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Not Pete Atkin >> Off-topic >> Verity Lambert (1935 - 2007)
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 11:10)

Title: Verity Lambert (1935 - 2007)
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 11:10
It is with some sadness that I note the passing, on the 22nd of November, of the great television producer, Verity Lambert, who died of cancer a few days short of her 72nd birthday.  She, in one capacity or another, usually as producer, gave us some of the best – and most memorably enjoyable- television of the last forty years. She was responsible for, among others, Dr Who, Minder, Rock Follies, The Naked Civil Servant, GBH, and Rumpole of the Bailey. If she had been behind only those few programmes I've named,  she would have been assured a very honourable place in television history.
In his opening address to the IBA Consultation on Entertainment Programmes, at Cheltenham, in February 1986, (published on his site as The Words Count (http://www.clivejames.com/lectures/words-count)) Clive remarked that "somebody once said that talent is rare but the talent to handle talent is rarer still"  "I am sure that is true.  First you have to get Verity Lambert, and then she has to get Linda Agran, and only then do you get Minder."  

I suspect that Clive might still might have to explain why he mentions Linda Agran – she is the all-important script editor and executive who worked on many Lambert projects – but he would have no such problem with Lambert herself.  You could see that she had the talent to handle talent. It was there on a screen near you; all you had to do was press the on button and  tune in.

Kevin Cryan

The Guardian Obituary (http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2216886,00.html) 26th November 2007.
Verity Lambert (27th November 1935 – 22nd November 2007

Title: Re: Verity Lambert (1935 - 2007)
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 19:57

"...Minder .....is the best low-life comedy since Budgie, which was likewise conceived under the aegis of Verity Lambert. Her sure touch for this kind of thing is something of a mystery. Perhaps she used to be a gangster's moll.

Looking at shows like Minder and Shoestring, you can see what happened to the British film industry. Television left it standing. Apart from the concerted effort made by Ealing in its best years, very few British films got within a hundred miles of authentic low life. They didn't get within the same distance of high life, either. They were made, on the whole, by people who knew very little about any kind of milieu except the perenniel one in which bad movies are made. Wanting that kind of film industry to return is like wanting the restoration of the Bourbons, In Britain, the only reason for turning an idea into a feature film instead of a television programme is if the small screen ans low budget would combine to cramp it.


Clive James
28 February, 1982
(Glued to the Box. Jonathan Cape, 1983

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Verity Lambert (1935 - 2007)
Post by Kevin Cryan on 27.11.07 at 11:40
L'Hommage de l'écrivain.

In Human Nature, the two-part episode of BBC's Dr Who , broadcast on the  26th  May and 2nd  June 2007 (Season 3, Episode 8), and scripted by Paul Cornell from his own eponymous 1995 novel, Dr John Smith (David Tennant) claims his parents were 'Sydney' and 'Verity'. In this the writer was a paying homage to Dr Who creator, Sydney Newman, and the show's first producer, Verity Lambert.

Kevin Cryan

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