Uncle Monty's five finest moments

Following the death of Richard Griffiths, we remember his classic turn as Uncle Monty in Withnail and I.

Today brought the sad news of the death of actor Richard Griffiths from complications following heart surgery. Griffths was best known in recent years for playing Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films but many will remember him most fondly as Uncle Monty in Withnail and I. From the cult classic, here are his five finest moments.

1. "I will never play the Dane."

2. "This is me, naked in a corner."

3. "Oh, my boys! My boys! Forgive me!"

4. "As a youth, I used to weep in butcher shops"

5. "And soon, I suppose, I shall be swept away"

Uncle Monty's drawing room in Withnail and I.
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“Minoan pendant”: a new poem by Mark Granier

“Yes – I press my nose / to the pleasantly warm glass – / it’s a copy of one I saw / cased in the cool museum”

Yes – I press my nose
to the pleasantly warm glass –
it’s a copy of one I saw
cased in the cool museum –
gold beaten to honey, a grainy
oval dollop, flanked by two
slim symmetrical bees –

garland for a civilisation’s
rise and collapse, eye-dropped
five thousand years: a flash
of evening sun on a windscreen
or wing mirror – Heraklion’s
scooter-life buzzing and humming –

as I step in to browse, become
mesmerised by the warm
dark eyes of the woman
who gives her spiel and moves
softly and with such grace,
that, after leaving, I hesitate

a moment on the pavement
then re-enter with a question
I know not to ask, but ask
anyway, to hear her voice
soften even more as she smiles
and shakes her hair – no.

Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Haunt (Salmon).

This article first appeared in the 16 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Britain on the brink