I never met Simon Channing Williams but he had the reputation of being one of the good guys. Channing Williams, who died of cancer this past weekend aged 63, began his career at the BBC where he worked with Stephen Frears, James MacTaggart, Mike Newell, Michael Apted and Mike Leigh with whom he went on to produce 11 films, including Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky. He also produced Nick Love’s debut, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Brothers Of The Head, and Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, working again with Meirelles on Blindness.
"He was a natural-born producer," said Leigh, "a great leader, always an enabler, a protector; never a dictator or an interferer. Infinitely generous, his life was all about doing things for people, and bringing out the best in everybody. He was the ultimate fixer, and a phenomenal organiser. He relished the impossible challenge, and loved the cut-and-thrust of negotiations, at which he was a genius."