Sad news: William Franklyn and Nigel Kneale have died

William FranklynTwo pieces of very sad news. William Franklyn, best known for a hell of a lot of things, actually, but principally as secret agent Peter Dallas in Top Secret and as the voice of Schweppes, has died. He was 81. Over his 50-year acting career, he played numerous roles in shows such as The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Avengers and French and Saunders. He also took over from Peter Jones as the voice of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the BBC Radio 4 serial.

Nigel KnealeNigel Kneale, one of the best writers television has ever had, died on Sunday, aged 84. Apart from the Quatermass series and an adaptation of 1984 that caused national furore, he was also responsible for a number of spectacular one-off plays such as The Stone Tape and The Road. Virtually all genre writers today owe him a great debt. He’ll be sorely missed.

Author

  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.