Joe’s Crow Country

BERNARD Matthews, the famed turkey farmer, died this week, aged 80. Terrible news.

We’ve all enjoyed some of Mr Matthews’ produce (apart from vegetarians), and it’s fair to say that he had a rather substantial effect on the nation.

His family and friends will grieve, but hopefully Mr Matthews’ memory will live on with his finest cuts of livestock.

The passing of some people leads the nation into a state of mourning.

It got me thinking about who are still about today, and will be considered irreplaceable and true national treasures.

There are the obvious ones – The Queen or any high ranking royal, former leaders, significant politicians.

But those who touched the everyday men and women of Britain, and provided the sounds, sights, and laughs of times gone by, will always be remembered more fondly.

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Ronnie Corbett was the first name that sprang to mind. I will always remember the front page of The Sun when his comedy partner Ronnie Barker died – ‘Goodnight from me’ – it read, and had a picture of Barker’s trademark glasses.

Corbett, too, has continued to raise smiles with a gentlemanly wit for decades, and will be missed when he goes.

Other rib-ticklers in their senior years who will eventually shock the nation with their passing include David Jason and John Cleese, who provided probably the two best-loved comedy characters of all time, in Del Trotter and Basil Fawlty.

John Lennon’s death came as a shock because of its nature and timing, and the day Paul McCartney has played his final note, and they are reunited at the great gig in the sky, tears will be shed the nation over.

Mick Jagger, and in fact each of the Rolling Stones, who continue to belie their age by touring, have given a soundtrack to generations, as have Roger Daltry and Eric Clapton, who are both old enough for a pension.

THERE were few surprises in the list of the wealthiest Brits under 30 this week.

Predictably, the three stars of Harry Potter make up three of the top four (with Keira Knightley the other one).

Coleen Rooney (�9,080,000) coming in at tenth was strange though, especially as she was above Cheryl ‘The Nation’s Sweetheart’ Cole (�7,916,000).

Unless she is taking a big share of her husband’s wages, I can’t understand how or why she is earning more.

It was refreshing to see some genuine talent in the list, and none of the ‘famous for being famous’ brigade.

Katie Melua, Amy Winehouse, Alex Turner, Craig David – like them or not, they have all forged careers through their musical talent.

The rest of Girls Aloud squeezed in at 26 to 29 though, which must annoy them. Their bandmate is up their in 14th, while they’re slumming it.

Nicola Roberts (I think that’s the ginger one), only made �3,233,000 this year. Pitiful.