You don’t need to know how we got onto this subject because the route was circuitous and passed through some weird and wonderful country, within the borders of which I was imagined dressed up in a gold skirt like Freddie Mercury in Queen’s “I Want To Break Free” video.
Suffering under the barrage of cackling that thus ensued I decided to use the old distraction technique that Freddie Mercury taught me on the video shoot and came up with the true observation that some of my friends, back when I had a fuller beard, thought I resembled Mr Claypole from Rentaghost.
Much cackling then ensued and I thought, yeah, thanks, Freddie, great help you were.
But it got me digging around online for Mr Claypole related facts. Rentaghost was a great programme when I was a kid and Mr Claypole was every kid’s favourite character.
What is he doing now, I wondered, ‘cos he just seemed to disappear into thin air? Er, rather like his Rentaghost persona.
Well, it was a shock to discover that actually Mr Claypole isn’t doing anything very much at all at the moment because, just like the character he played in Rentaghost, he’s actually dead. He died in 1987!
For those of you brought up on BBC kid’s television this must come as a great shock.
I knew nothing of this. The poor guy has been dead for nearly 25 years and I didn’t know.
It’s like finding out that the original Bagpuss has been destroyed in a house fire or that He-Man had homo-erotic undertones.
It casts a dark shadow over your entire childhood.
I am indebted to www.cheesebrush.com for furnishing me with the sad facts of Mr Claypole’s demise. I feel gutted. I have the Rentaghost theme tune on my MP3 player and just hearing his voice singing the crazy lyrics now brings a lump to my throat.
The child in me is weeping. You’ll be telling me next that Roy Castle is dead. *sigh*
But on the bright side I can’t think of anyone else I’d much rather look like.
Especially when the same bunch of friends who thought I looked like Mr Claypole also made the observation that I looked a little bit like Gerry Adams.
Alright, alright. Cut the cackling.