What's going on? First it's Michael Jackson, now it's Patrick Swayze and Keith Floyd! Rather bizarre that some us were watching a Keith Allen documentary on him just last night. Now he's dead. Keith Floyd I mean. Apparently he died well - after a hearty lunch of oysters and champagne and wine and some other fishy thing and some more champagne and a quick slug of wine and then...he died. Marvellous. To die like that I mean. Not the fact that he died. I rather liked the man for all that fantastic non political correctness and the fact that he was a TV chef who didn't swear (or did he?). Last of the Old Guard. I grew up with him, of course, in the background of my life. Floyd on France, Floyd on Fish, Floyd in Some Far Flung Place Again. (Jamie, I'm sorry mate, it's all been done before...). And now, suddenly, he's gone. Has to be said that he was no advert for food and drink. Not enough food, too much drink, clearly. My God, he looked ravaged. Decades older than my 81 year old father (who, it has to be said, enjoys a good glass too). My liver was pretty much packing up just looking at him, let alone my lungs as he coughed and wheezed his way through another cigarette. Still, I'm a great believer in living life to enjoy it. It's far too bloody short not to (although, of course, you can make it a little shorter, can't you Keith, if you lack a small ability to moderate...?). Still, I was heartened to see that in the last shots of him a week ago, sitting outside a pub or something, he looked considerably better than he'd done in the Keith Allen documentary. Ironic that he then dropped dead.
And then there's Patrick Swayze, the man so many young girls have wept for, silently and alone, staring at the poster on the wall of their teenage bedroom (and who always rather reminded me of the boyfriend I lost my virginity too - well, round the face at least, the rest of him rather lacked the physique). Ah yes. Sigh. All that brawn, muscle and pulsating sex appeal. It was tragic to see him so shredded by disease, a grim reminder of what might be ahead for any of us. Especially if you smoke, I guess. Still, life is for living, and both these characters lived it, that's for sure. The choice is yours, in the end.
Here, perhaps, is how we would like to remember them:-