Wednesday, November 16, 2016


From Wikipedia:
Michael Keith Billington OBE (born 16 November 1939) is a British author and arts critic. Drama critic of The Guardian since October 1971, he is "Britain's longest-serving theatre critic" and the author of biographical and critical studies relating to British theatre and the arts; most notably, he is the authorized biographer of the playwright Harold Pinter (1930–2008).

I'm always interested in the fictional lives of real people as depicted on TV, but also in movies like "The Player" and in books - the Toby Peters mysteries by Stuart Kaminsky, for instance.

Sometimes the famous person doesn't even have to show up onscreen to be accepted into the TV Universe.  One such case is Mr. Billington, whose birthday is today.  He was name-checked in a story from both BookWorld and Toobworld......

Again, from Wikipedia:
In fiction, Billington's name was introduced in Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham, later adapted as for the Midsomer Murders television mystery series, in which DCI Tom Barnaby coaxes deluded local director, and double murderer, Harold Winstanly into accompanying him to the police station by suggesting Michael Billington and journalists from various respectable publications would be waiting to discuss his work.

It proved to be a very "Sunset Boulevard" moment.  (Perhaps Barnaby had seen the movie and remembered that final scene....)

DCI Barnaby: 

And we'd like you to come along with us.
Harold Winstanly: 
What? Now? 
Oh, no, it's impossible.
I'm casting Vanya tonight.
Scofield will be here in a minute.
I've offered him Serebryakov.
But, Harold, the press are waiting.
That moron on the Causton Echo?
No, no, no, the real press Times, Guardian Michael Billington.
Michael Bill--#  Tom, is this true?
Oh, yes! 
I must have my hat.
Thank you.
I knew this would happen, Tom.
I knew they'd remember me.....

Here's what Michael Billington though about the public image of the theatre critic. 
Happy birthday, Mr. Billington!

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