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Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!

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posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:25 AM
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Who here in the UK (or who has access to BBC) saw 'Fantabulosa' on BBC 4 a few months ago? This 'biopic drama' stars Michael Sheen as the 'much loved' comic actor Kenneth Williams. Much of the drama was based on his diaries that have been published for a while. Kenneth Williams was found dead in 1988, the coroner recorded an open verdict, it's suspected he committed suicide by an overdose. Many would recognise Kenneth Williams from the 'Carry On' films, which he was most famous for. Older members would remember him from the BBC radio shows he used to do, such as 'Hancock's Half Hour'. He also used to present the children's show 'Jackanory' and narrated the animated series 'Willow the Wisp', which younger members may remember.

I have to say Michael Sheen played Kenneth Williams to utmost perfection, down to the smallest nuance. He mimicked everything, from his facial expressions, mannerisms, down to his multi-toned voice and of course the laugh (which is very uncanny!). He also played the duality, the conflict between his 'true self', and of his public persona very convincingly. In private he was a cultured and very intelligent man, who was accustomed to being well read. However people's perception of him was of the cockney saucy humour which was characterised on the Carry On films. It also seemed that he despised a part of himself, the fact that he was homosexual and equally saw it at 'abhorrent', and perhaps was never able to reconcile that issue. However no matter your personal thoughts of Kenneth Williams, the portrayal by Michael Sheen of one of Britain's most well known icon is superb, and has further solidified Sheen's reputation as an outstanding actor with immense versatility and 'craft'. It's a must see!

Here's some links to videos from Fantabulosa, however the first two are from other programmes, so you'll have to bear with it.

BBC Breakfast Michael Sheen Interview

BBC Newsnight Review

Hoovering Scene (This is absolutely hilarious!)

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