29 November, 2017
Here is the video from the Good Funeral Awards 2017. We’re pleased to pay tribute to Jon Underwood, who did so much to promote the idea of coming to terms with mortality.
After proper consideration, Fran Hall and I have decided that we will not be involved in any more Good Funeral Award ceremonies.
The pressure to find a venue, a host and a caterer every year is just the start. The event relies on sponsorship to pay for itself and there is a large administrative load to bear.
Fran has told me that the Good Funeral Guide can no longer provide the administrative support that makes the event possible.
We’d like to thank you all for your enthusiasm and commitment to the awards over the years.
For me, this ends seven years of being an ‘funeralworld impresario’.
It started as the Six Feet Under convention. I absolutely loved the HBO series and I thought there would be hundreds of people out there who would want to spend a weekend talking about the programme and the topics it raises.
It didn’t work out that way, but we did discover that the progressive end of the funeral industry didn’t have its own get-together. And there was a desire to do so.
The advertising guru, David Ogilvy, once said: ‘The best ideas come from jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.’
Charles Cowling and I thought it would be a hoot to have a ‘Gravedigger of the Year’ and we ran with it.
The Good Funeral Awards were born.
Within a few weeks we were in the production offices of a TV company that wanted to create a documentary about the awards.
Five years later, we’ve hosted six award ceremonies, and four ‘ideal death shows’.
The ‘ideal death show’ foundered a couple of years ago, because, apart from middle-class hippies, nobody really wants to get to grips with their own mortality. The exhibitors were keen, but the visitors were reluctant. It was impossible to make it pay, but we had lots of fun along the way.
The events have got coverage in the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Daily Mail, Newsweek. Participants also appeared on Sky TV, The One Show, Radio 4 and countless local newspapers and radio stations.
We’d like to thank everyone who bought a ticket, made a nomination or acted as a sponsor.
We’ve had some grim meals in some grim venues, but what talks! Like the one on the use of ecstasy in the care of the terminally ill.
And what stars we uncovered! Embalmers, gravediggers and unusual hearse hirers.
And what celebrities we attracted! Pam St Clement, Penny Smith and Ian Lavender.
I’d especially like to thank Will Hunnybel of Greenfield Creations. He’s been very generous over the years.
Thank you all. The website will stay up for another year, but emails are unlikely to be answered.