Saturday, March 12, 2005

Dave Allen

One of the signs of my increasing age is that I often turn first to the obituaries when I open a newspaper. (And, as the old joke goes, if I am not in them I get up.)

There is a good obituary of Dave Allen in today's Guardian, which reveals that his father (who died when Allen was 12) was a friend and drinking partner of Brian O'Nolan - better known as Flann O'Brien or Myles na Copaleen.

There was a patronising comment on the radio news that said, in effect, that while Allen's comedy seems rather tame now we should appreciate that it was daring in its day. Nonsense. As Michael Gove said on Newsnight Review last night, our fear of offending people's religious sensibilities means that Allen would probably not get on the screen at all today.

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