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Geoffrey Perkins Is Dead At 55 108

Posted by kdawson
from the arthur-dent-removes-his-hat dept.
Dynamoo writes "Legendary comedy writer and producer Geoffrey Perkins has died in a road accident in London. Perkins was until recently the head of comedy for BBC TV. Earlier in his career he produced the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, and was a writer, director, and producer of many comedy shows including Spitting Image, The Fast Show, and several others. He also invented the game of Mornington Crescent. The world will be a less joyful place without him."
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Geoffrey Perkins Is Dead At 55

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  • ZZZ,,, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:45PM (#24815541)
    The Slashdot editors do realize they've posted a British-centric story at 3:44 AM London time...
    • Re:ZZZ,,, (Score:5, Funny)

      by Eudial (590661) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:39PM (#24815811)

      The Slashdot editors do realize they've posted a British-centric story at 3:44 AM London time...

      Ah, but slashdot is news for nerds. It's an integral part of the geek culture to be 6-10 hours out of sync with your timezone.

      The relevant XKCD panel is #448 [xkcd.com].

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Cow Jones (615566)

        It's an integral part of the geek culture to be 6-10 hours out of sync with your timezone.

        The relevant XKCD panel is #448 [xkcd.com].

        Or this one: 28-Hour Day [xkcd.com]

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's an integral part of the geek culture to be 6-10 hours out of sync with your timezone.

          The relevant XKCD panel is #448 [xkcd.com].

          Or this one: 28-Hour Day [xkcd.com]

          Or this one: Christmas Back Home [xkcd.com]

      • Aw shit, 7:72am, I'm 2 hours past my bedtime!
      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        The Slashdot editors do realize they've posted a British-centric story at 3:44 AM London time...

        Ah, but slashdot is news for nerds. It's an integral part of the geek culture to be 6-10 hours out of sync with your timezone.

        In both directions. At once.

        (I'd have missed the story by less than half an hour, but I went to bed with the wife instead. Which makes me doubly unusual by SlashDot's standards.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Potor (658520)
      Me? The 13th Duke of Wybourne? Here? In a sixth form girl's dormitory? At three o'clock in the morning? With my reputation? What were they thinking of?
    • by Fraser (16937)

      Are you the scheduling police now? Will you be jumping in to flag all the US stories published at what you decide is out of hours because they may not be of interest to anyone outside the US? Thought not.

      Perkins' contribution to comedy, and to broadcasting in general, is acknowledged and appreciated all over the world. Not just in Britain.

    • by Stooshie (993666)

      ... posted a British-centric story at 3:44 AM London time ...

      The editors did, but I bet the original post was at a more london friendly time.

    • by jaymz2k4 (790806)
      The original story is from Friday afternoon, he was killed just after 9am so we all knew about this a couple of days ago this side of the pond...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And thanks for all the laughs.
  • by gardyloo (512791) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:23PM (#24815747)

    ... someone explain all the rules to me again?

    • by topham (32406) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:41PM (#24815833) Homepage

      You have to learn them while you go. It's one of the rules.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by moosesocks (264553)

      The best way to learn the rules is to observe a game in progress.

      I'll start out (this game, we'll be using the Duke of Edinburgh's rules, Welsh form third or higher).

      My move is:
      Finsbury Park East

      • by DevonBorn (975502)
        Blackfriars Station, (plus an extra go as we're playing the DofE's rules).
        Hyde Park Corner
    • by Repton (60818)

      Well, there are two teams, the team that is in and the team that is out. The team that is in goes out except for two of them who go in and the team that is out goes in and tries to get the team that is in out. When all members of the team that is in are out the team that is in is out and the team that was out is now in. When all players have been in and out (or remain not out) the game ends.

      ...oh, wait, that's cricket. Mornington Crescent is the other game, the confusing one, isn't it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Fast Show was one of my favourites. So long and thanks for all the laughs Geoff.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The link in the summary goes to a page "explaining" the rules for Mornington Crescent.

    It goes into great detail about the origin of the game and its history, but from what I can see the closest it comes to explaining the actual rules is:

    "When the game was first played it was based on the 1952 pocket A-Z and a simple formula dictating to which pages one could move and to which pages one could not move."

    Sure would be nice if it said anything about the formula...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Terri416 (131871)

      Mornington Crescent is an improvisational comedy sketch based roughly on the pocket A-Z. The formula is mythic, and the game follows a simple pattern:

      A player makes a move. Another player challenges this with an improvised rule, which can itself be challenged by other improvised rules. The object of the game is to entertain the audience.

      The entire population of the UK can now participate in this humorous diversion with the new "Justice Ministry Accredited Status" of many dog wardens, park keepers, charity

  • by piltdownman84 (853358) <piltdownman84&mac,com> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:37PM (#24815803)
    The Independent is reporting that he might have fainted and stumbled onto the road before getting hit.

    Also, Anyone else wonder how someone managed to hit him, drive away and not realize it? I understand he was hit by a lorry and not a smart car, but I remeber a few years ago I hit a cat and I sure felt it.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-seek-new-evidence-on-death-of-comedy-guru-geoffrey-perkins-913928.html [independent.co.uk]
    • by Smauler (915644)

      If the lorry in question was articulated, and the trailer was what hit him, then no, you wouldn't feel it at all. Many accidents are caused by the trailer cutting in to corners - cyclists undertaking lorries then sitting underneath the mirror is a bad idea.

