Well, we are into November and it all seems a bit sad and not the best of times. My happy hour seems to have extended somewhat and we are back into a sort of lockdown but never fear, Paul is here, with a weekly ramble to the past.

Incidentally, thank you to the lady who stopped me on my visit to the corner shop and said these columns cheer her up. Not sure how I was recognised beneath my face mask but it was a very kind comment.

Of course, I cannot let this week pass without commenting on the death of Sir Sean Connery at the grand age of 90. I imagine it was a welcome relief insofar as I understand he had been suffering from dementia and that can be cruel. To me, as cinemagoer of the 1960s, he will always be my favourite James Bond and I have only seen one since he retired from the role. I know some readers will feel his 007 movies were sexist but they were of a different time. I cannot imagine producers calling the leading female actress Pussy Galore today, but having chatted with Honor Blackman, I know she never felt insulted but went along with the joke.

Harrow Times:

Columnist Paul Welsh

I suspect Sean will have shrugged in despair about his obituaries focusing on his Bond movies. I know, having talked to Christopher Lee and Alec Guinness, they hated the thought of the obits concentrating on Dracula and Star Wars but that is what happened.

I never thought of Sean as a great actor but certainly he had that star quality to light up the silver screen, which is rare. My personal favourite of his films was the Untouchables, but of course I like his Elstree movies such as Murder On The Orient Express and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. It was pleasure to have met him on the latter and a true film star.

Alas, Sad to know we have lost Bobby Ball from this damn virus. I met Cannon and Ball on the set of their movie Boys In Blue, shot at Elstree Studios during their most famous days, I think about 1982. I was meant to be interviewing them but I got distracted by chatting with the veteran director Val Guest about his past films. Look up his credits and you will understand why, but Bobby was a really genuine guy.

I was sad to read that that great comedy actor Stanley Baxter, now aged 94, has been a recluse for a number of years. I only met him once when he agreed to attend the plaque unveiling for Barbara Windsor at Elstree in 2008, which I hosted. After the event, I walked him to his car and he noticed I was still wearing my radio mike. He said: “Be careful that is not still live.” I replied by saying I would not give a damn and then told him I thought he was our greatest television impersonator ever. He had a tear in his eye as I felt he felt a bit forgotten. If you want to watch perfection, watch his send up of Upstairs Downstairs characters in one of his 70s or 80s shows. If you get to read this Stanley, I and many others bless you for the laughter you gave us and salute your superb talent. Boy, do we need some laughs these days.

Until next time, please obey the rules and then good times will lay ahead and I will arrange for anybody interested to join arms and stroll with me down memory lane via dead man’s gulch and lovers lane to a picnic spot by a babbling brook, and that is a promise.