Stephen Lewis has died; photo from the Daily Mirror.
“On the buses” was very popular, and no doubt not great by today’s standards.
But Stephen Lewis’ character, Blakey, a bus inspector, was incredibly well known, partly for a catchphrase, but more for the expressions of joy or exasperation, accompanied with a whirring sound that I can’t recall anyone else trying. I met him in the eighties when he came to Nottingham with a Labour party campaign bus, as part of a national tour.
In the Old Market Square, I approached a young couple with a leaflet, who gave all the signs of hostility, and then the young women looked up and said “is that Blakey?” In stepped “Blakey” with that “whhrrrr” and they were made up and walked off wearing Labour party hats on their heads.
Oooh, the power of celebrity.

And thank you Stephen, for your support through the years.

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