The Flip Side of Gary Holton...

TV Times Article: February 15, 1986

They were beginning to think the new series was jinxed. Pat Roach's car burst in to flames in the middle of Bayswater Road in London; another car carrying Roach (Again!) and Tim Healy was written off in a car crash, leaving Healy with badly bruised ribs. Then an actor playing a minor but important role was taken ill and the part had to be recast.


Finally, in October, came the biggest blow, when Gary Holton, who played Wayne, died at the age of 33. There had been tension in Spain. Holton clearly believed that all publicity is good publicity. Soon journalists were queuing up for Holton's lurid tales of his pop - singing days. The rest of the cast, mostly family men, were horrified, believing that Holton's reputation would rub off. Tempers grew frayed. Holton appeared unconcerned. "It's not doing me any harm." he said. "When I finish the series I'm booked up solid for the next year." Despite the fact that he was drinking endless cups of coffee laced with brandy as we talked, Holton claimed he'd beaten the booze and drugs and that life was looking much brighter.


"Everyone thinks I'm a tough little whipper - snapper," he said, "but I'm not like that. I used to hide behind my image. I've always found it very hard to relax, and when I was a pop singer I traveled round the world and didn't see a thing. All that's going to change. 'Al right, I admit I'm a bit of a lunatic and I go at things 100 per cent, but I'm more mature now."


The last stories about Gary Holton, by ex - girlfriends mainly, were uncomplimentary, to say the least. But there was another side to Gary Holton. He always had time for ordinary people, and many remember him for his unexpected acts of kindness. There is the crippled old lady in a Spanish bar who was devastated when he died because he'd spent so much time pushing her round in her wheel chair and telling her jokes; the girl at Central TV who got flowers from Holton to cheer her up when she was depressed; the busker, amazed to receive the entire contents of Holton's wallet. The TV crew, generally hard-bitten men who get to see the less appealing side of actors, were so fond of Gary Holton that they clubbed together to buy a wreath in the shape of a huge guitar.


Thanks to clever editing and rewriting, Holton will live on as Wayne for months, and that's undoubtedly what Gary Holton would have wanted.

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*Many thanks to Gavin Owen

 

Dedicated to keeping Gary Holton's memory alive since 2003.