Monday, September 04, 2006

Two More For The Obit Pages ...

Sad news to start a Monday;

Cheeky Doncaster comedian Charlie Williams and Australian conservationist and crocodile man-handler, Steve Irwin have died.

Williams was was born in Barnsley in 1928, the product of an immigrant Barbadian father. As a lad, Williams worked at the local colliery, played football for them and eventually turned pro, signing for Doncaster Rovers in 1948. He played a total of 171 games in their colours. He quit football in 1959 and toured the working men's clubs but turned to full time stand-up comedy when he realised that his chat between songs was better received. He soon became Britain's best-known and best-loved black comedians, making numerous appearances on prime-time TV. With his cheeky grin and Yorkshire accent he stood out a mile and was most certainly not PC ... The Queen decorated him with an MBE in 1999 but Parkinson's disease and dementia caught up with him and Charlie died on September 2nd in Barnsley General Hospital. In 2004 he was voted as Doncaster Rovers all-time cult hero by viewers of the BBC's Football Focus programme.

Rugged and boisterous Steve Irwin brought us 'down-under' scenes of crocodiles and rare species of wildlife. The 44-yr old 'Crocodile Hunter' and American-born wife, Terri, provided a forum for educational information about wildlife conservation and conflicts with humans in various parts of the world. His larger than life antics (along with his catch-phrase "CRIKEY!") reeled in viewers from across the globe. His unconventional documentary series included shots of him capturing wild crocs and handling them, at very close quarters, for re-release elsewhere. In 2002 he made the film 'The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course', a romp though the outback with scenes of croc handling of near lunatic proportions. He was director of Australia Zoo in Queensland and died today after being fatally injured by a Stingray barb while filming a new documentary.

Stu

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