Gregg Nunney: Ghostbusters star Harold Ramis was my hero

Gregg's childhood heroes the Ghostbusters, including Harold Ramis, right
Gregg's childhood heroes the Ghostbusters, including Harold Ramis, right

Just before I sat down to write my column this week I had half a dozen or so ideas floating around my head.

I happened to flick on to the BBC website, however, and read a piece of news that changed my mind.

On Monday evening it was announced that the American comedian Harold Ramis had died.

Ramis was a screenwriter and director and was responsible for such classics as Groundhog Day, Caddyshack and Analyse This.

He also played Dr Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters and, along with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, was one of three heroes that I took turns in pretending to be when I was a kid.

I knew all the lines and not-so-secretly wanted the job when I grew up.

Firstly, bear in mind that I was born in 1980. That means I was four years old when the movie Ghostbusters was released and eight or nine when the cartoon series based on the movie became a hit.

I bought the comics, collected all the toys and even spent the school holidays playing in a home-made set of Ghostbusters overalls.

I won’t mention the friend I used to be a Ghostbuster with. I promise, Paul.

Anyway, for me, and a lot of kids from my generation, Ghostbusters was one of the first big franchises that we got into.

It was funny, a little bit scary and it was set in the ultimate must-visit-at-some-point-how-cool-does-it-look city of New York.

Jason Reitmen – American movie director and son of Ghostbusters head honcho Ivan Reitman – tweeted that it “feels like we lost one of the Beatles” and for someone of my generation that is spot on.

I know some will be scoffing at that comment but the very nature of pop culture is that it changes and different people become relevant as the decades pass.

Ramis was one of the stalwarts of American comedy and a proposed third Ghostbusters film just won’t be the same.