Obituary: Brian Glover

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The Independent Online
Tom Vallance's otherwise excellent obituary of Brian Glover [25 July] made no mention of his radio work, writes Piers Plowright.

With his splendid voice and wonderfully amiable temperament, Brian was a delight to work with in the fast and furious atmosphere of radio drama. (Five days to do Dostoevsky's The Idiot from scratch - Brian played Keller in Kay Patrick's 1978 production.)

In the Seventies, when I was looking for an actor to play the name part in Terence Tiller's translation of The Vision of Piers the Ploughman I chose Brian Glover because he seemed to me perfect casting for that symbol of earthy honesty. A little later when recording Jack Emery's dramatisation of the 17th-century Putney Debates (an all-night session in All Saints' Church, Fulham) Brian was Colonel Rainborough, perhaps the most radical and egalitarian of those present whose vision of real democracy was not the kind of thing Oliver Cromwell was looking for.

Whatever the part, Brian just got on with it: a memorable Hubert in King John, the misanthropic Cottard in a 1986 adaptation of Camus' The Plague, a powerful Bob Crass in Michael Bakewell's 1989 production of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist.

He was on Desert Island Discs twice, the first time in 1980 when Roy Plomley was still asking the questions, and took part in a Woman's Hour feature in 1991 when, along with Ken Livingstone, Gerard Depardieu and Robbie Coltrane, he considered the position of the much-fancied "improbable hulk". On this occasion Brian said wistfully that he would have like to have been over six foot and with all his hair.

He didn't need either to be a wonderful and perceptive radio companion.