One of my biggest regrets is that somewhere in my pile of old minidisks I've got an interview I recorded with the late Bob Monkhouse while I was at Youth FM back in the year 2000. In it I played the role of The Grim Reaper interviewing Bob Monkhouse about his death. He did the interview like the true professional he was, cracking jokes and being brilliant. I'd read his autobiography and was a genuine fan of the man. What struck me about his book was the candid and practical outlook he had regarding his own eventual demise. I took a risk and asked him if he'd do the interview with me playing the role of The Grim Reaper and he was more than up for it.
When I finished the interview I remember putting it on a mini disc and thinking I'll put that somewhere safe. And I did. So safe that I think I've lost it. All that I have of it now is a memory. Probably for the best, these things never sound as good in real life as they do in your mind.
When he did die I was obviously upset and couldn't bear the idea of listening to it back so never looked for the mini disc. Now I have a big pile of them infront of me and quite a lot of free time on my hands so I'm going to start the mammoth task of looking for it. If I find it I'll send it on to his widow. I don't intend to re-use it without anyone's permission first.
Oddly enough as I start this task of looking for an old tape where Bob Monkhouse talks amusingly about his own eventual death this fantastic advert was being made in his name. It's great to see him back and I would like to re-enforce the message that from what little I knew of him this sort of advert is something he would surely have approved of.
After the interview I got him to sign my copy of his autobiography and here's what he wrote:
"For my friend Nick Margerrison with admiration - MY LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS! Bob Monkhouse 18.3.00"