I was shocked and saddened to hear that comedy genius, Felix Dexter, had lost his battle against cancer at the age of 52 earlier this month. Felix played a huge part in my teenage years when he shot to fame as part of the multi-cultural comedy sketch show The Real McCoy back in the 1990s. It was something that all my friends at school used to watch during weekday evenings and we would laugh about it at school the next day.
Felix created a series of hilarious characters of which at least one would appear in an episode every week. There was the nightclub doorman who was dating a “white babe;” Douglas, the Patois speaking lawyer; Nathaniel, the Nigerian accountancy student; Samuel, the retired ticket collector; ‘Owl, the widower who thought life was better in the 1950s… and that’s not even a fraction of Felix’s memorable comedy skits. I also remember his one-off show that was shown by the BBC entitled It’s Felix, in which Felix played a number of his famous characters. I was watching it with my family on a Friday evening and goodness knows what the neighbours thought with all the non-stop howling that was filtering through the walls!
Felix Dexter wasn’t just a comedian; the St. Kitts-born star was also a versatile actor having appeared in Absolutely Fabulous, Bellamy, The Fast Show, The Bill, Casualty, Jonathan Creek, Crapston Villas… and the list goes on. Felix can still currently be seen on screen in BBC comedy, Citizen Khan. Despite his many acting roles and undeniable talent, it his ability to make us laugh and his skill of being able to observe people and create realistic and funny characters for which he will be best remembered. What’s amazing is that entertainment wasn’t Felix’s original career choice as he had trained and worked as a barrister. However his true calling was in performance and it’s fantastic that he realized that and was able to fulfil his ambitions. Going back to a time when political correctness was more over the top than it is now, it’s amazing that Felix was fearless enough to play on racial stereotypes – and get plenty of laughs.
Unfortunately, the laughter stopped on 18th October when Felix took his last breath. tributes came in from the world of entertainment. Those who knew him said that he wasn’t just an extremely funny man but he was incredibly warm, kind and generous. To his fans, he’ll be remembered as a comedy legend; for those who knew him, he has left behind memories of a truly remarkable man.
Felix – we’ll miss you. Thanks for the years of entertainment and laughter. I hope you’re making them laugh in Heaven.