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NORMAN BEATON

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It seems a life time ago since I watched the sitcom  DESMONDS but I got a chance to watch a rerun and suddenly a lot of memories came rushing  mainly great ones , at the same time I suddenly realised what a great bunch of actors and talent I was observing on the screen. I could go on about the social impact  the program had and the fact that all the cast  were mainly black and how great it was to see  black actors of such talent on the screen , and you know I would be right to I would have no shame in writing  about that .Yet  what I wish to focus on  is what really struck me back then when it all started and that was just how funny and well written the show was, actually I didn’t even think about the colour aspect  other than  this was an amazing show. NORMAN BEATON was the main actor and character within the show (born 31 October 1934 in Georgetown, Guyana) he was a very interesting character, as with all artistic people (some anyway) he found school a tad boring and so was expelled, yet this didn’t mean he didn’t have a work ethic or was lazy he would later go on to teach Calypso music and go on to record his own hit record in 1959. He would also go on to teach and from there he would begin writing plays his first was called JACK OF SPADES this would give him great confidence to develop his art. By the 70`s NORMAN BEATON was fastly establishing a career on the British stage, something that one wouldn’t expect to see at that time, but there he was playing the role of Ariel in SHAKESPEARTHE TEMPEST .It is good to notice that the man didn’t wait for roles to fit, but created them until his talent had become so manifest he was picking roles that others had written and applying the talent and love for it he had to convey the part. It was only a matter of time before this man was going to do something special, and true to form THE FOSTERS a comedy sitcom would appear on British TV this would lead to roles on the big screen also. Still it would take until 1988 when the show that would in many ways define his career DESMONDS would start, and the love affair for many British families would begin many of my friends Black White and Asian loved the show and its humor sure they didn’t all ge

 

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t certain aspects of the show but they knew how it made them feel .They might not have remembered what was done or said but how it impacted on them. Years later when we all got together (and still do) we look back and laugh a lot about that show. Growing up in the  here in the Uk  has not been a bed of roses yet I imagine growing up anywhere isn’t either .It was a show and the talent that lead DESMONDS that gave others and myself s countless great laughter and yet caused us to pause and thi nk how it made us feel. NORMAN BEATON sadly died on 13TH December 1994 and the world sadly lost and actor and writer and musician they had so underrated yet had come to love, even though not here,a strong legacy has been left and actors the world around can take note of just how one man chose to make his career and not just wait for it to happen. Norman Lugard Beaton Thank you for the inspiration. Today many actors of color are not just sitting and waiting to find work they are moving to further fields namely the US thus leaving many to question  why have we not noticed  this talent before, Somehow  the casting agents and producers of shows have to call in question their talents and qualifications in their particular roles. We need to remember that the market here is a small one and sadly this is going to freeze certain people out to a great or lesser extent right or wrong. Yet those with NORMAN BEATON like attitude will not allow that to stop them.

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