Over recent years it has become the tradition for the master farceur Ray Cooney to host a summer garden party in the grounds of his Essex home to which he invites all those with whom he has regularly worked during his illustrious career. Always a memorable occasion, this year’s event took place on Sunday 9th September and of course Jeff and Judy were among the esteemed guests. Both actors have major Cooney links having performed his works in London’s West End, on UK tours and abroad. They also recently appeared in the new film version of Run For Your Wife due for cinema release on Valentine’s Day 2013. As ever, guests were invited to enjoy good food, great wine and a little light entertainment in relaxed surroundings while reminiscing over old times and discussing latest projects. This year the main topic of conversation was not surprisingly centered on the forthcoming film release. Among it’s cast members present on Sunday were; Sir Donald Sinden, Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair, Louise Jameson, Su Pollard, Frank Thornton, Giles Watling and Vicki Michelle. Other celebrities in attendance included; Joan Collins, Sir David Jason, Joe Brown and Sue Holderness.
Heritage Foundation - John Sullivan Blue Plaque Unveiling
The Heritage Foundation unveiled it’s latest Blue Plaque at Teddington Studios in Middlesex on Sunday 22nd July. It was to commemorate the life and work of comedy writer John Sullivan OBE who was responsible for some of Britain’s best loved sitcoms including; Only Fools and Horse, The Green Green Grass, Just Good Friends, Citizen Smith and Dear John. The sole task of hosting the event fell to Jeff who was accompanied on the day by his son Sam Parkes. Following an introductory speech underneath the plaque, Jeff handed over to Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst who paid tribute to the man who had played such a major part in their careers before performing the unveiling along with members of John’s family. The formalities over, guests transferred to The Lensbury Hotel and Country Club for a celebration lunch. It was here that Jeff took full control in a role that has become second nature to him these days. Among his tasks were to read a tribute message from absent President Vicki Michelle, introduce guest speakers Sir David Jason and Gareth Gwenlan, make presentations to John’s widow, Sharon Sullivan and Bomber Command’s Air Commordore Charles Clarke OBE, team up with comedian Bobby Bragg to conduct the celebrity auction and carry out the all important raffle. Other celebrity guests in attendance included; John Challis, Sue Holderness, Paul Nichlas, Jan Francis, Peter Hepplethwaite, ella Kenion, Jack Doolan and Les Reed OBE.