Richard not Richards

I watched the news this morning and was sad to hear that British actress Wendy Richard, aka Miss Brahms, aka Pauline Fowler had finally lost her battle with cancer.

I briefly met Ms Richard in the late nineties when I lived in West London. She and her partner lived nearby and frequented a tiny pub near the Edgeware Road that I and my boyfriend used to drink at. The locals had mentioned that she often popped in but never when I was there, always the day before or earlier in the evening, so it turned out that ours paths only crossed once. I was introduced briefly and she seemed very friendly. I remember she smoked her cigarette in one of those long holders and that I thought it very un-Pauline Fowler-like but very theatrical.

Richard also had a keen sense of humour. Apparently on an earlier occasion she’d offered to take my boyfriend’s football kit to work with her (ie the set of Eastenders) and give it a star turn in the laundrette washers. This wit is also evident in the title of her 2000 autobiography Wendy Richard — no ‘S’ : my life story. Richard was frequently and mistakenly referred to as “Richards” with an “s” (something our Prime Minister could probably sympathise with) and, I get the sense that she was sick of correcting people. So what else would you call your autobiography then?