Sunday 13 April 2008

Madge bows out at 100

Now three or so weeks after the local council election, I've been taking a rest, just like Kevin. However, mine's not over on Double Island.

I missed in the week's leading up to the election, that Dame Edna's sidekick, and her faithful New Zealand bridesmaid, 'Madge Alsopp' died. She was four months off turning 101.

Madge was played by Emily Perry from 1987, when she was a sprightly 80 years, until 2004. 'Madge' was famous for never saying a word.

Prior to the comic abuse she suffered from Barry Humphries' Dame Edna creation, she ran her own Patricia Perry Academy of Dancing. Madge and Edna toured the world and appeared side-by-side on the famous chat shows.

Humphries has played Dame Edna for 53 years now, and is often lauded as a comic genius of the century. He met Emily Perry when she was aged 75. Perry had toured when she entertained troops during the war.

The Madge character was always the butt of Edna's jokes and the character was from New Zealand.

Humphries said that when they were alone she was the most amusing company. "Emily was a very intelligent and very interesting woman," he said.

Towards the last year of her life, Humphries visited Perry in her retirement home where she said she was "in hell".

"It is wonderful to think that, in last 25 years of her life, she became a star," said Barry Humphries. "I think if Dame Edna was to pay tribute, she'd say: 'I wish I'd been nicer to her.' "

Here she is with Dame Edna:

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