by Sean Gabb
Note: I am, of course, not referring to our own David Webb in this annoucement. The last time I noticed, he was alive and well. SIG
It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death at 3pm today (30th June 2012) of David Webb, well-known and much-loved actor on stage, screen and television, and Director of the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Acts (NCROPA).
It is partly thanks to David’s tireless, and often thankless, campaigning over the years that we enjoy our present semi-relaxation of the laws against sexual expression. I helped publicise his campaign against the Customs and Excise in the 1990s, when he challenged their use of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 to seize a mass of pornographic videos that he had imported from Holland and declared on arrival here as “for personal use!” Though his challenge failed on a technicality in the Court of Appeal, the 1876 Act is nowadays used far less aggressively than in the 1980s and 1990s. I also fondly remember joining him on the platform at the NCROPA fringe meeting at the 1992 Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Otherwise, David was a frequent speaker throughout the United Kingdom on issues of sexual liberation, and he stood for Parliament on more than one occasion.
David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Though his doctors believed he had another year of life, his health began to fail a few weeks ago, and he died today peacefully and in his sleep at Trinity Hospice in Clapham.
He was 82. He was unmarried and without children.
I will make a further announcement when I know details of the funeral. His obituary will be written by Edward Goodman, his friend and associate of many years.
All who were privileged to know him will agree that David was a good and generous friend, with a fine sense of humour and an endless fund of anecdotes about his main career as an actor.
We will remember him.