Monday 19 February 2018

Windsor unveils Williams plaque

Barbara Windsor with an English Heritage blue plaque for Kenneth Williams
Barbara Windsor with an English Heritage blue plaque for Kenneth Williams

Barbara Windsor has celebrated her old friend Kenneth Williams by unveiling a blue plaque in his memory to mark what would have been his 88th birthday.

Actress Barbara became a close confidante of the comic after appearing together repeatedly during their years starring in classic Carry On movies.

The English Heritage plaque has been installed on the London apartment block in which Kenneth lived in the 1960s as he enjoyed national fame with his movie career and regular appearances in hit radio comedy series Round The Horne.

Barbara said: "Kenny was a one-off, a true original, and a great friend. I'm absolutely chuffed that English Heritage is celebrating him with a blue plaque."

Kenneth - famed for lines such as "ooh matron" and "infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me" - lived in Flat 62 on the upper level of Farley Court, a 1929 apartment block which is close to Madame Tussauds from 1963 to 1970.

It was his base while filming hits such as Carry On Cleo, Carry On Up The Khyber and Carry On Camping over at Pinewood Studios.

Kenneth wrote that he was "elated" to be moving into the property in his diary, adding: "My bedroom looks out over Regent's Park. The trees are turning now and the sight is beautiful. I can see all the traffic twinkling down the Marylebone Rd - It's all so marvellous, I could cry."

On another, less joyful occasion, he wrote about how he was able to look down on "the nits crowding round outside the waxworks. How I loathe them and Madame Tussaud".

Kenneth, who died from a barbiturate overdose in 1988, also appeared in the stage production of Joe Orton play Loot while at Farley Street, and began to star as a regular on the Radio 4 series Just A Minute.

English Heritage's blue plaque historian Howard Spencer said: "Kenneth Williams was a unique comic talent, who as both an actor and a story-teller won the nation's affections. "His legacy endures in recordings of his radio work and chat show appearances, his notoriously frank diaries, and the Carry On films. That legacy is now recognised by one of our blue plaques in London, the city in which he lived all his life."

Press Association

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