R.I.P. Gene Wilder

As Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder sang “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination”.

Whenever you watched a Gene Wilder film he transported you to a world of pure joy.

It’s been such a terrible year for celebrity deaths that when I first heard that he’d passed away, although I realised we’d lost a comedy great, I was so involved in something else at the time I didn’t dwell on it.

Later, as I watched the tributes to him on TV, I was hit by the sad reality that the loveable, frizzy-haired actor whose performances we’ve enjoyed for decades, will never make another film or TV appearance or step onto a stage again to entertain us.

Whenever he displayed his unique comedy talents in such diverse roles as the hysterically neurotic Leo Bloom in “The Producers” (“Give me my blue blankie!”); the monster-creator in “Young Frankenstein “(“It’s pronounced ‘Franken-steen”!); and the hapless would-be adulterer in “The Woman In Red”, the world seemed a better place for a little while.

We’ll miss you, Gene.