Anorak News | Jade Goody: Wendy Richard And Me, With The Real EastEnders

Jade Goody: Wendy Richard And Me, With The Real EastEnders

by | 27th, February 2009

WENDY Richard has died. Pauline Fowler, the character she played in EastEnders, died Christmas Day 2006, and life took a mere two years to catch up with fiction.

Miss Brahms may well be alive, working as a personal shopper in Dubai.

For those who experience difficulty flitting between fiction and what passes for reality – or just believe they are one and the same (see Jade Goody) – don’t despair. Wendy Richard is on UK TV Gold at 4pm this afternoon.

But what will the tabloid press do to remember the likeable actress?

The Sun (front page): “”Ender a legend”

Wendy is Pauline Fowler, dressed in a blue housecoat and carrying a yellow plastic basket of other actor’s dirty clothes.

EASTENDERS legend Wendy Richard was hailed a “British institution” last night after losing her dogged fight with cancer.

Anyone want to end up as an institution – the Pauline Fowler Home For Demented Cleaners? But if you want real meaning to your life, you need to play Tabloid Bingo:

And poignantly, dying cancer sufferer Jade Goody told how Wendy gave a kind message of hope after a recent chance meeting at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital.

Jade. Tick. Bingo!

Jade said: “She was brilliant to me. She said just to keep fighting and make the most of my life. She was a lovely lady and all my love goes to her family.”

The Royal Marsden is getting to be like the Groucho Club extension, where stars go on their way to meeting James Mason.

Of course, just because you’re not on the telly doesn’t mean you’ve died.

Sir Terry Wogan, Mrs Ronnie Corbett, Miss Maureen Lipman, Mr Clive Anderson, Miss Jane Asher, Mr Michael Ball, Mr Rodney Bewes, Mr Rory Bremner, Mr Tim Brooke-Taylor, Mr Barry Cryer, Mr Graeme Garden, Mr and Mrs Rolf Harris, Ms Gloria Hunniford, Ms Bonnie Langford, Mr Robert Lindsay, Lulu, Mr Denis Norden, Ms Esther Rantzen, Mr Richard Stilgoe, Mr Chris Tarrant, Mr Christopher Timothy, Miss June Whitfield, Mr Ian Wilson and Mr Mike Yarwood were yesterday at Sir Bill Cotton’s memorial service.

Sky News: Tribute pour in

“Comedian Ronnie Corbett said Richard’s work would remain as a lasting tribute.

“What a career she had, from even before Are You Being Served?,” he said. “I’m very sorry to hear she’s gone.”

Anyone else think it as the hack covering the Cotton do that told Corbett the news and stood around waiting for a pretty stock response?

The media operates as a Jewish mother talking to her son:

Mum: “You know, Wendy Richard…?”
Son: “Er?”
Mum: “Yes, you do. Was in EastEnders. Cardigan. Blonde. Smoked…”
Son: “Oh, yes…”
Mum: “She died.”

Daily Mirror (front page): “Her final message to cancer stricken reality TV star – Don’t give up, Jade.”

That’s right. Wendy Richard is to be celebrated for her compassion for Jade Goody. It was her “final message” of what one supposes was a daily missive to someone she knew as simply Jade.

Daily Star (front page): “BRAVE WENDY DIES LAUGHING.”

Brave. Like Jade. And who knew that you could die from laughter? Not anyone who watches EastEnders, that’s for sure.


“Actress Wendy Richard, pictured with her MBE, lost her fight against cancer.”

Succinct and respectful. Hats off to the Mail for keeping it real.

Pages 22-23: “The Grace Brothers glamourpuss who had steel behind her smile.”

There’s a picture of Wendy in a basque and stocking, looking like Danniella Westbrook, the ex-EastEnders actress, before cocaine ate her face.

Daily Express (front page): “Wendy Richard loses her fight against cancer”

Pages 28 and 29: “She married four times and endured unbearable pain but Wendy Richard, who died yesterday, will be remembered as one of our best-loved and indomitable television stars.”

The Guardian: “Soap star who ‘lit up living rooms’ dies”

Despite the unrelenting misery of her storylines, however, both Richard and her character had been much loved, according to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson. Describing her as “like a member of the family”, he said the actor had “lit up living rooms” for many families. “Wendy Richard is going to be incredibly missed by the BBC and by our audiences.”

This is the same Wendy Richard who left EastEnders in 2006, and who went on to feature in an episode of Benidorm on ITV? Her?

Beatles News: “Beloved British actress almost started career in Beatles film”

Wendy was a 22-year-old unknown when she was chosen to appear alongside the Beatles in their second movie, Help!, in 1965… In an interview in 2007, she spoke of her disappointment at being edited out of the movie. She said, “I was devastated. But I’ve met Paul since and it was lovely that he remembered me.”

Star Dies is always a bigger story than Star lives…

Posted: 27th, February 2009 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink