It is with great sadness that I must mourn the passing of another TV legend from my youth. Bob Holness, the genial host of Eighties teens quiz Blockbusters passed away peacefully in his sleep on 6th January 2012, aged 83.
I confess that before Blockbusters came along I don’t think I had ever heard of Bob Holness, but both him and the show for which he is best known soon became firm favourites in our household, with everybody in the family joining in with the quiz whilst we were having our evening meal.
Whilst Bob Holness was probably best known to many for TV quiz shows, being the host on Blockbusters, a revival of the word panel game Call My Bluff and indeed his first appearance on British TV on the show Take A Letter (don’t worry if you’ve not heard of this one, it was on in the early Sixties) his career spanned almost 60 years with the main stay of his career being in radio presenting.
Holness was born in South Africa in 1928, although his family moved to the UK when he was a child and this is where he was educated. In the Fifties he returned to South Africa and in 1955 became a radio presenter. In 1956 he became the second actor to ever portray James Bond when he recorded a radio version of Moonraker, voicing the secret agent.
Bob was also the subject of an urban myth that claimed he had played the saxophone on Gerry Rafferty’s hit Baker Street. Not one to disappoint Bob used to play along with this myth and also embellish it, as he would also lay claim to being the lead guitarist on a song called Layla by Derek and the Dominoes.