I was so sorry to hear about Phil. We were very close when at university in Bradford. We were both crazy about theater and Phil directed shows and acted in very many. We were in a series of three together, written by Howard Brenton, the third actor was Michelle Ryan. The plays were published by Methuen and very widely used for teaching theatre courses. Because they were written for us, the names in the scripts for two of them 'Heads' and 'The Education of Skinny Spew', were just our own names , ie Phil, Michelle and Greg, The plays were a big success at the Edinburgh festival and we toured all over the UK with them. Phil played the big tough boyfriend, he was very funny, I remember his first line ' Rock's my name and that sums up my body, a symphony of gristle!' Phil went on to do loads more, we did a pantomime version of 'Dracula' in the Library theatre Bradford, and Phil played Dr Seward, I was Van Helsing and we became once again a double act. In any available space, Phil would entertain us with his terrible one liners, mostly about mother in laws. He was a huge funny character, rushing around, with a really good heart. Once i had to stay in manchester and Phil very generously asked his parents to put me up and I met his very kind and lovely family. i am so sorry that he has gone, but all my memories of him were very happy. Greg, 9/7/12 University of Glasgow
I worked for Phil (it was my first job) from 1985 until 1989 as his Production Secretary and Receptionist. I still have very fond memories of the little office in Crows Nest he was so proud of. Belinda was my mentor and Phil would let me use the RX-7 and later the Beemer...he was a generous, patient and a good boss. With the great foundation of experience and passion for your work, I have enjoyed a career in media and and the arts for nearly 30 years of which I'm so proud. Vale, Phil.....
He was a much better producer than he was given credit for, he simply loved the Theater. He raised the money for his first film, the Wild Duck, out of his little chemist's shop in Paddington. I asked him a couple of years ago if he still got residuals from it. "Always plays on TV in Finland about 2am on New Years Eve" he said . The last time I saw him was at my brother's memorial service in London.My brother was a theater critic. Phil knew more people there than I did and used the occasion to try and get a fringe show moved to the West end.. That was typical Phil. He loved to hustle . When I was really desperate for money for Blood Brothers, starring the then unknown Russell Crowe, Phil showed up with a check one day from an investor for half a million dollars. While i was hugging him with relief, he said "Just don't ask where it came from". I never met the investor but about a year later. long after the show had closed, I read he'd gone to prison for fraud . I rang Phil and he said "That's why i didn't want his money in one of my films". But, above all, he never let you down. He was as loyal a friend as you could have. He was there for you .When my father poisoned his foot on Bondi Beach and couldn't fly back to England for a month, it was Phil who nursed him. My parents adored him. So did a lot of people. We laughed a lot. He's probably watching one of his films right about now somewhere out there in the Universe, trying to figure out where the residuals will go now he's gone away.
I didn't even know my old mate was ill. He was a better producer than he was ever given credit for. He had great taste and really loved the Theatre. The last time I saw him he came to my brother's memorial service in London and as only Phil would do, used it to network and schmooze in true Hollywood style with all the Producers that were there. I once asked him why he always exaggerated his next project as in "I've got Tom Cruise interested". His reply was " Will, if I tell enough people I've got Tom Cruise, I've got to land Tom Cruise haven't I ?, it motivates me" which actually makes a lot of sense. When i was once desperate to raise money for Blood Brothers (starring the then unknown Russell Crowe) he produced an investor for a half a million and just slipped the check into my pocket. I was so releived I cried. And Phil just said " Don't ask anything about this investor". Later I heard the investor was in jail for fraud but by that time i was in America and Phil was in London, both of us done with the Theatre. We did have a lot of laughs. I loved him, he was a brother to me in lots of ways. I asked him about his films last time I saw him. "Do you still get residuals?" I asked. "The Wild Duck plays in Finland every Christmas eve, mate" he replied. Somewhere up there Phil's watching it again right about now.
So many memories of my cousin Phillip. Such a generous, kind-hearted man. It's hard to believe we won't be hearing his terrible jokes any more.He will be sorely missed. Gill and Gary