12 May 2014

Paul Spragg

By now, you've probably heard the tragic news. Paul Spragg has tragically flown on at the age of 38, undoubtedly extremely prematurely. I won't dwell on the details as the wonderful people at Big Finish say it much better than I ever could here

Although I never met Paul, I really felt I knew him from listening to the (increasingly sparse) Big Finish podcasts and his active role on the company's own forums. He was always such a warm and kind personality, there was never any indication that his famous beam was ever broken. Despite not having one of the more prolific roles with the company, he was one of a few permanent members of staff. Paul was arguably the glue that held the whole operation together, managing far-reaching aspects of their operations. Despite all this, he was always the embodiment of optimism and personability. 

What makes this loss all the more devastating is that it came totally out of the blue. As Paul's girlfriend Natalie explains at the link above, he'd been minorly ill for a short time. When I first read the news part-way through my review of Andrew Smith's The Brood of Erys, I was in shock for a long while. Initially, I couldn't believe it. I wouldn't go so far as to say I thought it was a joke, but as I scanned the opening paragraph, all sorts of explanations were running through my mind as to what was really going on. Such a kindly and amiable soul, who always wanted the best for others. His tireless dedication and passion for life was tangible, even from the slight podcasts. I was always yearning for the next one, not to hear trailers of upcoming releases (in fact, I usually skip them) but for the chattering between Nick Briggs and Paul. I think it's a testament to Paul that even 'casual' Big Finish listeners knew who he was. Countless more have had their lives touched by his work and influence, even if they don't know it.

There has of course been an outpouring of affection from the Big Finish family. Perhaps my favourite is this from Nick Briggs:-

There have been many tributes paid to Paul, but I'll just highlight two here: one from his best friend of 27 years and editor of DWM, Tom Spilsbury; the other from his younger brother Nick. These are both touching and only serve to reinforce the loving memories we all have of Paul.

Although I've not dwelled much on Paul's past, the touching words laid out by the three above people say it all. Paul was never one to focus on the negatives, but emphasised all the positives of life. There's a lovely piece written by him for Geek Speak magazine here, which really melts the heart reading it back now. I think all that's left to say to Paul is thank you for all you've done for the world, you really did make a difference to my life. I am still distraught, and my thoughts are with his close family and friends. I only hope you can manage to do as he always did and focus on the best bits of life.

Paul Spragg:
Always Looking Fo'ward

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