Peter Benedict

Victor Spinetti Memorial







On October 2nd 2012 a Memorial Service was held for the late Victor Spinetti.

The extraordinary range of his career and friendships was in some small way

represented by a series of readings from his autobiography, tributes from colleagues and excerpts from shows with which he was associated.


This section is for his friends and family

and those who could not attend.


I felt privileged to be allowed to produce and direct the event.  




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Devoid of hymns and with only a nod towards prayer,

Victor Spinetti's final farewell at St Paul's Covent Garden

more resembled a star studded pantomime

than a memorial service.


With turns by Sir Paul McCartney,

Rob Brydon, Jim Davidson, Barbara Windsor,

Barry Cryer and Michael Ball,

vicar Father Simon Grigg confessed

that he had never heard so many expletives at any service.


Proceedings were delayed because no one could find

diminutive Ronnie Corbett who was to read

from Victor's autobiography.  

Ronnie explained from the altar :

"I got locked in the lavatory at the back of the church.  

I had to shout and someone threw over a screwdriver.

I had to unscrew the lock to get out"


McCartney, with whom Spinetti appeared in three Beatles films, left his seat in the congregation to deliver his appreciation.


Davidson related how Spinetti had once convinced him

at a panto that Princess Margaret fancied the comic and that when she met the cast afterwards, she would wink and whisk him back to Kensington Palace.  But, recalled Davidson :

"She looked me straight in the eye and asked: 'Were you in it ?"



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