Simon Pegg has paid tribute to his late father, John Beckingham, who passed at the age of 77 away on Wednesday (September 6) following a short illness.

A jazz musician, Beckingham was regarded as a legend on the Gloucester music scene, with Pegg describing him as “very much a Gloucester boy” and a “loveable man”.

“It’s amazing in some ways how many lives he touched but not in others because it was kind of inevitable,” Pegg told BBC Gloucestershire presenter Dominic Cotter, as he phoned into the station to pay tribute to his dad.

“He was such a lovable man. So loved by so many, and it’s really lovely for me and Michael and Stephen and the whole family to hear you guys talking about him this morning.”

Pegg reflected on how music was an “important part” of his relationship with his dad, adding that he “always marvelled at his passion”.

The Mission: Impossible star said: “For all three brothers, music was always around us. It was always in the house… my mum and dad separated and I would see dad every week. Music would be the thing that we spoke about and he’d play me tunes and music that I still love to this day. It was his motivation.”

Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg. CREDIT: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

He added: “I remember once, he played me a song by Randy Newman to try and articulate how he felt about having to leave me as a young kid; I know that was very difficult for him. But the way that he was able to explain how he felt was with a song, and I remember sitting in the kitchen in Bourne Lane, in Stroud, and he played me this song and I just remember bursting out crying because it was a very, very telling tune and the lyrics were perfect and that’s the song I’ll never forget. It was called ‘I Want You to Hurt Like I Do’ and it’s a beautiful song by Randy Newman.”

Pegg also recalled his strongest memory of his dad from when he was a child. “I think one of the strongest memories I have of dad is the first time I saw him after him and mum separated,” the actor said.

“I was only five or six, I think, and I had no real concept of what was going on; they never demonstrated any kind of acrimony in front of me. I was never aware that there was anything afoot.

“We were living with my nan and he came to pick me up for his first visit. I remember him coming up the side alley of my nan’s in a blue checked shirt and jeans with his arms open and I just really remember that. I’m 53 now and I can so clearly see in my head.

“That’s just one of many, many memories that I have of dad and I’m so proud of him.”

Beckingham is survived by his wife, Pam, and three sons, Simon, Stephen and Michael.

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