Photo by John Fleming

Poems and Tributes by

Poppy Hardee
Jo Brand
John Hegley
Owen O'Neill

NOTE that the original writing is copyright.
No reproduction without
the authors' permission

Ode To a Great Father
by Poppy Hardee

Dad, many will remember you as an entertainer and a man of wit,
Others as a showman and a general twit.

But not me.
Do you know what I see?

I see a man of compassion fighting never to be ignored.
A man who rarely made any of us bored.

If you had £10, you'd give it to someone in need.
No, scrap that, you'd bet it to make £20 in your desire to succeed

You said you'd pick me up at two, yet arrive at four,
With a cheery, 'OY OY' and a knock at my door.
But my anger would soon subside
at one glimpse of your face,
but not at your attire,
your curry stained jackets and unzipped flies were a disgrace!

When I was with you, I'd laugh until I'd cry.
It doesn't seem quite right that you could leave us to die.
I don't believe in heaven but if I did
I know people would say you're up there not giving a shit.

But me, I don't agree.

You did give a shit and you certainly cared.
You'd hate it if people didn't notice you there.
You cared so deeply you'd give your whole world to see me happy,
Although according to mum you never changed one of my nappies!

You've gone now and left a hole in my heart that may never be filled.
For me, a part of my world is frozen and time stands still.

Wherever you go, wherever it may be,
I hope you'll bellow 'OY OY' and remember me!

Poppy Hardee xxx

P.S. You owe me 9 quid!

©copyright 2005 Poppy Hardee

by Jo Brand

Scourge of our expectations,
Comic, father, husband, son,
In all your incarnations,
The same in every one.

With dandruff on your glasses
And curry on your tie,
You never let the chance of drink,
Or mayhem pass you by.

In The Greatest Show On Legs,
Or betting council grants on a horse,
You were South London’s very own
Huge, shambolic force.

The Tunnel, a beery Colliseum,
Sucked us in and spat us out
And you, a philanthropic Nero,
Savoured every bout.

All your jokes were ancient,
“I met my wife in Australia,”
But you made up for that,
With your legendary genitalia

Never where they should be,
Always out on show
What a pity they and you
Had to up and go.

You never made it on telly,
Never got the call
Too much of a loose Cannon
And definitely too much Ball,

To me, your best routine was your life,
And all you did
And by the way Malcolm
You owe me five hundred quid.

©copyright 2005 Jo Brand

Song for Malcolm
by John Hegley

The first time ever I saw you
was in a marquee, circa 1980,
you were shaking up some William Shakespeare stuff.
I remember thinking, who's this man?
I cannot remember, if you wore a ruff.
Certainly not just a ruff.
Funny man from London, south.
Ringmaster and river mouth,
and no trousers, sometimes.
Going down your tunnel,
where the heckling could halt
the process of performance,
your shrug suggested, a pinch of salt
is what it should be taken with,
though generally you were more fresh-water.
Funny man and river man,
Oy oy was your shout.
Oy oy's yo yo backwards,
and you swung it all about.

You didn't tend
to follow the trend
and you were light<
at the Tunnel's end.

©copyright 2005 John Hegley

A Poem for Malcolm
by Owen O'Neill

You were suspicious of poetry
saw clear through most of it
even with those glasses.
Dickens would have loved you Malcolm
would have immortalised you, given you
a name like Swindle Rotherhind, or

Tucker Lawless.

But you didn't need Dickens, you wrote
the chapters of your own life. Malcolm Hardee.
Your name fitted you like your food-stained ill fitting
baggy suits. You were wide open, a big bad innocent book
with no new leaves to turn. All your pages
stuck together, bound by your first rule of comedy
'Fall over! Get your knob out!'

You once caused me to cry with laughter until
I thought I would die. You took me for a ride in
The Tartan Taxi. It had tartan seats and tartan carpets
and tartan fairy-lights and a tape playing awful tartan
bagpipe music and the driver changed hats and smiled
like a lunatic as he drove us round and round and round
the same roundabout for half an hour.

You encouraged him Malcolm. You encouraged the
child in all of us, blew rasperries and pissed down
the back of pomposity. We will miss you Malcolm.
No one is brave enough to take your place. So when you
fell over for the last time on Monday the thirty first of January
two thousand and five, I really hope you had your knob out.

This last bit of the poem is a bit tasteless Malcolm.
Some people might be offended by it.
They might think it's not very nice to speak of the
dead in this way...what's that you say?
Fuck em Oy Oy!
Yes, that's what I thought you said.

©copyright 2005 Owen O'Neill