Bryan Bale portrait

Bryan Bale, 8th January 1944 – St David’s Day 2020

On Sunday, St David’s Day, my good friend Bryan Bale died in Cardiff.

I’ve known Bryan since the mid-90s when we both lived in Hackney. We first met after Bryan started going out with a friend of mine. The three of us met for a meal in Islington and there was instant rapport … even though at first I found Bryan a bit daunting. He always was a very big personality.

But I quickly came to appreciate his wit, his extraordinary visual sense (no-one could skrinkle a ribbon like him, and even the simplest sandwich was transformed into something “gala” and special), his wisdom and his kindness.

We used to enjoy sitting and talking after a meal, with a nice glass of red. We could talk for hours, riffing and making up stories about all manner of characters, imaginary and real. When I think of the way I write and speak, the phrases I use every day, I realize how much Bryan influenced me.

Sadly Bryan had to contend with ill health in the last months. At times I know things were very difficult but he always managed to see the positive. And he was blessed with good good people around him who helped him retain his independence, most especially Lee who is such a wonderful friend and support.

Bryan used to say “Life is for living. This is the performance – it ain’t the dress rehearsal.” Here he is in the BAFTA nominated film directed by his friend, Angela Clarke – Bachelor, 38.

Thank you so much Bryan – you were such a wonderful and true friend. I will miss you, heart.

A dear friend goes forward…

4 thoughts on “A dear friend goes forward…

  • June 17, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you Michael,
    I just came across this celebrant. What a lovely thing to do and what a lovely photo.
    I miss Bryan very much as well and especially at Christmas time.
    Every second Sunday in advent I drink a glass gloegg to Bryan, and wish I had the space to hold a julestue, where we could all drink to him and Maxi could sing ‘Bill’.
    Bryan was a true and faithful friend with a very big heart.

  • May 7, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for this. I’m his (gay) great nephew and it means a lot to see this sincere appreciation

    • May 8, 2023 at 6:23 am

      Thank you – I miss Bryan and all the times we shared very much. He was a true friend.


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