A SPACE FOR REFLECTION

John, I see you were born in London in 1932 and attended Watford Grammar School. Given that you started working for the BBC in 1944 you must have planned to be an actor from a very early age. Was that always your ambition? Did you have early training?

Three nos. I had no plan to be an actor, no ambition, and no training. When I went to Kings Langley’s Rudolph Steiner school (locally known as the “do as you like” school), at the age of ten, I was cast in the annual school play, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed outdoors in the garden. But that was it, and I hated doing it, it seemed kind of gay; I was not turned on to acting, and had no thoughts along those lines. 

Your first show on BBC radio was The Will Hay Programme in 1944 where you acted as D’Arcy Minor, the swot of St. Michael’s. How did that come about? And was it fun working with Will Hay?

My family lived in Chipperfield, Herts, in those days, and I was coming home on the bus after school one day in August, when a man came up to me who I recognized, for he lived down the road. His name was Alick Hayes, and he asked me if I was a good reader. I told him yes, and he said could I come over later, meet his wife Zillah, have a cup of tea, and read him something out of the Evening Standard, so after supper I did. He tested me for fluency, to see if I could read without stumbling, and he was pleased that I could. He then explained that he was a BBC producer, and was about to start a new BBC radio comedy series, but the young actor he was going to use had just got sick, and he had an emergency, and maybe I could help out.

The show was The Will Hay Programme (The Diary of a Schoolmaster) and the part was that of a very clever young swot who said very long multi-syllabic words instead of shorter ones whenever he answered the schoolmaster’s questions. Mr Hayes wanted me to play it, just the first show, and he said it would save him from having to find another actor quickly from an acting academy. It was going out live in front of an audience from the Paris Cinema, a basement BBC studio off Piccadilly Circus, in just three days’ time.

I raced home, told my parents, said please let me do it, it sounds like fun, and it pays money. So my mother took me up to London next day, and that is where I met Will Hay and the rest of the cast – one schoolmaster and three students, so-called. Smart was the cheeky one (played by the very professional actor Charles Hawtrey), Beckett the dumb one (Billy Nicholls, on his day off from the RAF), and D’Arcy Minor, the studious swot (me). The joke was that I was the only real schoolboy (eleven years old). Will Hay was repeating the same schoolmaster act he had done in several of his films (Good Morning Boys, 1937, etc). It will be remembered that the comedy came out of the fact that he was a hopeless teacher, and the students took over.

That first day I remember well.
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JULY 12, 2013

This is all about the colon. First there were lawyers. Then there were doctors…

Keeping fingers crossed. This ACTORVIST patient ain’t finished yet! Wife nearby.

JULY 16, 2013

Well, I’m still alive. Still in what’s called “recovery”.

Interesting people, doctors. They are pretty well all specialists today. They have their own

February 13, 2013

We must assume that Dorner’s life has ended. He left quite a trail, and many loose ends, which we now have to pick up and make sense of. I plan to resurrect the record of his days in court, under the watchful eye of, and rejected by, Judge David Yaffe, who has just resigned, bowing to the pressure of the corruption exposed by 70 year old Richard Fine, whom he consigned to 18 months of solitary confinement in Men’s Jail, and was released last year. In a way, Yaffe started this whole thing.

We owe the following profound description and overview of what went down to Darwin Adikia, who posted it at CNN.com. It is very much worth reading, and shows how we are all involved, like it or not, by what we do, and by what we don’t do.


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February 7, 2013
Reading ex-officer Dorner’s manifesto is a chilling experience. He is obviously sincere, and his points are well taken. Many in society feel just as he does, whether perceived as wronged by co-workers or lawyers or the courts or family or loved ones. They too have seen their efforts to get satisfaction frustrated at every turn. But it is not given to normal and sane people to act out as he is doing. We have psychiatrists to prevent that kind of thing.

Dorner will probably be cornered and shot on sight, as in Bin Laden. He won’t be taken alive to express his truth from the dock, which would be a pity. We could all learn from what he might say. We all have our truths, and we will want to hear his.

Now we read of 2 ladies in a pickup minding their business which was to deliver the L.A. Times along a street in Torrance very early in the morning. They were ambushed by cops, then wildly shot at in a fusillade of bullets, nearly losing their lives. A case of very mistaken identity. The police thought they saw a large black man driving a truck of the wrong make and color.

I may be too late now, but I have a word of advice for what Mr. Dorner should do next. He should hole up in a house somewhere, then call the media, then call the police to come and get him. Then he should emerge with his hands up for all to see, maybe waving a white flag. Then he has a chance to not get shot, appear in the dock and express himself, and possibly get a measure of satisfaction before he’s put away, probably for life, where he might become a very good writer.

I have reproduced his statement here, unedited, but spell checked. He’s an intelligent man, well read, and a liberal! And many many showbiz and other notable people will see that their names are listed, his favorites and his unfavorites, among some shrewd observations.

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Feb 4, 2013 9:14:04 AM
From: Christopher Jordan Dorner /7648
To: America
Subj: Last resort

I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days. You are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen. I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name. The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted. The only thing that has evolved from the consent decree is those officers involved in the Rampart scandal and Rodney King incidents have since promoted to supervisor, commanders, and command staff, and executive positions.

The question is, what would you do to clear your name?

Name;
A word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.

Name Synonyms;
reputation, title, appellation, denomination, repute.

A name is more than just a noun, verb, or adjective. It’s your life, your legacy, your journey, the sacrifices and everything you’ve worked hard for every day of your life as an adolescent, young adult and adult. Don’t let anybody tarnish it when you know you’ve lived up to your own set of ethics and personal ethos.


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What do the names Weiner, Spitzer, Edwards, Schwarzenegger, Clinton, Gingrich, Strauss-Kahn, Woods, Boehner, Craig – the list goes on and on – what do they have in common? Why, an inability to keep their trousers zipped. Their stories detail the circumstances where men have lost sexual boundaries to the detriment of assorted reputations, and in some cases jobs and marriages. And to the intense glee of the media and the public in this most hypocritical of all societies.

And all they were doing was displaying an inability to control what Bernard Shaw dubbed the “Life Force”.   Mark Twain  wrote “The very thought of  it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything … to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax.”

Well, I have a solution to this, a solution guaranteed to curb this kind of uncontrolled behavior.


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I was not invited to my ex-wife’s funeral, not even after 33 years of what I esteem to be a good marriage. She did not want me there, and when I went anyway, my son Ben put me in the hospital with the help of the local Kent, Connecticut guards “obeying orders, mein herr.”  Awaking, relieved to find that I was not dead too, things did work out for the better.  Now I’ve had time to reflect.  Was I right to go, or wrong? I believe the Irish have it right; friends, enemies, everyone’s welcome, and it’s party time!

I asked “Ask Amy”.  She said I was nothing more than a hooligan [maybe I am, but a proud hooligan I hope].  I asked my neighbor, who should know more about these things.  He does, after all, run the local “Hollywood Forever” cemetery.


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