My Eulogy for Gerry Anderson, My Dad

Jamie Anderson carrying Gerry Anderson's cffin

If anyone wanted to read or re-read the my eulogy for Gerry Anderson, my Dad at his funeral – I’ve transcribed it here:

Jamie Anderson carrying Gerry Anderson's cffin“I’d like to start by reading you a reference that was written by Dad’s first ever employer – “Lewis’ Photos of Regent Street”. It was written in December 1944 when Dad was just 15.

“Mr G A Anderson was in the employ of this Company for about six months.

During that time he has shown himself to be honest and reliable, persevering, and always anxious to oblige.

He is leaving the company to better his position, and carries with him the good wishes of all”.

I think you’ll all agree that he went on to better his position – making a huge impact on the lives of millions, and leaving a phenomenal legacy behind him.

His RAF Certificate of Service and Release from 1949 stated:

“Corporal Anderson has been employed as a Radio Telephone Operator during his service in the Royal Air Force. He has proved to be a very capable NCO and RTO, and can be recommended to any employer as industrious and trustworthy”.

I think these documents go to show that: as you age, you don’t change. You just become more so.

Dad always told me that something wonderful happens when you die: You suddenly become a brilliant, amazing person, and nobody says a bad word about you. But he would be the first to admit that he made a lot of mistakes in his life.

So, I’m not going to talk to you about Dad’s television and film achievements, or go through a list of qualities he had. Instead, rather than talking to you about Gerry Anderson the TV producer; I’d like to share with you a few things about my dad.

My dad was not a great one for public recognition, but did enjoy the occasions on which he was recognised by fans of his work. In the early 1990s he was in London at some serviced apartments for a meeting. The caretaker who let him in instantly recognised him and said “Oh! Could I possibly have your autograph please” handing him a pad. Dad gleefully signed his name, and handed back the pad. Confused, and tiliting the pad from side to side, the caretaker said: “What’s this supposed to say? It doesn’t look anything like Donald Pleasance!”. Dejected, Dad proceeded to his meeting.

He loved keeping up with the latest gadgets. He was one of the first people in the UK to buy a VCR from Japan – the Philips N1500 in 1975. The guys at the sorting office had never seen one before, and so it never made it to Dad’s home. Being only a few years after the Post Office tower bombing: It was destroyed in a controlled explosion by the bomb squad! He was just too avant garde for some people.

My dad was amazing at creating drama. Not just in his productions, but in real life too. My brother, sisters and I all remember being told of the dangers of: riding bicycles, playing rugby, driving… even eating and drinking. He would tell us gruesome (but mostly made up) stories illustrating graphically how we might end up injured or worse if we took part in these activities. Terrifying images that stayed with us throughout our lives. But at the heart of it was a deep-seated anxiety to keep us safe and well.

He was once almost arrested at Edinburgh airport as he emerged from the ladies toilets to the sound of several startled women screaming. We all had to hide for a couple of hours afterwards to avoid detection.

My dad once made Thai fish soup with a very special ingredient: anti-fungal skin scrub that was intended for the dog. He insisted on eating a portion of the disgusting concoction before realising his mistake and phoning the vet for advice on how much damage it would do him. This led to our very kind vet adding a message to all future bottles of the shampoo: “Not to be used as an ingredient for soup”.

Finally he decided he would forgo the social stigma and embarrassment of people knowing he had Alzheimer’s disease, and became an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society – helping them raise over £1 million in the process. And it’s this that I’m most proud of him for; beyond all of his amazing television and film achievements.

Dad was very lucky to have some very special people in his life to help him along the journey. To those he worked with – what great teams you made, and what fantastic creations you shaped. To those who stuck by him as his Alzheimer’s progressed, and helped him make the most of his last months – thank you; you’ll never know quite how grateful he was. And to Mum – kinder and more caring than I thought humanly possible, Dad could barely express to me his gratitude for everything you did for him, and how lucky he felt to have you in his life.

Thank you everyone for coming to say goodbye to my dad.”


Please feel free to re-use sections of this, but please credit me, and this website.


  • paul smith says:

    thanks for sharing that jamie…. i find it hard to say exactly how i feel, but your dad made my life more exciting, more wonderful…… it has been a pleasure to be alive at the same time he was…. please continue to hold the torch in his name…. he should never be forgotten

  • Anne Pickering says:

    A very touching eulogy Jamie well done, a great tribute to your dad. I found the bit about your mum very touching and a bit tearful, because it reminded me of my dad and the dedicated care he gave my mum who also had Alzheimer’s.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Anne – much appreciated. The bit about Mum was the hardest part for me to get through. A few deep breaths and wobbles could be heard by those present on the day.

