It’s my birthday today. I’m more of a Christmas person than a birthday one but it does make you get a tad nostalgic as you see another year go by. As you get older you look back more – well, you have more to look back on. I was thinking about Bruce. I have thought about him a lot during the writing of my novel, partly inspired by him and Saturday night telly. Next month the Queen’s birthday honours list will be announced and maybe this time Brucie will get his knighthood. Seven decades in showbiz, in this country, what more does someone have to do?
But as the man himself has said, he’s in good company: Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies, Tommy Cooper, Eric Sykes, Frankie Howard, Les Dawson, Bob Monkhouse. None of these entertainers were recognised with knighthoods. And it’s that word – ‘entertainer’ – that is perhaps the problem, or to be more specific, ‘comedy’. Is there a snobbery about comedy that means it is not recognised in this country?
And think of all those brilliant comic novels that have never won the big awards – Howard Jacobson’s ‘The Finkler Question’ possibly the start of bucking the trend. Why are ‘serious’ novels somehow considered more worthy (as if comedy isn’t deeply serious)?
And what about the women? We have many actresses (‘serious’) who are dames. But what about June Whitfield, Victoria Wood, Julie Walters et al?
Please, please take comedy seriously, powers-that-be. And please please give Brucie the knighthood he deserves.