Hello again readers, after two weeks away during which I partied with Simon Cowell in Bermuda or spent the time indoors in Borehamwood, I cannot remember which.

I see the television ratings tumbled again this year, with nearly everything in single million figures. Long gone those halcyon days of the 1960s and 1970s when nearly 20 million people would gather around the goggle box, but then again we only had three channels and no computers.

I must admit I am currently enjoying a DVD box set of a 1960s television series, long forgotten, called Ghost Squad, a number of episodes of which were shot at the then newly opened ATV Elstree Centre, where the BBC is located today.

It is full of familiar character actors, many of whom I have been lucky to meet, and occasionally location scenes such as the Edgwarebury Hotel, Deacons Hill Road and the old railway station buildings and entrance in Allum Lane.

One of the highlights of my life was to organise what I called the Elstree Film Evening from 1984 until 2008. The first events were for invited guests only at Elstree Studios but then we made it a public event, first at the old Venue theatre and then at BBC Elstree. The evenings comprised of music from the BBC Elstree Band and film clips, with me also introducing various old stars and studio veterans in the audience.

I am proud that we never paid celebrity guests to attend or rarely provided even a car, but we attracted top names of yesteryear like John Mills, Lew Grade, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Richard Todd, Anna Neagle, Trevor Howard, Adam Faith and Nigel Hawthorne to mention a handful. We had comedians such as Ernie Wise, Eric Sykes and Frankie Howerd along with the likes of Honor Blackman, George Baker and Russ Conway, not to mention some of the Dad's Army stars.

Over 100 attended over the years and as host it was a real nostalgia treat. Guests had included multi-Oscar winners from behind the camera, but I was determined to locate a star of yesteryear who had been retired for decades. It was actress Luise Rainer who had won two Best Actress Oscars back to back in the 1930s and remained one of only a handful of stars ever to achieve that honour to date.

A few years ago I was advised she was living in Eaton Square, London, but was in her 90s, hard of hearing and a bit frail. I wrote asking if she would be our guest of honour and she phoned me at once and said she would be delighted. What a charming lady. Luise told me she had been the toast of MGM after her Oscar wins but despised the studio head Louis B Mayer and the studio system, instead choosing to retire at the height of her fame. She enjoyed our event so much that she returned the following year and both times received a standing ovation. I could not buy those memories and sadly Luise passed away at the grand age of 104 a couple of weeks ago.

I am also sad to report the loss of veteran character actor Bernard Kay and that great actress Billie Whitelaw, whom I invited to our movie memories evening at the Ark a couple of years ago but sadly she was suffering from dementia.

I see this year marks the centenary of the legendary Frank Sinatra's birth, and what a character he was, on screen and off. I spoke to Trevor Howard about working with Ol' Blue Eyes on Von Ryan's Express. I will not repeat his comments but the film was a great success.

Frank had a staggering career in film, radio, records and television, not to mention his concerts. I attended his last UK concert at the Albert Hall and the 5,000 audience were still giving him a standing ovation long after he had left the stage. I think we all knew we were watching and listening to the end of a legend. His last concert was in Japan and in tape of that event it is sad to watch him stumble on the words of My Way, even reading off an autocue, but they still loved him.

Frank never worked in Borehamwood to my knowledge but please correct me if I am wrong. In his last years he suffered serious illness and dementia before passing away in 1998. He was buried in a modest grave and his headstone reads 'the best is yet to come' . Very few of us are remembered even a few decades after our passing but I suspect generations to come will still enjoy the songs of Sinatra.