Loss of Jimmy Elidrissi: an icon, arch and respected British actor, writer and performer

For a decade during the 1970s and 1980s he performed on the annual London free promenade. He died a writer, illustrator and performer

Jimmy Elidrissi, actor and standup comic known for his comedy and impression of Jimmy (the Big Yin) Tarbuck, died last week at the age of 74.

In its citation of his life and career, the UK charity rights4people described Elidrissi as an “arch and respected British actor, writer and performer, who was pivotal in the preservation of his Indian heritage through his art”.

As well as performing and writing, Elidrissi served as the head master of an all-boys school, a college lecturer and an ad man.

But as a volunteer on the annual London free promenade, he presented his act as a performing Indian.

Dorothy Raphael on Jimmy Tarbuck for 25 Years, 1963-1987 is a blog curated by her then partner Steve Phillips of People Changing Lives, who said of his friend’s death, “Shocked and saddened by the loss of my friend Jimmy, who died last week. Jimmy was not a Donny!”

His sidekick, the singer-turned-actor Tony Attwood, who voiced the character Waldorf Bellhop for the London free promenade, said: “RIP Jimmy Elidrissi, a gentle soul. Always such a pleasure to work with him, read his reviews.”

And Phillips tweeted: “Leaving this very sad note. Jimmy was a kind and sensitive soul. He was much loved and will be greatly missed.”

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