Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Looking Through The Round Window...

I loved watching anything featuring the genius Brian Cant. Whether it was in Play School, and then later, PlayAway - or listening to his voice as he told all the wonderful stories of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley...
He died yesterday, aged 83, having been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for a number of years. I always admired his skill at communicating with children - his imagination, his lovely voice, his twinkling eyes and warm smile. The children watching felt he was their trusted friend.
Brian Cant once said that the one thing he wanted children to take away from his work was "that I made them laugh, I made them feel happy".
In 2010, he was presented with a special Children's Bafta. On receiving this award, Cant said: "One of the main rules of those Play School days was that we should play to the camera as though we were talking to one child, in whatever circumstance.

"It could be somebody in a tower block, a nice semi-detached somewhere, or a Royal palace. You had to phrase everything so, whoever was watching it, they felt you were talking to them."
Brian's father-in-law was actor Tony Britton, and his sister-in-law  is presenter Fern Britton. Brian's son Richard is an actor [you might have seen him as the eccentric undertaker Dennis Rainbird in Midsomer Murders] All entertainers - but I think Brian was the best of them. RIP Brian Cant 1933-2017
In a week when we have seen the British Fire Service at its best, and I honour their bravery, sensitivity and consummate professionalism displayed in Kensington, it seems appropriate to finish this post with Brian's most famous performance. I am sure this will be his lasting legacy. It's a good reminder to teach our children, from their earliest years that these are members of our society who deserve our respect. 


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