Thursday, November 29, 2007

verity lambert r.i.p.

i am mourning the death of verity lambert, who amid myriad successes was the the producer of the first ever doctor who. the telegraph obit includes the odd sentence:

"Verity Ann Lambert was born on November 27 1935, the only child of a Jewish accountant, and educated at Roedean, where she frightened herself watching Great Expectations on the school projector."

for me, at least, a strange collection of facts for a single sentence. anyway, the rest of the obit is linked at the bottom of this note. i note her passing for being in the vanguard of women who made successful careers in television. also, it happens that she was behind many programmes that i enjoyed, e.g., the naked civil servant, minder, rock follies, edward and mrs. simpson, and rumpole of the bailey.

telegraph obit

"The common factor was Lambert's tenacity and drive. A small, energetic woman, she kept up a ferocious schedule and refused to accept the conventional wisdom. Although not a writer she had an instinctive grasp of whether scripts worked and she also had a strong business sense. She was renowned for having a short fuse, and Jeremy Isaacs, her boss at Thames Television, once remarked that she could reduce grown men to tears."
the times obit

"n drama, not the controller nor even the writer, let alone the accountant, was king, but the producer, now a creature extinct in all but name. He (Verity, was a very rare she) was poised professionally on that rich cusp between the management and the talent - writers, directors and the hundreds of skilled creatives - outside. If the bosses trusted the producer, and often they did with a combative generosity, it was the producer who made a crucial difference to the health and vitality of the entire system. Verity was at the very top of this steep, wary tree. She had the greatest range, charisma and durability. Not only the producer's producer, but the audience's finest ally."

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