Kate Matheson

The Stage

Kate Matheson, widow of the late actor and comedian Rikki Fulton and herself a former actress and television announcer, died on April 14 at the age of 68.

Born Audrey Matheson Craig-Brown in 1936 in Newton Mearns, an upmarket suburb south of Glasgow, she had an ambition to be an actress from her teenage years.

She took various parts in repertory in theatres in both England and Scotland, sometimes alongside the actor Graham Roberts, whom she married in 1959. Her stage work included a role in The Mousetrap in London and a repertory season at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, where in 1967 she met up again with Fulton and they married. She said she had first fallen in love with the Scottish actor when she was a teenager in the audience at a performance of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever.

Matheson continued work as an actress, often directed by her husband, and toured Scotland with him in A Wee Touch of Class, Fulton’s updated version of a Moliere play which had been a success at the Edinburgh Festival of 1986.

As a leading comedy actor’s wife, Matheson helped build up Rikki Fulton’s reputation from the sidelines as he emerged in BBC comedies and serials, in films and as the other half to the late Jack Milroy in the ratings-topping comedy series Francie and Josie.

In the sixties Kate Matheson’s fair-haired smiling looks and clarity of diction won her a strong following when she introduced peak-time programmes for the home screen from the former Theatre Royal studios of Scottish Television. She was one of the last of commercial TV’s “in-vision” continuity announcers.

When Fulton developed Alzheimer’s, Matheson nursed him faithfully up to his death in February 2004. The stress and strain of recent years took its toll on her own health and she became increasingly frail through osteoporosis. Despite this, she succeeded in completing a book Rikki and Me about their life together and his latter-day battle with his illness.

For her own funeral at Glasgow, attended by many theatre-world friends, Matheson stipulated that “no black ties should be worn.” She wrote: “Please no mourning. We’re happy, we are together again.”

Gordon Irving

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