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Donald Sinden RIP

Jan McNulty

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I have a fond memory of him. When we were visiting the UK years ago, we went to see him in one of those bedroom farces with lots of coming in and out of doors and windows and people losing bits of clothing and whatnot (he was playing an MP or something). He had to do one quick exit through a partly open window, and he banged his head pretty hard in the process - it was quite a loud smack and you could practically see the little birdies flying round his head. He took a few seconds to pull himself together and wobble off stage. A while later, when one of the other characters was about to take a dive through the same window, Donald Sinden said, quite loudly and almost as if it was in the script, "Mind your head." Of course the audience fell about laughing, and of course the rest of the cast were trying very hard to keep a straight face (not totally successfully). The actress who was supposed to deliver the next line simply couldn't get herself together enough to do it - she was standing there (clad in her underwear, of course, it being that sort of play) vibrating with the effort of trying not to break up into a fit of giggles. I can imagine that he got into a bit of trouble with the rest of them afterwards for creating that bit of mayhem.

Edited by Melody
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Sadly, after Spitting Image back in the 80s I could never see him without giggling to myself.  They had him popping up everywhere the Queen was saying things like "but Ma'am, where is my knighthood? Everyone else has one!"   "Errr, hello Ma'am, my knighthood?" etc.  A sort of early photobombing!  It was so funny, and in interviews he was always very good humoured about it.  He finally received his knighthood....some say Spitting Image had much to do with it, but I think it was for his acting abilities!  RIP to him.

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