Sunday 19 November 2017

John Thaw's daughter in tribute to 'extremely clever' and 'cheeky' Colin Dexter

By Lucy Mapstone

Tributes have continued to pour in following the writer’s death.

The daughter of John Thaw has paid tribute to the “extremely clever” and “cheeky” Inspector Morse writer Colin Dexter following his death aged 86.

Abigail Thaw’s father John played the role of Chief Inspector Morse in the popular ITV series of the same name from 1987 to 2000, and she now stars in the programme’s prequel Endeavour.

In a statement, she said that her father revered and admired Colin and had a “deep fondness” for him, but that it took her a while to discover his “brilliance”.

She also said Colin was a “great comfort” to her when her father died in 2002 at the age of 60 from cancer.

Her statement read: “Colin will forever be linked to perhaps my father’s best-loved character, Morse.

“Dad would often talk of Colin’s intelligence and accomplishments in rather hushed tones of reverence and admiration as well as a deep fondness.

“But I, typical of a daughter, never paid much attention until I met Colin for myself while I was performing at the Oxford Playhouse. We were meant to do an interview for local press and he came to the stage door and we walked up to Worcester College, round the gardens and sat chatting in the quad, waiting for the photographers.

“He was impish and cheeky and made me laugh out loud with his wit and audaciousness.

“All nerves at meeting the great man vanished.”

She continued: “I got to know him a little better over the years, even performing briefly with him on stage for a charity do. But it was sharing the screen with him where I really appreciated his brilliance, just by getting to know him better.”

She said Colin “became an important part of my life” when he created spin-off show Endeavour, in which she plays the role of newspaper editor Dorothea Frazil.

“Talking to him at read-throughs and his irreverent and funny take on life was always a reassuring leveller,” she said.

“He was, quite simply, extremely clever; you see that with every thought process of Morse.

“But he could also be daft and a wonderful gossip and we shall miss him terribly.”

She said the news “hasn’t really sunk in”, adding: “He was a great comfort when my father died, and very dear.

“My thoughts and love and gratitude go out to him and his family. I hope they take comfort in how loved he was – is.

“He created a great gift to all of us: stories that we never seem to tire of. And very complex crossword clues. RIP Colin xxx.”

Colin died peacefully at his home in Oxford on Tuesday.

Press Association

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