Oh, isn't Martin Clunes a lovely chap!!? I really enjoyed his "Desert Island Discs", even if the music wasn't always quite to my taste (I'm in total agreement with his wife & daughter who apparently leave the room whenever he puts Frank Zappa on the turntable! Since I imposed the 'Zappa ban' in our household, my partner has resorted to playing him either in the car or at work - but then he does own a record shop!!). Anyway, back to dear Martin ....
He seems such a gentle, caring soul ..... full of fun & a great advocate of laughter (I loved his admission that when he was younger he'd do anything ... including lighting farts!! ... to get a laugh!). And I also love his obvious devotion to animals .... he & his family have quite a menagerie at home, what with all those horses, sheep, chickens & dogs .... I wonder if his dog-loving cousin Jeremy had anything to do with this side to his nature??
I was so pleased that Kirsty Young brought Jeremy into the discussion ... for a while I thought only Martin's very close family would be mentioned ... but then, having lost his father at such a young age, perhaps an older & possibly wiser cousin was able to fill the gap a little? Whatever, it was clear that Martin felt nothing but affection & admiration for Jeremy, suggesting once again that JB was able to instantly light up a room & make everyone feel good about themselves. He brought up the 'ear-pinning' offer too, which I always find amusing ..... Jeremy was so considerate & genuinely concerned for him - no doubt because of his own personal battles with speech impediments & shyness.
Interesting that both men clearly had a tough time at boarding school & weren't particularly suited to the regime. The references to canings/beatings were certainly disturbing ..... and even though Martin is now able to make light of his bed-wetting, it must have been mortifying for him at the time & a reason for him to be an easy target for teasing/bullying you'd imagine (an aspect which Jeremy would have understood all too well?).
The comment about his mother sending Martin off to boarding school when his father died because she was worried that living in an all-female household would 'turn him gay' is extraordinary! One wonders if cousin Jeremy's homosexual/bisexuality was by then common knowledge, within the family at least, and whether Mrs Clunes had some rather odd, misguided ideas about how her son might also 'catch it'?!
I was interested & heartened to learn that Martin remains in regular close contact with David Huggins .... they are of a similar age I believe. Hopefully they're able to share many happy & amusing memories of dear ol' Jeremy .... oh, how I'd love to be a fly on the wall?!!
Anyway, I do hope you all manage to listen in to the show .... it's repeated at 9am on Fri. 23rd Sept. (BBC Radio 4). I'd like to get a copy of it, as I didn't take in all the details .... would it be something you'd want to make available on the JB Info. site, Rebecca?
Sherlock: "Oh ... MRS HUDSON!!!" (flapping a large map frustratedly over a table laden with tea things). "Mrs Hudson, you know you are hideously in the way". Mrs H: "I'm sorry Sir but I only have one pair of hands!"