Christmas Pantomime Antics

By Garry Stewart

Excerpt from tribute written by former GTV9 Floor Manager, Garry Stewart.

I remember Denzil’s enormous creative effort in writing and producing the end of year television children’s pantomime programmes. I don’t think it’s ever been done anywhere else in this country.

One memorable year during the recording, “Bernard The Magician” (Alf Gertler) kept blowing his lines, causing all the cast and crew to break-up into fits of giggling. The more he tried, the worse he got, becoming angry and frustrated with himself and everyone else. Poor Denzil — unbeknown to him, Phil Burns the chief audio operator, located a track of hysterical laughter, and secretly fed it into the headphones of all the floor crew, causing us to be unable to contain ourselves.

I can still see cameraman Graeme Blair, hanging on to his camera, a handkerchief jammed into his mouth, tears streaming down his face, trying to stop himself exploding into laughter.

Denzil, stormed onto the studio floor, incandescent with anger and frustration after the umpteenth “take”, saying “It’s not bloody funny, you know you bloody fellas” and the whole studio collapsed into total disarray. Hilarious. Somehow we got through it all, and another marvellous piece of television history was put in place, thanks to Denzil’s wonderful creative energy.