I have plenty of people I admire, but they're not heroes. I remember a friend, years ago, hero-worshipped Maggie Thatcher ... yes, yes, I know, but it happens ... every famous person in whatever field seems to have loonies following them. Or on the downside, trying to kill them ...
I don't have heroes. I've always thought that it's only the feeble who need them.
At the moment, politically it's Jeremy Corbyn, although I did speak to a Labour pal of mine who'd been to see him speak locally. When I asked him what it was like he paused and said, "Bit like an Osmonds concert. He spent more time posing for selfies with children than speaking about Labour policies."
"But as I say, I don't have heroes. I do have a few people I think are excellent at what they do and inspire me, which is different."
Tom Lehrer is one of them. Some of you may not have heard of him, but he is eminently searchable on Google, so do have a look. He was a comedy songwriter whose songs inspired me to try to write funny lyrics and scripts.
Look him up playing 'The Elements' or even look at me on facebook under David Pibworth as I posted me singing it on Sunday in tribute to him, as he is 90 years old on the day I write this. So yesterday if you're reading this on the 10th April.
"By all means, be inspired by people."
Being in the light entertainment business, I've met many of the people who inspire me. If you are going to chat to them, say something sensible rather than gurgling admiration and asking for a selfie and then you'll end up having a proper natter rather than an autograph and a wan smile from them.
And that, my friends, is far better and memorable.
David is the owner and Artistic Director of The Arches Theatre in Clifton Reynes near Milton Keynes. Productions are underneath some flood arches on the disused Midland railway line (Bedford to Northampton). It is equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. You bring your food, drink and chairs and enjoy the varied shows that are produced. This year - 2022 - there are 12 productions on throughout the season, from Shakespeare to Ripping Yarns plus a music weekend.
David has been involved in 'Light Ent' for many years, working with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson adapting the scripts of 'Steptoe and Son' and those of Tony Hancock to the stage. He has produced shows for Norman Wisdom (which makes him feel old), Al Murray, and Joe Pasquale amongst others, and also worked in the music business promoting and producing shows with Chas and Dave, Neil Inness, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and others of that ilk.
He is also the director of a film school for young people in his home town of Olney as well as supporting many local events.
He recently negotiated permission from Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to stage a short run of 'Porridge' on stage which proved a success.
This year the annual charity performance at The Arches Theatre will be the last of 'Ripping Yarns' by Michael Palin and Terry Jones, with the profits being donated to The National Brain Appeal' for research into dementia as David's father and uncle died of it, as did Michael Palin's friend and writing partner Terry Jones. Last year they raised an astonishing Ã‚Â£10,000 and are hoping to get somewhere close again with the support of audiences and sponsors.
David also has a stage hire company and his wife Julie runs a livery yard, so they are surrounded by horses, dogs, light entertainment and and a 17 year old daughter.
He plays in a comedy jazz band and collects strange props such as the Spitting Image puppets of Denis Thatcher and Alan Bennett, the child catchers bike from the stage show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and various other 'things' all of which he sells to raise money for the Arches Theatre, although he always finds it hard to part from these props. However as the theatre receives no funding at all, he is always devising ways to keep it going! Sponsors are always welcome!
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