Hi everyone and this week once again I am saddened by the death of several showbiz stars. Several old Hollywood and British names have passed away in the last few weeks but I will refrain from mentioning most of them to avoid giving the Grim Reaper credit for his recent work.

I will mention two high-profile British names who have gone to wherever we go. Cilla Black had a rags to riches life story and enjoyed 50 years of record and television stardom. I am told she was worth over £15 million at the time of her death and was certainly a household name. Cilla had that so-called 'common touch' that endeared her to a generation and always had time for her fans. She was part of that 1960s Liverpool heyday but survived to become a Saturday night television star for over two decades.

However, fate has a habit of charging a price for success and in recent years Cilla suffered severe hearing loss and chronic health problems. It ended her career but her party lifestyle continued until the end. A big thank you to Cilla for bringing so much joy to people over several decades.

Then we learned of the great George Cole's death but again with sadness but no regrets as he had enjoyed a wonderful career.

Off screen George was a modest man and certainly not showbiz as he politely declined my invites to attend studio events saying that he was simply uncomfortable at such occasions. He even turned down an Elstree celebration plaque saying he simply did not deserve it. I wonder if he got those feelings from his 'honorary' dad, the legendary Alistair Sim. That great actor once refused to give me his autograph in a most polite manner, declaring he was simply an actor and it embarrassed him.

George told me he made a couple of films at Elstree Studios in the early 1950s, including Laughter in Paradise, plus a couple of television appearances here and even a Hammer horror movie called The Vampire Lovers. I met him when he came to the studio to record a television commercial about a camera with a famous photographer whose name I have forgotten. I think it was the first thing to shoot at Elstree when Brent Walker took over in 1988.

The public may not be aware but for decades the national media have kept obituaries up to date for all leading names. They simply leave the opening and closing paragraphs or video clear so they can rapidly update any last details. Alas this does not work for local newspapers so my obituary rests in the future hands of somebody who has never heard of me and can be condensed into a few columns. I wonder if I could write it myself just to get the facts correct.

In essence, there is a sort of 'death watch' on famous names. We are all guilty of forgetting about the passage of time, especially with film stars of yesteryear. We are now losing stars of the 1950s and 1960s, although to us old timers that seems only yesterday. To think the great Kirk Douglas is just one year off being one hundred years old! Not that far behind him are Sir Roger Moore at 88, the real James Bond Sean Connery at 85 and Sir Michael Caine at a mere 83.

I enjoyed the pleasure of meeting all those guys and in the case of Roger hosting a plaque unveiling in his presence at Elstree Studios nine years ago.

Finally, I was sad to hear that the 80-year-old Barnet Odeon cinema had closed but delighted that another company will refurbish and reopen it in the autumn. I never quite understand why the business plan of one company decides to close something whilst another is willing to invest greatly in the same building but that heavens for it. I first went to the Odeon in 1960 as a special treat I think to see Ben Hur, but forgive me if my memory slips after 55 years. Take care and see you next week.