I watched the Kenneth Williams doc on TV the other evening. Only half an hour on ITV, I think it was a repeat.
He is a fascinating character and I especially liked the biopic Fantabulosa in which he is played by Martin Sheen, which I blogged about many moons ago.
A different age – a difficult life. Filled with self-loathing, self-enforced celibacy and dizzying levels of insecurity. Living in that age – in which same-sex relationships were illegal – must have been especially tough. People all too often laughing at you, rather than with you, in his line of work.
My father and I didn’t get on. He was sport mad and wanted a son who enjoyed that. He also liked to go to the pub for a pint of bitter. When I was old enough to go with him, I asked for a sweet sherry. He was shocked and said: “You namby-pamby sod.”
-Quoted in the Daily Mail, 31st October 2008.
Living with someone always means a denial of self in SOME way and I suppose I have always known it was something I couldn’t accomplish. So I’ve always stayed on the sidelines. Getting the pleasure vicariously. It’s not wholly satisfactory, but then of course no lives are, and you know what I think about indiscriminate sex and promiscuous trade. I think it’s the beginning of a long, long road to despair.
-Letter, quoted in The Observer, Sunday 10 October 2010.
I didn’t like the King’s Cross world: it was grimy and dirty. I always envisioned myself in much more romantic and grand surroundings. I never really thought that I belonged to the working-class area at all.
-Quoted in Daily Mail, 31st October 2008.
I bought his diaries second-hand online. Look forward to that arriving soon and to reading it.