Kenneth williams

The next generation of gay men will be far more boring

Last week we broadcast my BBC radio Great Lives episode on Kenneth Williams. The effervescent comedian and presenter Tom Allen chose him. It was just enormous fun. You don’t, as a presenter, need talent to lead a programme on Williams: you just play archive clips and everybody falls about laughing. We certainly did. Funniest of all was his ‘Julian and Sandy’ sketch, about a holiday in Portugal. In the ‘Polari’ gay lingo Williams popularised, he described how they’d both been badly stung. ‘Portuguese man o’war?’ asked their interviewer. ‘I never saw him in uniform,’ Williams replied. And I fell to thinking: if in 1967 the BBC had broadcast a documentary