Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

July 13, 2015

Keith obit

A lovely obit from the Camden New Journal for dear Keith

Keith Matthews - ‘life and soul’ of charity shop

Keith Matthews
Published: 6 July, 2015

A CHARITY shop manager who was the “heart and soul” of a Kentish Town book store has died aged 55.
Keith Matthews was loved by friends, family and customers alike, many of whom visited the Oxfam Books and Music shop just to have a chat. He was known for his “encyclopaedic literary and cultural knowledge”, no less than for his “great sense of humour”.
In 2005 Mr Matthews became the manager of the shop, where TV journalist Jon Snow once donated his vinyl LPs and comedian Noel Fielding was a regular visitor. Originally a general Oxfam store, the book section was doing so well that the store eventually became dedicated to literature.
One elderly shopper praised his patient and caring attitude to people who wanted to browse books – comparing it to certain other shops where customers are “told they are spending to long looking”.
Comedy was a passion of his, and he knew a great many faces in the world of entertainment, such as Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey and Jo Brand.
Mr Matthews was also a big fan of Radio 4 show Just a Minute on which he was the “absolute authority”, even helping to write a book about the programme. He claimed to have attended every recording since he was eight years old.
Born in 1960, Mr Matthews was brought up in Acton. Close to his family, he acted as a carer for his mother who recently passed away.
He loved his godchildren who lived in Kentish Town, who said he was “very loved and gave lots of support”. Aside from volunteering, which was a big commitment throughout his life, he loved socialising, singing, acting and writing. He had trained in drama and spent time working as front-of-house staff at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill.
Despite a long illness, his passing was “unexpected”.
A fellow volunteer at the Oxfam bookstore said: “There will be a large hole in Kentish Town as a lot of people came in just to enjoy his company.”