Michael Angelis, Boy from the Black Stuff, R.I.P.

How are some things forgotten?

I’ve just turned from the Guardian website and a short piece on the death of Michael Angelis, aged 71. They credit him as the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine. They reference his career by reference to roles in GBH, The Liver Birds, and Auf Weidersehn Pet. They mention soaps and such that he’s been in.

But not a mention of his greatest role, as Chrissy in Alan Bleasedale’s Boys from the Black Stuff.

Yes, I know that was nearly forty years ago, produced in and about the effects of Thatcher’s first Great Recession, but there isn’t a line or a grimace in that film that isn’t equally as applicable now.

Some parts are a ticket to immortality. Chrissy was one of them. Michael Angelis brought a wealth of emotion to it, and it is his monument, his legacy. And a newspaper supposedly of the left can’t even mention it.

Rest in peace, Michael, you were bloody good.

4 thoughts on “Michael Angelis, Boy from the Black Stuff, R.I.P.

  1. Unbelievable omission. Boys from the Black Stuff was astounding and Angelis’s performance was its heart and soul.

    Too many brilliant scenes to choose from but the one that leapt straight to mind is him interrupting the eulogy at George’s funeral,
    “I’m sorry father but you’re not on”.

    So much compassion and sadness behind the eyes. Amazing actor.

    1. I saw him once, in Manchester one lunchtime. He and Bernard Hill were appearing together at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Pinter’s The Caretaker. They were just walking down the street, talking. i recognised them instantly from Black Stuff. I could have asked for their autographs but i didn’t think it fair to disturb them in a private moment. H was great in anything I saw him in, but his other best performance for me was in another Bleasedale written TV show, No Surrender, with Joanne Whalley when she was absolutely stone gorgeous, and in which Elvis Costello made his first acting appearance..

      1. We’re right on the same page here. I loved No Surrender (and Joanne Walley). Angelis came out with the immortal line in response to Vince Earl’s bouncer muddling his words, “You’re quite good at one liners, but you don’t half fall apart on long sentences”.

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