Roy Hudd

if Roy loves birth­days, even far too his does come around he quickly! But the peo­ple those re­ally feels sorry for are now… with ones round about

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I’ve al­ways en­joyed birth­days – not my own I has­ten to add, they get far too close to­gether ev­ery year. Mine is ac­tu­ally half­way through the year – thanks Mum for ar­rang­ing that. But the peo­ple I re­ally feel sorry for are those whose birth­days are close to the sea­son of lash­ing out for all and sundry. I re­mem­ber the un­lucky kids at school who had to do with one present to cover both their birth­day and Je­sus’s – and I mar­ried one of ’em.

Deb­bie had a spe­cial birth­day this year and said she didn’t want a big ‘do’, but a sim­ple gath­er­ing of the Fl­itcroft clan (her maiden name) and some lovely grub. I gen­er­ously al­lowed her

‘I gen­er­ously al­lowed her to choose the menu and, need you ask, it did fea­ture her child­hood favourites, ap­ple crum­ble and cus­tard and Lan­cashire hot pot’

to choose the menu and, need you ask, it did fea­ture her child­hood favourites, ap­ple crum­ble and cus­tard and Lan­cashire hot pot. She still loves ’em to­day! We sat around the ta­ble with 14 fam­ily and friends (she chose all of them) and I was de­lighted when she in­vited my brother and his mis­sus.

In our busi­ness, we still travel all over the UK, and now over the seven seas, do­ing the job wher­ever we’re wanted. The one draw­back is not see­ing our fam­i­lies as often as we’d like, so to have a room­ful of peo­ple we love shar­ing a meal and a chat is a rare and much-ap­pre­ci­ated treat.

I was seated next to my brother, Peter, and Sy­bil, my sis­ter-in-law, and we didn’t stop catch­ing up with gos­sip (fact and fic­tion), mem­o­ries and sev­eral whis­pered jokes that I thought far too rude for the birth­day girl to hear. Deb­bie is very good at pick­ing the right cast for a show she’s di­rect­ing and she cast her birth­day din­ner per­fectly. The late Ned Sher­rin (That Was The Week That Was) al­ways said a suc­cess­ful chat show was down to get­ting to­gether guests who you’d in­vite for a din­ner party and my mis­sus cast a bloomin’ good chat show. It’s al­ways a joy to see her in­clud­ing ev­ery­body in the room, draw­ing out the quiet ones, match­ing adlibs with the witty ones, im­press­ing the young ones with her knowl­edge of things to­day and her un­der­stand­ing of their prob­lems, and her ap­pre­ci­at­ing the old ‘uns’ ad­vice and ex­pe­ri­ence. She loved her birth­day and, if you’re won­der­ing which birth­day it was, mind your own busi­ness... but this photo of her re­ceiv­ing her top present might give you a clue!

If you’re older than my lady wife you may re­mem­ber my 26-year run on BBC Ra­dio with The News Hud­dlines. The pow­ers-that-be re­mem­ber and, de­spite all the let­ters from lis­ten­ers, are broad­cast­ing some re­peats of the show on Fri­days on Ra­dio4 Ex­tra. Ooops! I nearly for­got – happy New Year to you and yours. May all your trou­bles last as long as your res­o­lu­tions!

Deb­bie’s big birth­day meant she’s en­ti­tled to a se­nior rail card!

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