Remembering my friend Kit Hesketh-Harvey - Karen Koren
Today I attended a funeral in London for my very good friend Kit Hesketh-Harvey. I have known Kit as long as I have been working in the entertainment and event industry.
Kit was part of the very successful cabaret act Kit and the Widow, who performed at my very first venue, McNally's in August 1985. We became firm friends from then.
Kit was a musician, composer and screenwriter. He was always there to give me advice and support. He wanted to find me a boyfriend and he introduced me to one of his closest friends who had moved to Edinburgh. Kit thought that we would make a good match. We did make a good match for a short while and Kit was happy to give me the opportunity to meet someone new in my life.
In that year in August 1985, Kit met the young Hugh Grant who was at the Fringe performing in a sketch group called The Jocky’s of Norfolk.
That meeting led to Kit writing the screen play for the Merchant Ivory film Maurice and recommending Hugh Grant for the lead role of Maurice – which he played and was the beginning of Grant’s screen acting career.
Kit had a 30-year cabaret career with Richard Sissons – Widow. They had their own BBC Radio shows, their own West End Shows and toured extensively.
Kit and the Widow had a huge following at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and after they parted ways Kit joined with James McConnel and continued entertaining audiences as Kit and McConnel. I will miss Kit dreadully.
Kit’s sister is Sarah Sands, journalist and former editor of the Evening Standard.
Kit’s unexpected death came as a double blow to the family, as Ms Sands’ former husband, British actor Julian Sands, recently went missing while hiking in southern California.
Sarah said of her brother, “Kit was dazzling – clever, original, funny, kind.
"The last time I saw him he was busy mapping out pilgrim routes across Norfolk; there was always the next adventure, the next joke. He gave and gave and gave.”