Dead Good Job (BBC)

Dead Good Job - BBC2

Dead Good Job – BBC2

When Jane Beckwith contacted me about appearing on a fly on the wall type series I was dubious to say the least. When I met Jane in person I quickly realised she was serious and this was for real, this series wouldn’t be looking for the cheap shot. Sure enough I soon saw the lengths they went to in order to be sensitive and respectful to both professionals and families alike. Oddly though, they never had a name for the series and when I heard it was to be named ‘Dead Good Job’ not long before transmission I cringed. Nonetheless Dead Good Job turned out to be the most thorough, insightful, professional, well thought through and sensitive, yet enjoyable and entertaining study of funerals I’ve ever seen. I loved the three-way contrast of the traditional English funeral director to the Islamic world of funerals and our own, but keeping it oh so real were the real life folks working through bereavement and one wonderful woman facing her own looming death.

Dead Good Job Cameraman

The scene you see here was shown on the programme

In his review header Nigel Farndale of The Telegraph stated, “Dead Good Job, BBC Two’s documentary about three very different funeral directors, was funny and insightful.” Sam Wollaston of The Guardian wrote, “Paul Sinclair, a biking vicar (the “faster pastor”), also specialises in speed, though with quite a lot of fuss. He has a fleet of sidecar hearses and powerful motorcycles to carry his clients – mainly bikers – on their way. And he likes to give them a “last blast”, a final twist of the right hand, that thrilling surge forward, blistering acceleration towards wherever it is bikers go next. There’s something lovely about that.”

Setting up the interview scene for Dead Good Job

Setting up the interview scene for Dead Good Job

For me it was an honour to be featured alongside such a heartwarming traditional funeral director and fascinating Islamic funeral director. I obviously don’t buy into the traditional chap’s “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” approach, because clearly it is broken when a motorcyclist or sidecar enthusiast isn’t even offered a bike, but the whole personality and personal care at Lilleywhite’s was nonetheless fantastic. Watching the Islamic funeral service in East London was nothing short of astonishing, I thought our Hayabusa service was fast until I saw what the Taslim family has to juggle in a day! Mind you, it did make me wonder why all the Christians, atheists and others have to wait days and weeks when Muslims can get through the system in hours, something unfair there I think. That aside, total respect to the Taslims, I doubt many of us could cope with all that stress. Stepping back I have to compare the tacky TV approach where they just take a cheap shot to this very serious yet fun series for BBC Religion where Jane Beckwith, Robert Cowling and the team worked tirelessly to get it right. Respect!

Robert Cowling and Jane Beckwith at work

Robert Cowling and Jane Beckwith at work


About Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair, often referred to as The Faster Pastor, has 30 years proven ministry as a pastor, speaker, published author and writer. His wife Marian is from Ghana and has been a minister in song for as many years. When Marian sings… expect an anointing!
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29 Responses to Dead Good Job (BBC)

  1. Mike Kelly says:

    You were brilliant and came over very authorative especially with the funeral bikes, very humorous with respect. Looking forward to the next episodes.

  2. Sonia Hammond says:

    An amazing piece of television dealing with sensitive issues rarely seen, though one day we all have to deal with.Well done Paul,your compassion and personality shone through and i have a lot of respect for the service you provide.You do an amazing job and touch the lives of others in a memorable way.A truly unique person giving an extraordinary service.

  3. Marina says:

    I watched it on iPlayer yesterday morning because Alan couldn’t bring himself to watch it with me the night before (he found the subject too upsetting). I expect there would have been many more people like him. It was very brave of the BBC to tackle a subject that people often don’t want to talk or think about – and they did it with great sensitivity. I’ll definitely watch the rest of the series.

