Remembering Malcolm Frederick

The actor, director, father, husband, proud Trinidadian and friend to many died on Christmas Eve

ACTOR AND director Malcolm Frederick has died from cancer.

Frederick passed away due to complications of acute myeloid leukaemia on Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December, 2019. 

Frederick was known for his starring roles in Get Up, Stand Up (1994 – 1998), Babylon (1980) and Burning An Illusion (1981). He will, however, always be remembered as the ever-popular iconic Basil East (Beastie) in LWT/Channel 4’s ground breaking sitcom No Problem! which ran for 27 episodes between 1983-85.

Born in Trinidad in 1955, Frederick came to the UK in 1968, joining the rest of his family initially in Harlesden. He later moved to Tooting, south London. As a teenager he became interested in acting and to the dismay of his parents left his well paid office job with Tate & Lyle to become a full time actor.

It was during his early career that he became frustrated with the lack of roles available to black actors and decided at the earliest opportunity to create a forum to tell black and minority stories. He was one of the founder members of The Black Theatre Co-operative (BTC) alongside Mustapha Mathura and Charlie Hansen, eventually becoming its artistic director from 1986-1990.

The BTC was instrumental in producing plays by new and established black playwrights, thereby giving jobs to black professionals both on and off the stage. After departing the BTC and continuing with his theme of “self-help”, Frederick set up Bachaks Productions alongside his business partner Keith Lakhan, producing the Channel 4 comedy sketch show Get Up, Stand Up, which ran for 20 episodes from 1994 – 1998, starring alongside Angie Le Mar and Chris Tummings.

Frederick was especially proud of the work he did with the Stonebridge Area Youth Project, a drama club set up by Anton Phillips to empower young people in one of Brent’s toughest neighbourhoods. He also wrote the popular children’s book Kamal Goes To Trinidad about his beloved homeland.

Frederick leaves behind his widow Beverley, children Jamal, Remi and Kamal, granddaughters Chyna and Kamea, his mother Norma and his sisters Lyn, Maureen and Gayle.

He will be remembered as a pioneer who opened doors and inspired many of today’s stars of screen and stage and his huge personality will be missed by all who knew him.

Comments Form


  1. | Sam Jones and Jane James

    We are so proud to have known Malcolm as a great friend and neighbour. The biggest,best and most irrepressible sense of humour as well as a serious actor of the highest integrity. We shall miss his presence enormously but his work and friendship remains and will always remain bright in our memories.


  2. | Jean dyer

    Sorry to hear of this loss. I certainly remember Beastie
    RIP condolences to his family


  3. | Edmond Terry Paul

    Malcolm was a very good actor with comic timings, from my generation and homeland. He was truly inspiring.


  4. | Nick Owen

    Such a loss. I worked with Malcolm and found his insight and experience invaluable.


  5. | Chandra Panday

    Deep Sincere Condolences

    Gone But not Forgotten RIP
    ♥ ♥ ♥


  6. | Maria

    Blessed cousin, gave so much laughter to many
    But will be missed for the wide smile cricket and family 🙏🏾


  7. | Sandra Francis

    Malcolm also joined the Caribbean Showboat in the beginning of his acting career. He was a great friend to all of us. RIP Malcolm and condolences from Hopeton Wilson and myself, Sandra.


  8. | Sandra

    Brilliant actor, may he rest in eternal peace ❤️🙏🏾


  9. | Micheal Gordon

    One of the pioneers and his story needs telling especially with the young people today..RIP Malcolm and thanks for the drama humour wit and intelligence you displayed effortlessly.Micheal Gordon

    Micheal Gordon


  10. | Ebony Hoyte-Griffiths

    So sorry to hear of Malcolm’s passing. My sincere condolences to Beverley, their children and other family and friends xxx


  11. | Geniva Olaniyan

    RIP my fellow Trinidadian. You have inspired many and will not be forgotten
    Your role in No Problem is a testimonial to your vast talents.
    We are proud of you.
    Rest well in the arms of the Almighty.


  12. | Sakou Nkrumah

    Loved this brother. may Allah bless him and his family.


  13. | Young person

    I didn’t know mr Fredrick but I want to say as a younger that I respect his reputation as a great black figure and I hope he R.I.P’s😇


  14. | James A M Joseph

    One of our giant minds


  15. | Jennifer Burnett

    I remember Malcolm from No Problem. Fantastic actor. He will be missed.


  16. | Debbie Allen

    Thank you for marking black history. We were here. Rest in peace, sir


  17. | Annemarie

    My favourite actor and he will never ever be forgotten by me may you R.I.E.P Malcolm Frederick 💙💙💙💙💙💙❤❤❤❤❤❤💙💙💙💙💙


  18. | Bee

    R. I. E. P. Beastie🙏🏿


  19. | Cynthia

    Thank you for being a good neighbour to my sister Doris. You will forever remain in our memory


  20. | Sue Allen

    So sorry to hear about Malcolm’s passing,some people come and go and others leave footprints on our hearts ,I never met you but read about your work and the legacy you leave behind ,Condolences to all the family especially Jamal and family xxhugs RIP


  21. | Mr Tigi Ness

    Condolences to all of Malcolm’s family. Malcolm was a dear friend. We met in 1979 at the Keskidee Black Arts Centre in Islington London. I remember all our good friends from the Keskidee Aroha Tour, together we travelled the length of the North Island, New Zealand that cold Winter. Malcolm helped bring about a positive change to our country, not many knew or would credit him for doing that, but he was a lovable humble person who was a catalyst for positive change in our country, and we who knew him pay our love and respect and remember fondly this Black West Indian Caribbean Trini actor with the English accent. Peace and love Brother Malcolm, from Aotearoa New Zealand.


  22. | John Adam-Baker

    Though we lost touch with just the very occasional crossing of paths, my first acting job was with you (Mutable Theatre Co 1977). I found you to be very engaging, humorous and for the time we spent together, good companionship. R.I.P. Malcolm


  23. | Mari Buckle

    What a true Legend
    Rest In Everlasting Peace x


  24. | Rose Brown

    “Rest in eternal peace Malcolm” Thank you for the laughter, on many a cold miserable day in London. You had the courage to take the bull by the horn in London at a time when there was not much black entertainment. Heartfelt condolences to your family


  25. | Marilyn George

    Rest in eternal peace Malcolm. I remembered the year you and Gail left to return to London
    We were all in the same class, my uncle Mr Phillip was our teacher. I then met up with your again in London. It was hilarious. Gone but surely will not he forgotten.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Support The Voice

The Voice Newspaper is committed to celebrating black excellence, campaigning for positive change and informing the black community on important issues. Your financial contributions are essential to protect the future of the publication as we strive to help raise the profile of the black communities across the UK. Any size donation is welcome and we thank you for your continued support.

Support Sign-up