I was woken just now not so much by the milkman, but by Terry Thomas who is tapping the bottle for the cream. I’m watching in wonder trying not to, having lifted the curtain, move it the more for fear of disturbing him. A hundred this year yet spry as a young cat the still remarkable Terry Thomas is crouching to enjoy the cream which he sups through a long straw, one held or concealed between the gap in his two front teeth.
Born in Finchley but educated at a miner public school, he escaped working the coal face until the Second World War where as a variety of awful British officers he damn well had the lower classes out of bushes and at the Hun after declaring the entire army to be ‘an absolute shower’. Taking possession of the best of all small moustaches from a young Leslie Philips, Mr Philips was thereafter reduced to a rather camper form of creepy seduction. Indeed and figures released by Equity in 1990 show that whilst Leslie Philips might have enjoyed a higher degree of success as regarded giggling, slap and/or tickle Terry Thomas was already having someone frightful redo his fly buttons, and (I quote) ‘probably your sister’.
But here he is now, cleverly easing up the foil tops of the milk with his clever little Terry Thomas hands. He’s been in Tolly Maw since the early 90s having suggested his own death in association with an STD and Michael Parkinson. Also through crashing a ridiculous monoplane in his last attempt at the London to Paris air race in 1965. He left behind a series of wives, all unknowing of one another and all in separate rooms in the same house, in the same Guildford.
Turning his back on his two sons (Maurice and The Tank Engine), Terry saw out the next few years servicing Tolly Maw’s assorted sisters, aunts and flustered school teachers. Indeed so occupied is he even to this day that the poor fellow is rather turned-about as to which bed is actually his own, unable to climb into one not already warmed by an unsuspecting other.
I have to go. Bill Gates has snuck up to the garden gate and Terry Thomas unaware is attempting a cup of stolen tea. If I don’t get out there to scare away the one from the other it’ll be tweedy threads everywhere and disturbed Brylcreem on the roses.
I’m never going to get Alastair Sim out of the rug after the last time as it is.
Art by Alan Davis.