  • He'll be missed... (Score:5, Informative)

    by amaupin (721551) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:40PM (#24815819) Homepage

    The BBC Hitch-hiker radio broadcasts were far and away the best versions of Douglas Adams' story of Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the destruction/creation of Earth, and the search for the question. While I enjoyed the books somewhat, the original radio series was a spectacular production that couldn't be topped.

    Geoffrey Perkins will be missed.

    • by Barny (103770)

      If you loved the radio series (so do I) do yourself a favour and get into "The Fast Show".

      This man's sense of comedy will be sorely missed ;(

    • by PhotoBoy (684898) on Sunday August 31, 2008 @07:44AM (#24818405)

      I'm glad to see someone in this thread is showing some decorum instead of making tasteless jokes or asking "who?"

      I agree entirely with what you've said, the H2G2 radio shows were fantastic (and a regular fixture on my iPod), I was always disappointed they didn't continue the story after the end of the second series (although Dirk Maggs did a decent job more recently).

      Another Perkins favourite of mine was KYTV [imdb.com], a spoof on satellite TV channels with lots of tacky low budget game shows and news channels.

      RIP Geoffrey.

    • by Simmeh (1320813)
      damn right, he was one of the classic British legends. Our humour is supreme.
    • by ga5p0d3 (1326207)
      Amen. I completely wore out my dads professional Sony tape deck listening to recordings of the radio series as a kid. Soooo, many times. Shame that another H2G2 'founder' has gone.
  • Douglas Adams died at 49, now Perkins at 55... maybe the Universe is killing off people who know The Question.

  • Well, I suppose I'll start, then.
    Bond Street.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by GrahamCox (741991)
      Ah now come on. You *know* you can't open with Bond Street unless you're playing under the King Alfred (amended) rules and it's well known that that isn't recognised as an official version. So maybe I could suggest the alternative of Baker Street, which is a more generally accepted opener?
      • Well spotted - the GP opener was clearer a test to separate the pros from the amateurs.
        • by E-Sabbath (42104)

          Baker Street, Baker Street. Are you quite sure? Remember, I am posting from a _former_ colony, which means that, as per the Pershing subset, we follow the limited previous rules rather than the more modern reconciliation. I believe Bond is legitimate under that, but for global unity, I will not argue the point. On the other hand, it does open the potential for this.

          Paddington.

          • by G0rAk (809217)

            Paddington? Ordinarily a foolish move but I see you've got several options open under the Pershing subset however I suspect that if I apply the Ornstein Variation (which I do believe is valid under Pershing) I can hop straight past White City and play Swiss Cottage!

            There. Get out of that one!

  • by SEWilco (27983) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:53PM (#24815905) Journal

    Legendary comedy writer and producer Geoffrey Perkins has died in a road accident in London.

    Hey, you neglected to say what road! It is, of course, quite relevant that it was Marylebone High Street [independent.co.uk], as that of course is rather high for him to have shifted over from Town Hall Approach Road.

  • by Wanado (908085)

    The world will be a less joyful place without him

    The world is a more joyful place because of him.

  • I guess this is one of those situations where you had to be there... in the U.K., that is? I'm fairly well versed in movies and social memes and even some of what goes on outside my own country's borders, but I had no idea who Geoffrey Palmer was. The OP seems to presume that in fact we all knew who he was and agreed with his alleged importance. If he was that important, I think his influence would have penetrated even my bubble of American isolation.

    • by Barny (103770)

      Then do yourself a favour, look up "the fast show" and the HHGG British radio series on TPB [thepiratebay.org] and become enlightened :)

    • by GrahamCox (741991)
      "I've never heard of him therefore he can't be of any importance". How arrogant does that sound? By the way, it's PERKINS, not Palmer.
      • by macraig (621737)

        It sounds arrogant because I am "arrogant"... or just confident. I tend to trust that I know what I need to know unless shown otherwise. I'm not saying whether this has or has not been one of those instances. Clearly I substituted Mr. Palmer for this other chap because in fact he at least was an enormously important figure in comedy. ;-)

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          Hold on, I think we should check with the lovely Samantha on this one. After all, she's used to handling enormous figures.
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      I'm fairly well versed in movies and social memes and even some of what goes on outside my own country's borders

      As TFA says, Geoffery Perkins was the producer of the original radio series of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy - which is mandatory knowledge for nerds, even in the US. If you haven't heard of HHGTTG, or think it started out as a book, TV show or (God help you) a movie then please hand in your geek card at the door.

      Having cleared that up, can you enlighten us UK people as to who this "Baraccus Osama" character is?

  • I remember Geoffrey Perkins from the days of the radio series Radio Active. Geoffrey played the gleeful and shameless bully Mike Flex, who was always making the life of Mike Channel (Angus Deaton) a living hell.

    The series itself was a spoof of the low-budget and lower-standards private radio, the personality defects of the characters, and the toxic atmosphere they created. Each program was also a spoof on a particular genre of programme series, for instance: Round Your Parts (local interest), Probe Round th

    • by dash2 (155223)

      Oh my god Radioactive! Is that available anywhere, I haven't heard that since I was 11.

  • I once sat opposite Mr Perkins on a train, coming back from Waterloo one evening. He looked busy, so to my lasting regret I didn't disturb him to say "thanks" for the Guide, KYTV, etc. And now I never will be able to, and that makes me sad.

  • Oh shit, where is my musket? Did I renew my subscription to the militia?

  • Perfidious Albion.

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