On Wednesday night BBC4 will be screening their drama All In the Best Possible Taste - also billed as The Kenny Everett Story. Like any bio-pic, this will have to be heavily abridged - Ev crammed more into his 50 years than most.
Born Maurice Cole, he never found fame in his first job - cleaning the trays used for making sausage rolls - but he became Kenny Everett and, with the help of some incredibly creative recording skills, he awoke Britain from the slumber of the BBC. Luxembourg, pirate Radio London - and then 247 National Radio 1.
I first got to meet him in the late 70s when I joined London's Capital Radio. His notoriety at that time centred on him being unemployable. He had been sacked twice by the BBC, for offences which would now get you a whole new series. (Given what's now emerging about certain people at the BBC in the 70s, Ev was the least of their problems.)
He was Marmite - love or hate. I loved him for his audio creativity and his waspy gentleness. Capital gave him the chance he needed, working with people he loved. Ev, to me, was Beatles, ELO, Queen - big melodic musical performers whose tunes sat very well next to his own layered sounds and sketches.
I also loved him for his complete childishness in the office. Our open plan production office - called The Playpen - was where Ev ran wild on Fridays. If you hadn't been soaked by Ev doing a run-by with the plant sprayer, you simply were not part of the fun.
Then, I went off him a bit.
It was 1980 and I was hosting the Capital Breakfast Show. Ev had stepped down from his Saturday slot due to the increasing amount of time he spent on his tv shows. He was a massive star. I was told by the Controller that I must - must - carry an Ev creation on the Breakfast Show every morning.
Captain Kremmen and The Star Corps was a masterpiece from his Saturday shows.
To keep Ev's name on the station, Capital ordered new episodes of Kremmen to be broadcast every morning after the 8am news - peak listening time.
So - I would wait for these new episodes to arrive. These days, you'd wait for them to be recorded, listened to by a room of legals and then transmitted, once the pages of Compliance Forms were signed-off.
Then, it was different - the 8am news would come. A 3 minute bulletin. No sign of Kremmen. Take an early ad break. Still no sign of the spaceman - or even a taxi with a tape. Play a record. During record, cab arrives with tape. Tape gets rewound and transmitted without being checked.
This was not a rare occurrence. Daily I chewed my nails waiting for bloody Kremmen to arrive.
|Ev's box with my added date of tx. Thanks @thisisclive Clive Warren|
Sometimes we transmitted old episodes that we had. Nobody really noticed.
Because, by this time, Ev was not in a good way inside that head of his. He was being paid stupid amounts by both ITV and the BBC. He had become a hermit on a Welsh hill with animals. He was chemically altered - and he simply wasn't delivering on the deal.
Kremmen got worse and worse. On some days it would have such a long intro from a previous episode, with an even longer outro repeating it, that the new "original" material was only seconds long.
It was a nightmare for the management. And I was losing faith in one of my genuine heroes.
I will watch on Wednesday. And I will remember a stunning talent - a man who never lived long enough to see the real positive effect he had.
My thanks to Simon Booker for spurring this. "Betty" was a great friend and producer of Ev at Capital and beyond. He sent me the photo above recently - it's how we all remember Kenny.
And if you want to hear some tales of Ev - try this on iPlayer
YouTube is brimming with Ev. Remember Reg the DIY man?