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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Wendy Richard RIP

I've had a portfolio career and before I became a broadcast journalist, I was a children's presenter/writer/actress. An early high point in my acting career was doing three years on EastEnders as a lead, playing Sufia Karim. So I spent a great deal of time on and off set with Wendy Richard, a dignified, formidable actress. I recall her with her black cigarette filter and blonde bob, sitting waiting for takes at a table. On EastEnders, the crews change with rapidity, but the actors can often stay for many years and Wendy was there a long time, before I arrived.
So it was very often the case that we would be on set, and a props person might try to move something. Wendy would come right in with a sternly shouted, 'That has always been there!' causing the startled props person to disappear suddenly and silently off into the shadows. Wendy would often give the crew short shrift if they tried her patience, but she was very professional and great to work with. Many of my scenes were in her on screen sitting room, with her and other members of her family, and when you spend many hours on a set, over weeks and months, as happens in a long running drama series, the memories are embedded. I am sorry for her passing, and British television has lost one of its special people.

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