Friday, 29 April 2016

A lovely way of earning the pennies

And so, farewell Mr Barry Howard - most famous for his portrayal of the waspish Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in BAFTA-award-winning 80s telly series Hi-De-Hi.

His was a long career in entertainment, mainly on the stage. For it was his panto partnership with another legendary TV camp character actor John Inman (in the days before Are You Being Served? was ever a twinkle in the eyes of Messrs Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft) that brought the two queens their first taste of success. Renowned for their fabulous costumes and wigs - created by “Modreno”, nowadays Wig Art - the pair were the most sought-after “Ugly Sisters” of their day, as well as having solo spots as various "Dames".

Barry made his West End debut as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, toured in Salad Days and Oliver. He portrayed "Emory" in a stage version of Boys In The Band, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Arthur Askey’s silly son in What A Racket, Hylda Baker’s boyfriend in Nearest and Dearest, "The Narrator" in The Rocky Horror Show, and more recently was "Marley's Ghost" in in Scrooge with Tommy Steele. On TV he appeared in The Two Ronnies, The Good Old Days, Terry and June, two Seaside Specials with John Inman, and even Doctor Who.

As the Telegraph's Ben Lawrence said:
"However, it was as the imperious ballroom dancer Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in Hi-de-Hi! that Howard came into his own. He excelled at showing what we would now call status anxiety as he and dance partner Yvonne (played by [the late] Diane Holland) foxtrotted round the ballroom of an Essex holiday camp, quietly despairing at the thought that they had reached the acme of their professional careers.

"Barry's snootiness was a perfect contrast to Paul Shane's coarse Northern comic Ted Bovis, with Howard often stealing the show with a displeased sideways glance or the flare of a nostril that hinted at an unpleasant smell in the vicinity."

The last word goes to Mr Howard himself: "[It was] a lovely way of earning the pennies".

RIP Barry Frederick Howard (9th July 1937 – 28th April 2016)


  1. Oh, I loved Barry & Yvonne! Well, mainly I loved Yvonne because she was such a stuck up cow, but Barry's "displeased sideways glances" and "flared nostrils" really did steal the show.

    1. By all accounts, he would steal anyone's show... Jx


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