Hawtrey last hit the headlines in 1984, when a rent boy set his house on fire. Newspaper photographs showed him naked except for a blanket without his toupee. Four years later he died as a result of peripheral vascular disease.
He was sacked from the Carry Ons in 1972 after turning up drunk for work once too often. Re- treating to his seaside home at Deal in Kent, his last years were sad and sordid. He was barred from every pub in the town. One publican commented: “Millions of people think of him as a lovely person who makes them laugh. I try to remember him like that, but mostly I think of him lying on my bar floor with his legs in the air, absolutely plastered and incapable of speech.”
Paedophile Charles Hawtrey, after a 15-year-old rent boy who he had paid for anal sex had set fire to his home
Sometimes in long, turgid criminal trials, no matter how important to individuals they may be, the mind wanders in strange directions, and an ironist irreverently ponders the ironies contained within.
Ironies such Matthew Condon – the colour man for coverage by The Australian newspaper, owner and publisher of The Teacher’s Pet – likening the visage of the eminent jurist His Honour Ian Harrison, the man who will ultimately decide the accused Chris Dawson’s fate, with that of the ‘great British film comic’ (Condon’s words not mine) British film comic Charles Hawtrey, an indefatigably rampant drunk, and well-known paedophile with a perverted lifelong obsession with sodomising indigent young boys.
It’s a peculiar comparison to make in the observational reporting of a trial that’s very foundation is the alleged evil carnal desires of a Teacher to share a bed with his under-age student and Pet, and the murderous lengths to which he may have gone to fulfil them.
Condon’s words creating strange pictures are irony writ large, in a most unpalatable way. They are also – in the humble view of this unpaid, allegedly obtuse and quite stupid non-mainstream media writer and observer – somewhat outrageously untactful, and quite deeply disturbing.
In our modern, post-Epstein and Maxwell age paedophiles like Charles Hawtrey would be imprisoned for years, and quite rightly so. Yet here we are in the winter of the year 2022, and here we have Murdoch’s pre-eminent master of evocation Matt Condon both unreservedly praising such an awful man as great, and loosely comparing him loosely in looks to the learned man who’s got the whole of Chris Dawson’s world in his hands.
Power doesn’t make a good man great, just as bitterly expelled in the cups bile doesn’t make him evil.
But it sure does take the avant-garde to extremes.
Paedophile actor and comic Charles Hawtey as the character Percy Thorne in the film The Ghost of St Michael’s (above), and His Honour Justice Ian Harrison (below).
Do you see the likeness?
No, me either.