sutch’s life

Ten years after his suicide, Bob Solly recalls the bizarre life and times of Screaming Lord Sutch

sutch’s life

David Sutch was a true British eccentric, the kind of mad dog who goes out in the mid-day sun while everyone else runs for the shade – except he seemed to prefer the night. His natural time was after dark, dressed as a murdering ghoul in the name of entertainment. He was politically incorrect, but he is also remembered as a politician. His conflicting interests were carried out with a good-natured personality that was more complex beneath the surface. Above all, Sutch was an irreplaceable one-off who, like most genuine eccentrics, didn’t think of himself as being particularly unusual.

It was 1963, backstage at a dance hall in Kent, around the time when Sutch was developing his Jack The Ripper act. He’d been enjoying himself prancing about the stage in a cloak and top hat, shouting himself hoarse to a receptive audience. Now the show was over he looked like he was getting as much pleasure from relaxing. Sitting back, quiet and serious, he was ready to answer the question: “Do people ever say they think you’re crazy?”

He thought about it for a few seconds without reacting, then he grinned as though the assumption was reasonable. “Well,” he said, “you get idiots writing in, saying I’m bloody mad – but it’s me who’s laughing all …

by Bob Solly
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