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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Warren Clarke Dies

I've heard the very sad news of the death of the actor Warren Clarke. He was 67. A brilliant actor who seemed to make a career out of being irascible. With a craggy face and deep Northern voice he made a living out of being tetchy and difficult.  Actually, from what I experienced with working with him , he was nothing of the sort. A really nice man and a great actor, who will be greatly missed. I worked on a couple of shows as a walk-on, one being the show which made his name, Dalziel and Pascoe. I did the very first episode and in it he was his partner Pascoe's best man at his wedding. The actual wedding was filmed at a church in Huntingdon and the crew had set up a rain effect near the church door so when the actors came out they got a drenching with fake rain. This was achieved with a set of hosepipes and a sort of sprinkler arrangement out of camera range and over the head of the actors. A few weeks later we went to shoot what was to be the reception at a hotel on the seafront at Cromer. It was filmed out of sequence because of the failing light, with the guests, myself included, seen to be running after the 'happy couple' as they came out of the hotel to leave for their honeymoon. This was complicated by the fact that we had to run through a revolving door, no mean feat to achieve when the door was revolving. I think we did a few takes to get it right. Meanwhile, inside the hotel they had set up a room with tables set around for the reception. We had to sit at the tables as guests. The crew spent most of the afternoon setting up the effect of rain running down the windows of the room to look like rain (to tie in with the rain seen falling in the earlier 'shoot' in Huntingdon. Warren Clarke was, as I say, supposed to be Pascoe's best man and had a long speech to deliver, but when it took a long time to get the rain effect to work at the windows he did a sort of impromptu 'stand-up' comedy routine which kept all the walk-on's, crew and other actors entertained.

I had earlier done quite a lot of work on 'Lovejoy' which was filmed around East Anglia and this series kept me busy over around five years, and I did a lot of episodes and this is show regularly on the Sky digital television channels. Warren Clarke did some work on one episode called 'Bin Divers' where he was a dustbin man involved in a scam when he and his work colleague find antiques in the rubbish which they collect and Lovejoy the antiques expert gets involved. 
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