UK actor Geoffrey Palmer greatly loved for his film and tv roles roles in such sitcoms as Butterflies, As Time Goes By and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, has died aged 93
A reserved man, he usually remained out of the public gaze when not appearing on stage or screen, and rarely gave interviews. However in one he was quite passionate about rivers.
A keen fly fisherman, he told country magazine “The Field” “I was born a north Londoner but the great urban masses don’t understand the countryside or that Nature’s tough. If it weren’t for the fishing lobby, industrialists would have polluted every river.”
Fishing was his great passion.
“Fly fishing is the reason why I work, as (actor friend and fly fisherman) Michael Horden once said ‘I work to fund my hobbies'”.
Geoffrey loved nothing better than standing knee-deep in water in rivers in Scotland, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
“It was my wife who got me into it unwittingly. I was working hard and she thought it would do me good if she bought me a couple of casting lessons as a present. Now I hardly ever see her.”
“I just wanted to do this all my life. But I always thought fly fishing was something that terribly grand people did, like hunting and shooting grouse.”
‘Once he was offered a super part in a film – but the date clashed with fishing in Scotland. ‘My son Charlie said, “Dad, you’ve been working for sixty years – do the fishing.” So I did. And the film wasn’t any good, anyway.’
And that’s where he was often found – at a fishing lodge in distant Sutherland, with wife, son and daughter, equipped with rods, flies and waders – a world away from the film and TV screens he had dominated so effortlessly for nearly seventy years.
© The late Geoffrey Palmer fly fishing in Scotland