He’s been gone for almost as long as he was here, but still occasionally missed, especially those times I’m tucking into something I know he would have liked and I feel the voice in my head saying, “Please note, I am indicating the precise position on the floor where you should place your plate; why yes, it is right in front of me now you mention it, kthx.”
Yes, it’s Alan Rickman. Rickman himself is not always guaranteed to make me smile – though many moments in the movie from which this picture is taken will have that effect. No, it’s his part in Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells II that does it. On the original Tubular Bells, each instrument was introduced by Vivian Stanshall, who frankly to me always sounds a bit like he’s putting it on. (This is probably heresy in some quarters, but Stanshall and indeed the entire Bonzo Dog Doodah Band were just a bit too aware that they were wild and whacky and therefore funny.) On Tubular Bells II, that role falls to Mr Rickman, and whatever mood I’m in, and no matter how many times I’ve heard it before, hearing his bored drawl utter “Grand piano …” always, yes, makes me smile.