Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ian Richardson Dies

It says something about an actor that when he passes away it creates so much interest and comment in the political world as if he was a major politician who changed the landscape.

Ian Richardson was a fine Shakespearean actor who had a long and glittering career. However for many people he will be remembered as Francis Urquhart, the Conservative Chief whip in House of Cards.

It says something for the man that he filled the role so completely that Francis came to life, to be both quoted and compared to other real politicians.

I do like his oft quoted "You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment."

In a rare Friday evening in I watched Chanel 4 news last night. They had Nick Brown on, who as we know was a former whip. I can't remember the exact words he said so I shall paraphrase.

Jon Snow asked if there was any one in the Labour whips office who could compare for Urquhart's Machiavellian ways. Nick Brown thought of Peter Mandelson, but said there were two differences.

  • Firstly Mandelson was not good as a whip. The chief whip liked him so little that he did not even give him a desk, and none of the other whips would pass him information.
  • Secondly he said Urquhart was a "high Tory" who had principles. Apparently no one has ever accused Mandelson of that!
How catty!

Any way, we have lost a fine actor, who was about to put in another television appearance on Mid Sommer Murders. I do hope the BBC will be repeating House of Cards.

Meanwhile Iain Dale has this, the Telegraph has this, and the Times has this and this. Apparently the Sunday Times will have this.

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