In Memoriam: Ken Campbell

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Sad news from the BBC of the passing of the eccentric Ken Campbell…

Actor Ken Campbell dies aged 66

Television and stage actor Ken Campbell has died at the age of 66, his agent has confirmed.

He played Alf Garnett’s neighbour in 1980s sitcom In Sickness and In Health, and he was in BBC drama Law and Order.

Essex-born Campbell was also a theatre producer, bringing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to the stage for the first time in 1979.

He was also a regular at the Edinburgh Festival, where he had been appearing shortly before his unexpected death.

Campbell’s theatrical credits also included a series of offbeat one-man shows, including The Bald Trilogy and a performance of Macbeth in Pidgin English.

His passion for science fiction was a recurrent feature of his work, forming The Science Ficton Theatre of Liverpool in 1976.

He co-wrote a stage version of the epic work Illuminatus!, a cycle of five plays lasting more than eight hours, later producing The Warp, a 10-play cycle which went on for 22 hours.
Ken Campbell (l) in In Sickness and In Health
Ken Campbell (l) played Alf Garnett’s neighbour

Campbell also auditioned for the role of the seventh Doctor Who in 1987, but lost out to Sylvester McCoy after his interpretation was considered “too dark” for television.

His other small screen roles included Oscar Dean in Brookside, and an episode of classic sitcom Fawlty Towers.

He also presented a number of popular science series including Six Experiments That Changed The World.

Campbell gained a moment of theatrical notoreity when he issued a spoof press release after a successful Royal Shakespeare Company production of Nicholas Nickleby by director Sir Trevor Nunn.

It stated that the RSC would now be called the Royal Dickens Company, was signed “love Trev” and fooled some journalists.

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