Tributes to Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em writer Ray Allen

Writer, Ray Allen, talking to Apollo Theatre members in 2005.
Writer, Ray Allen, talking to Apollo Theatre members in 2005.

Tributes are pouring in to Isle of Wight-based comedy writer, Raymond Allen, who has died aged 82.

Best known for his work on the 1970s sitcom, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, he passed away on Sunday, October 2.

Born in Ryde, in 1940, Ray went on to write for Frankie Howerd, Dave Allen, Hale and Pace, Jimmy Cricket and Little and Large.

As well penning over 30 plays, he will be best remembered as the creator of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

At the 2014 Amateur Theatre Awards, Ray Allen, centre, with Denise Farrow and the late John Hannam

The classic show starred Michael Crawford as the hapless ‘Frank Spencer’ and Michele Dotrice as his wife ‘Betty’ and was regularly watched by 25 million viewers in more than 60 countries.

His family issued a statement earlier, saying he had left wonderful memories and would be remembered as a very humble, kind and generous man.

Actor Michael Crawford tweeted: "So very sad to hear of Raymond Allen's passing. I send love and strength to his dear wife, Nancy and their family. His writing was the epitome of innocence and naivety. He gave me, as Frank, the most wonderful dialogue to perform, we traveled a very long journey together.

"Ray was a “one off“ for sure and still people watch “Some Mothers...“ with their great grandchildren. Farewell, lovely man and thank you"

Ray was well-known on the Island.

From Shanklin Theatre, where Ray was an honorary patron, director Vic Farrow said: "I knew Ray throughout all my time involved in Island Theatre and he was a keen supporter of both amateur and professional productions.

In 2011, front: Chair of Friends of Shanklin Theatre Peter Coleman; actor, Melvyn Hayes; chair of the Theatre Trust, Chris Quirk. Back: Dominic Pope, Ray Allen (wearing poppy), David Cable and Barrie James.

"He would often attend shows in his usual mild mannered way, as just a member of the public.

"You would be immediately be struck by his gentle manner and low profile persona. You would never in a million years associate his personality with that of Frank Spencer."

Vic says Ray would often turn up to watch Joe Pasquale perform and the pair appeared in a film to mark the venue's anniversary.

Vic said: "I shall always remember how Joe kept interrupting Ray’s attempts to film his item. Ray’s enjoyment of the occasion was a joy.

"He was a lovely, quiet and completely unassuming man. I shall miss him, as will many more who came in touch with him."

Outside Newport's Apollo Theatre in 2009 (from left: Lewis Grant, Samuel Robertson, Gwen Stevens, Ros King, Ray Allen, Charlie Harris, Susan Simpson, Scott Wraxton and Bill Holland).

In his youth, Ray went to Ryde Secondary Modern and worked as a cub reporter for the Isle of Wight Times, at the age of 16.

He served in the RAF and when he returned to the Isle of Wight, took jobs in hotels and at Shanklin's Regal Cinema.

He was once interviewed by Isle of Wight podcaster and author Josh Barry.

Ryde Town Council said it was saddened to hear the news.

In June, Ray was awarded the Freedom of Ryde, for his lifelong work in the entertainment world, his dedication to Ryde, and his support to many good causes.

The council said: "Ray truly was a talented man. Our thoughts and sincere condolence are with his family."

A Facebook post by Ryde Town Council.

The Isle of Wight Story Festival (which takes place in the Spring) said: "The Isle of Wight Story Festival team are saddened to hear of the death of Ray Allen, a unique comedy writer and natural storyteller.

"He was a humble, kindly and decent man and our condolences go out to his family and friends."