  4. John Waller says:

    I have known Jock ( as I affectionately call him) as a colleague and a friend for 25 years now (scary!) he always did a good job and now does a dead good job. His story is fantastic and you need to hear it first hand. Invite him to come and speak, and because he has been in England for 25 years you will be able to understand him 🙂

  5. Adrian Pink says:

    I thought the first programme was very well balanced and came across as a good showcase for the funeral profession. Giving a wide insight to the many different faiths,beliefs and customs.
    Paul Sinclair from Motorcycle Funerals was a good ambassador for not only for is company but funeral service in general and explained a religious and non religious service extremely well for a lay person to understand. Well done Paul.

  6. Michelle Chenoweth says:

    It’s great to see you keeping up the good work Paul, as always doing a fantastic job
    No 1 in your field !!!

  7. Steve Jonathan says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the documentary. There were some fascinating insights. I also appreciated your dry humour throughout. Well done Paul.

  8. Brilliant programme! It was good to see your sense of humour come through Paul. Having used the services of Paul at Motorcycle Funerals, my brothers funeral was carried out with great respect, organisation and if I remember correctly a few “last blasts” along the way. My brother would have loved that and the fact we ended up near enough closing our local town due to the numbers of bikers who turned up, if you can have a good send off my brother certainly got one!
    Paul you really do do a “Dead Good Job”.

  9. Andy Aitken says:

    A very well put together and respectful documentary looking at the varying funeral traditions. Paul you have demonstrated again why you are an ambassador to both your profession and your faith! Well done

  10. geoff says:

    Well done, as usual, Paul! I agree with your comment concerning “if its not broke dont fix it”. Sadly a cry that can often be heard from some independant companies. Inovation shows that you are thinking about your subject and trying to help families in new ways, sometimes before they know they need that help themselves.
    Thankfully we have moved on in great leaps in the last 25 years, mostly for the benefit of the families that are served. Excellence in everything that is done, no longer undertakers but funeral directors and thinking business people.
    With regard to Muslim funerals. It is not surprising that they are able to move really quickly because they are geared up to do so. Once the death certificate is available then the registration can take place immediately, or even obtaining a certificate before registration so that the burial can take place, as all funerals are interments. No need to wait to hear back from the Vicar and check his and the church’s availability. The Imam is always available and services in the mosque are always at the same times – Friday Prayers being the most popular.
    A similar situation prevails in N Ireland because the bulk of funerals are burials. Cremations and the accompanying red tape certainly hold things up.
    Looking forward to seeing the next two episodes, hoping that they maintain the quality and balanced views.

  11. good show mate – you came across really well – totally agree with your philosophy on how a funeral should be too :-))

  12. Chris Chant says:

    Great TV program last night Paul, I enjoyed your comments !

  13. Great to see you doing what you do best on the BBC “dead good job” the other evening! It’s nice to see our profession portraid in a possitive and inoffensive manor! Keep up the good work.

  14. John Bullock says:

    Well done Paul, it was good to see you on the programme and you came over very well. You have come a long way since you appeared with Chris Tarrant Lol. Well done again and I’m looking forward to watching the rest of what promises to be an excellent series….

  15. Greg Hill says:

    Very interesting well worth watching.

  16. Alasdair MacLeod says:

    Well done Paul!

    It was a pleasure to watch a positive- true reflection on what we See , Hear and Do on day to day basis.
    Keep up the good work!

  17. Adrian Court says:

    Paul – first of all congratulations on winning the Best Alternative Hearse at the Good Funeral Awards – a very worthy winner!

    Secondly it was great to see on the telly and I really enjoyed the program and you gave it a humorous dimension but got your service over well to the viewers.

  18. Mike Keeping says:

    This is vintage Paul Sinclair at his best. What you see is what you get. He will not let you down!

  19. Alistair Porter says:

    Paulicus, good job you spoke really well and interspersed with humour also.I could listen to you all day,look at me when I’m talking to ya’ boy I say!!!

