18th April 1966

TV’s Jeeves is rushed to hospital on Guernsey

Dennis Price appeared in more than 170 films, but is best remembered for playing Jeeves in the BBC’s World of Wooster.

He had moved to Sark in March 1966 after filing for bankruptcy following a fall from grace, involving alcoholism, gambling and a failed marriage. Very self-aware, he blamed his bankruptcy on “extravagant living and most inadequate gambling”.

Price made the news one month after his move to Sark when he was rushed to Guernsey on the Flying Christine II ambulance boat. He was suffering from what his manager, Marcus Wootton, described as “Sark Tummy”.

He was kept in hospital overnight and said to be “quite comfortable” the following day following a full check-up.

A troubled life

Price had been born in Berkshire in 1915, and shortened his name from Dennistoun John Franklyn Rose-Price.

Although married, he was found to be gay when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. Unrelated to this, he had almost died after inhaling gas at a guest house in 1954. He was found in time to be revived, and taken to hospital to recover.

Price was only 58 when he died in hospital, in Guernsey, on 6 October 1973, where he’d ended up after falling and breaking his hip at his home on Sark.

He is buried on Sark.

The World of Wooster

The World of Wooster ran to 20 episodes in three series. They were broadcast between May 1965 and 1967. All were recorded in black and white. Derek Nimmo appeared in five episodes as Bingo Little, and Simon Ward in two as Eustace. Bertie Wooster was played by Ian Carmichael. Almost all of the material has been lost due to the BBC’s policy of wiping old tapes so they could be re-used. One complete episode has been posted to YouTube.

The World of Wooster was followed by a spin-off series, also on the BBC, called The World of Wodehouse.

Although popular with viewers, the BFI’s Screenonline reveals that,

[PG] Wodehouse himself was apparently less than impressed with Ian Carmichael’s performance (in his mid-to-late forties, Carmichael was at least a decade too old to make a truly convincing Bertie), and although he was much more positive about Dennis Price’s suavely avuncular Jeeves, he remained firmly convinced that the characters’ rightful place was between the pages of a book.


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Other events that occured in April

Guernsey’s first female murderer goes on trial 1st
A French fisherman is arrested and escorted to St Peter Port 2nd
Guernsey’s new population law comes into force 3rd
Guernsey’s oldest resident dies, aged 110 4th
An occupation-era minefield is discovered at L’Ancresse 5th
Birth of Stone de Croze, the original Guernseyman 6th
The first ever Guernsey stamp is issued 7th
Antiquarian William Collings Lukis was born 8th
Guernsey hosts its first Parkrun at Pembroke 9th
Alderney residents lined the coast to watch Titanic pass 10th
Norfolk pupils spend a week in Guernsey 11th
A plane hit a car while landing at Guernsey Airport 12th
Battery Mirus was test fired for the first time 13th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry fights at Ypres 14th
Guernsey Mormon Sampson Avard dies in Illinois 15th
Lieutenant Governor, Lord Ruthven, died in Bath 16th
Death of the Vicar General of the Channel Islands 17th
TV’s Jeeves is rushed to hospital on Guernsey 18th
Guernsey Airport’s new terminal opened for business 19th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie film opened 20th
Death of Guernsey-born footballer Len Duquemin
Three Jewish women are deported from Guernsey 21st
Guernsey bigamist got married for the second time 22nd
Aurigny pilot Ray Bowyer spots a UFO near Alderney 23rd
The States of Guernsey registers the gov.gg domain 24th
Guernsey-set film The Sea Devils hits cinemas 25th
Hydrofoil Condor 1 completed its final sea trials 26th
The first Muratti football match takes place 27th
Guernsey passengers stage a ferry sit-in 28th
Guernsey abolishes the death penalty for murder 29th
Finishing touches put to new hospital 30th
Murder suspects steal visitor’s boat from St Peter Port