Liam Rudden: There’s no time like the present

Keith Barron. Pic: Comp
Keith Barron. Pic: Comp
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IN my head, Terry Scott is still alive and June Whitfield is still in her fifties. Blame reruns of Terry and June on the Drama Channel.

Time passes quickly. More so than we tend to realise. Often it’s only when we see telly stars of yesteryear as they are today, that we realise just how much time has past.

The slow realisation that TV heroes such as Martin Shaw, the one-time bubble-permed heart-throb of The Professionals, is now just a year shy of 70 comes as a bit of a shock, not least because, if he’s aged that much, so have we all, no matter how we may like to fool ourselves otherwise.

I found myself reflecting on this last week when I interviewed Keith Barron ahead of Duty Free’s run at The King’s - it’s there until Saturday.

Chatting to him on the phone, I had a clear image of his character, David, in my mind’s eye; his dark, well, greying, hair. His hangdog expression when caught mid-misdemeanour by long-suffering wife Amy. His perma-tan.

He chuckled as he commented that in the new stage version of hit sitcom, David is making his last desperate bid for the object of his desire - while pointing out that despite the intervening three decades, he is still quite sprightly for his age.

That’s when it dawned on me, Keith Barron is no longer the middle-aged lothario I was picturing in my mind. So I checked his age. After all, he must be now in his late sixties. I was taken back to discover he is in his late-70s - 79 to be exact. The grey now replaced by a shock of white hair.

But then the TV series was 30 years ago, which means I’m now older than he was when he filmed those original episodes.

Now, that really is scary.