Hey, Rikki!

Not unexpected, but still a blow to Scotland – Rikki Fulton, a national institution in Scotland, passed away last night after a career which ran from the 1940s through to the 1990s. His many characters on TV and stage were utterly loved and adored by several generations of Scots and the New Year’s annual fix of Scotch and Wry was something I always looked forward to.

Even now, several years after his retirement books on his most cherished creation, the Reverend I M Jolly (the most miserable Church of Scotland minister in the land) featured in two books co-written by long-time friend and fellow actor Tony Roper which have been huge sellers over two Xmas seasons in Scottish bookstores and demand for his autobiography was also strong. I have many happy memories of laughing with my parents at Rikki’s creations. That generation of comedians who learned their craft in the theatres and vaudeville-style shows are almsot all gone now. Some came in and out of fashion as tastes changed over the decades, but Rikki was always loved without fail in his native land, something few can claim, entertainer or otherwise. You made me and millions of others laugh, Rikki, one of the hardest things to do and one of the most precious gifts one person can give to another. He made people happy – isn’t that a wonderful way to remember someone?

Apparently all Scottish motorbike cops will, on Sunday at 11am, stop their engines, remove thier goggles and then let the elastic snap them back like a catapult in honour of Rikki. Rumours that Pastor Jack Glass is going to play the Rev. I M Jollyin a charity benefit gig are unconfirmed at this time. And those of you who don’t know your Scotch and Wry are wondering what I’m talking about now! Indeed one young, English colleague asked who he was, venturing to say ‘is he that Rikki fmor the Office?’ Boy, did she miss out, as Uncle Zaphod would say.