Geoffrey Perkins: 1953 – 2008

Sometimes I’m better off catching the news late. I was mildly lost for words on hearing that Geoffrey Perkins had been involved in a terrible accident that took his life. In his mid-50s, he doubtless had a lot more mileage in him if left to natural causes… unless investigation proves otherwise.

Geoffrey had a long career in comedy, which some might consider had a significant peak in 1978, when he took over production duties on Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, I will remember him as Mike Flex in Radio Active, a show I listened to avidly in my teens, mostly very late at night while tucked up in bed. My eldest brother had a bright red Sony Walkman with a built in radio and cassette recording function, so I would lie in the dark, restraining chuckles and recording shows for future re-listening (almost to destruction, though I still have some recordings in a box). Flex was a detestible character with all the charisma of a mid-African dictator and a general distaste for the stupid, the young and co-present Mike Channel (played by Angus Deayton).

I will, undoubtedly, dig out the old tapes and have another listen. If you can find a copy of Mike Flex’s Master Quiz where the three kids involved showed an astounding and complete ignorance to the point of Flex’s utter exasperated distraction – go for it… it’s worth the listen.

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[amtap book:isbn=0345453743]


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