Blue plaques for famous names dropped due to cuts

Graham Chapman Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989

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Just under half of the blue plaques currently shortlisted to go up in London are being scrapped due to funding cuts.

Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Monty Python's Graham Chapman are among those who will miss out.

The scheme sees commemorative plaques attached to residences that famous personalities have lived in.

English Heritage, which runs the scheme, said the cull was due to a 32% cut in government funding.

It added that the decision to scrap some plaques was "a matter of regret".

There are 40 famous names on the shortlist who will still receive a plaque, with some due to be honoured this year.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said it still had to get various permissions from home owners and local authorities - but that proposals usually get the go-ahead.

'Too early'

Those who will receive a blue plaque in the future include Ava Gardner, David Niven and Peter Sellers.

Others who will miss out include cellist Jaqueline du Pre and Lolita writer Vladimir Nabokov.

The spokeswoman added that the shortlist would not be cut down any further.

In a statement, English Heritage said a panel had reassessed the existing shortlist and that factors such as a limited association with London and the pre-existence of other plaques were taken into account.

The panel noted that du Pre already had four plaques in London and that there was a private plaque for Epstein in central London, adding that it may be more appropriate to honour him further in Liverpool rather than London.

The panel felt it was too soon to single out Chapman for commemoration ahead of his Monty Python colleagues, including John Cleese.

There are numerous other plaque schemes in London, including various council schemes, trusts and societies.

English Heritage said it hoped that "where appropriate, alternative forms of commemoration may be found".

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