  • Philip Caren says:

    Really beautiful, I did the eulogy at my mum’s funeral and it’s one of the hardest things but most rewarding things I have ever had to do.
    Well done, and thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • Mike Adamson says:

    Thankyou for letting us read these words, Jamie, and to share in these insights. We have known your dad as a figure in our lives, some of us as long as we can remember, but these stories make him more real and human than ever before. You have a family of millions and we shall all miss him — always.

  • Jamie,
    I know how hard it was for you, as I was there as you know. No more a wonderful tribute could have been paid.
    I was outside, and there were many tears shed when you spoke. I am proud to be a “friend” of a man who could stand up, and bear his heart as you did.
    As much as I loved my late wife, I could not have done what you did on Friday. It takes courage, somthing at the time I lacked.
    Stay strong my dear fellow. Many people are behind you, and will offer support if you need it.
    Thank you again.

    Kevin Goodman.

  • Funny and touching. Thanks for posting it here so that everyone can reminisce with you.

  • Samuel Erskine says:

    Thank you very much for posting this Jamie. Your dad met alot to many. But being able to read this certainly means alot to me. Thank you sharing it.

  • Paul Mount says:

    Beautiful stuff. I’m typing in a room the shelves of which contain boxsets of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO, Space:1999, Fireball XL5…wonderful memories of wonderful TV created by a very wonderful man. But your eulogy reminds us that Gerry was a father and a husband and, above all else, a human being. I feel privileged to have been entertained by his FAB imagination. I also hope you enjoy the tribute feature I have written for the next issue of Starburst Magazine, a piece I am very proud of but would much rather have not had to write.

  • Robert Lewis. says:

    Thank you for sharing the eulogy. Gerry was a big influence on my life. and was privallaged to personally thank him for that and his achievements in science fiction.

  • Robert Lewis. says:

    Thank you for sharing the eulogy. Gerry was a big influence on my life and science fiction in general. I once had the privalage to thank him personally for what he had done.

  • John Nickson (Forum member john61) says:

    What is there to say except well done. Very touching words giving a valuable insite into the man ‘who also created Thunderbirds’ we learned about Gerry the man and more importantly Gerry the dad. The fish soup part made me laugh and touched a personal part of me because I did something similar once, and it raises a laugh if ever it gets mentioned, but that’s ok, it’s nice to have done something that brings laughter, even if it was done accidentally. I found your words warm and uplifting. Thank you for sharing them and thank you and your family for being generous enough to allow fans to share the day. I wasn’t there, I had to work, but I appreciate the sentiment none the less and thank you on behalf of all the fans who did go. I’m sure they wont mind.
    I look forward to reading future posts from you in the forum.
    John Nickson (john61)

  • Alain Marin says:

    Your father is gone in is XL5 . Good trip Gerry , Merci ,merci , merci . I am 52 years old ,i was alwais in front of our TV to watch those series..( in french in Quebec ) when i was little boy . I did a lot of model in paper to play with.I am an private pilot now , of course.

    I see you’r working to help other people .It is great .

    Salut Mr. Jamie

  • Fran Barry says:

    Hi Jamie
    I was standing on the outside of the chapel I was moved by you eulogy it was a well thought out and personal memory of your dear Dad and the memory about the Thai soup was a lovely touch I laughed with all the others standing outside, once again I thank you and your family for allowing fans to attend and participate in the day and be part of this special celebration to your fathers achievements and work also the continued generosity for allowing us to all share in the wake at Phyllis court in Henley it was lovely to see so many friends and renew acquaintances once again.
    I know you will continue to build on the legacy that your father left for you with all the charities and good causes that you personally support how proud he must be I shall continue to follow your Facebook page

    Kindest regards to you and your family

  • Peter Littman says:

    I would just like to add a few words to what I know has already been a huge response to the saddest day for so many of us. I am nearly 60 am a teacher and for several years have been teaching all my kids at school, year 4/5’s about your dad’s legendary tv series.My classes wrote to the Queen and several politicians trying to get your dad a Knighthood on sesveral occasions, though despite a response from Buckingham Palace, the Knighthood was not to be, Your dad very kindly invited me to his studios in 1984 to watch the filming of Terrahawks. Indeed, you were born at the sme time as my daughter, so we also shared experiences over the phone of early parent hood. Gerry Anderson will live forever in my heart, for sure. I wish you well. Kindest regards, Peter

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