced television comedy series that relied on good oldfashioned British bawdiness and double entendre to carry their preposterous plotlines.

So it was almost a shock to hear him talk with quiet conviction about the afterlife. And for him, it was no theoretical proposition. He matter–of–factly told us a series of unlikely yet strangely believable stories about his conversations with the dead.

He told us ghosts were people "stuck" between dimensions and needed help to "pass over".

Indeed, he travelled with a personal psychic who he said had successfully helped lay to rest the soul of a former girlfriend apparently furious with him (Jeremy) for sharing his house with the lovely Lizzie. She tormented them both by ringing their doorbell at all hours of the night.

"So you're absolutely certain that there's life after death?" one of us asked him over the coffee.

"Of course!" he said, looking beadily at one of us (Judy). "And I can tell you now, young woman, you are psychic – and when you die you will go straight to Heaven. Nothing so sure."

He glanced at her hopeful husband but merely sighed and gave a regretful shake of his head, before asking: "Well, anyway more coffee anyone?"

Oh dear.

Read more in Richard and Judy's Express column here.
Add a Comment

There are as yet no comments

Be the first to make a comment.