  20. Karen Kenyon says:

    Paul, from the day we met (remember? ;0), you always amaze me with you balance of humour, respect and honour. You truly are one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the priveledge to know. Seeing you do your thing was interesting and humbling. You do such an incredibly important job, and you do it incredibly well. Really interesting to see you on the programme, good job x x

  21. A really good piece of journalism, informative and respectful, both of its subject and its audience. You were terrific, Paul. You made all who care about good funerals proud of you and all you stand for.

  22. Ken Lown says:

    Good show and a good point put over very well Paul. I hope the BBC have not sourced the usual dreggs that are unrepresentative of the good, honest mainstream of the profession for other episodes. The camera likes you!

  23. Tony Boreham says:

    Fully agree what an amazing piece of television dealing one of those sensitive issues that all of us will have to face at least once in our lifetime. Well done Paul, like everyone else I am looking forard to the next episode.

  24. Richard Higgott says:

    Hi Paul
    Just thought I would let you know how much I enjoyed watching the BBC’s Dead Good Job. It was a great insight into a world seldom discussed. I was particularly interested in your thoughts regarding funerals for people with no faith (like me).

  25. Really enjoyed it Paul. You came across sincerely, but with a touch of humour and humanity. You were a breath of fresh air in the industry and there was a nice balance of characters and funeral types in Part One. I do hope Im not seen as one of the “usual dreggs” in the next part! And congratulations on winning “Best Alternative Hearse” – hope to see a lot more of Motorcycle Funerals around and about. All the very best to you.

  26. arjayw41 says:

    Hi Paul – You did a brilliant job. Humanity with a touch of humour. A great mix of characters and different approaches to funerals in Part One. Congratulations on the Alternative Hearse award – I hope we”ll be seeing a lot more of Motorcycle Funerals around. Well done on playing such a good part in the programme. A breath of fresh air in the industry indeed.

  27. CRAZY DAVE says:


  28. Martin Mashiter-Coates says:

    Having worked with Paul a number of times, his team are totally professional and go that “extra” mile, for the service he conducted for me and also for the route he took en-route to the Crematorium chapel.

    It is always a pleasure working with Paul and his team and the reaction that the families give after their family member has completed their final journey is just incredible to see.

  29. Shiori says:

    I had a rather hard time chosniog just one type of physician I would want to work for. So many of them fascinate me, and with me not really going into any medical field other than support, I never gave this any thought in the past. After reading the list, I am more favorable of working for a neonatologist. It is difficult to think about how neonatologist physicians sometimes have the most difficult job in the world, but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be a part of saving a baby’s life. I had a coworker once whose baby was born at 36 weeks, and her baby had a lot of heart and lung problems. There were concerns about whether or not they would ever fully develop once she had him, but after many months in the NICU, and many scares that happened during it, the doctors were able to save him and he is now a very healthy 5 year old. It is because of that I have a higher interest in the neonatologist field.I hate to say which type of physician I would care less to work for, and it is because I worry that many will take it the wrong way. When I was 16, I used to help my mom at an assisted living home as a caregiver. We would get to work at 7:00 A.M. every morning to prepare breakfast for four of the elderly men and women that we were caring for. We would then make sure that all bedding was changed, rooms were cleaned, meals were prepared, and appointments were handled. We worked 12 hour days, and they were always grueling. The owner of the home made sure that everyone had their medicine and made it to their doctor appointments on time. However, she was more worried about getting paid for her services than actually helping the elderly. She would yell at them if they did something wrong, and even call them terrible names. My mom reported her and we both quit our job, but it has always left a sting in my heart since then. It is because of my experience with that situation that I do not think I could ever work for a gerontologist. I know that the situations would be much different, but ever since my experience with caring for elderly individuals it is very hard for me to think about assisting a physician in geriatrics because I worry that someone else might treat the elderly in the same way the owner of the home did. I am a firm believer that the elderly deserve the ultimate care and comfort when going through any treatment and aging in general, but I do not think I could ever work in that environment again.

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