Talk:Kenneth Williams

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So what is going on concerning the infobox? Infoboxes generally aid a reader in understanding the subject of the article; there is no point in removing it. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk • contribs) 19:11, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At last. Per WP:BRD, it appears the "D" part is lost on poor old Uncle Mitty. Anyway, you seem so confident that you speak for "the reader", but like everyone else here, you fail to provide a diff. Can you show me proof that this particular box aids the reader? Or is this another whimsical fancy picked out of the sky of nothingness? CassiantoTalk|
My dear @Cassianto:, I will copy my previous reply to you here, as you seemed to have missed it before: Simply look at the edit history of that article. Up until you removed the infobox two days ago the article has had an infobox since July of 2007. Over 10 years of editors not only allowing it to remain but also improving it by adding more information. WP:EDITCONSENSUS is the link you'll want to refer to regarding this type of consensus. If you'll take the time to read WP:INFOBOXUSE you'll see that whether or not an article has an infobox is wholly up to consensus, and you had zero consensus to remove it two days ago. Since then, you've been blatantly editwarring to keep it the way you want it. Now you can stop. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 19:34, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can copy and paste your nonsense here if you wish, my dear Uncle Milty, but my questions remain the same. I worry that you're talking gibberish and are unable to provide evidence of your rather bold claim that a mythical, infobox fan base existed prior to its removal. Rather than waste your time trying to justify this to me, why don't you start an RfC and link to the box that was there without a consensus? Or does the outcome of the RfC already exist in your own head, like the "consensus" that, apparantly, existed before it? Oh, and anything you need to say can be said here. You are not welcome at my talk page. CassiantoTalk 19:40, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where is the discussion and subsequent consensus that led you to remove the infobox twelve times within a 24 hour period? I can't seem to find that anywhere. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 19:51, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not a chicken and the egg scenario. The adding of the box came first, in 2007, without a discussion taking place. That was a bold edit that could've been challenged. The fact that it wasn't, doesn't mean a consensus is in place. This is the fourth time I've asked you to provide a link to evidence that a consensus - by the Cambridge Dictionary definition - was in place. I can tell you; a discussion was not had and you and your friends appear to think it OK to stick two fingers up to WP:BRD to disruptively enforce this cancer onto this article, where it does little good. Everything that can be found in the box can be found in the lead section. The lead section is a summary of the lead. We would not be having this discussion where the box actually does some good, like a geographical article; a political article; a film article; a sports article... This is a minor biographical article and this kind of dumbing down makes us come across as throughly unprofessional. CassiantoTalk 23:12, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Infoboxes tend to be really useful - a handy summary of the individual. Not sure why it should be removed? If it's been there for 10 years, consensus has been established, so removing it should be discussed. IMO. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 22:29, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IMO, you're talking bollocks. Perhaps adding it should be discussed? Or maybe you think participating in an edit war, without leaving an edit summary, is becoming of an administrator? CassiantoTalk 23:04, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can anyone provide a diff that shows it's been there for the last ten years, or is it simply a diff to show that ten years ago, someone thought it might be a good idea to add an infobox, and subsequently it's been removed/added/removed etc? People need to be careful before claiming things like "it's been there for 10 years" if that's simply not true. The Rambling Man (talk) 23:16, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A simple diff won't show that, but I've did a rough search to find the origin (checking every tenth edit or so) and some form of the infobox has existed since July of 2007: diff. At worst, it may have been removed at some point but was quickly returned. At no point has there been the type of edit war we've seen the past few days. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 23:26, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you can't provide a diff to a consensus-forming discussion? Thought not. So why do you insist on moaning that it is up to me to find a consensus when one doesn't exist in the first place? CassiantoTalk 23:29, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've provided the information you seek a number of times. You, on the other hand, have done nothing but provide personal attacks. We are here. We are discussing consensus. Please help if you are interested. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 23:33, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"We are Here". We are indeed. What's your point? So you now agree to seek a consensus to add the box? Great. If one forms, I'll not protest. But until then, the box stays off as no consensus exited in the first place. CassiantoTalk 23:37, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(ec) Well my "quick" search showed that it hasn't had an infobox for about six months preceding the 21 December edits, during which time a lot of quality edits were made to improve the article. So I'd say we're looking for a good reason to add it, rather than a good reason to remove it right now. Given that it simply repeats the text of the lead, it seems a bit odd that people are so hell-bent on adding an infobox. I see the Women in Red project people adding an infobox which just has the name of the individual, for the very same reasons I see given here for its inclusion. That, I'm afraid, is clueless crowd-following. The Rambling Man (talk) 23:30, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This has all come about from an 82... iP stalking my contributions, engaging in edit wars, and reverting my many edits across the website in order to create drama like this. Funny, they don't appear to be around much now... NeilN, this was the IP's goal, to create trouble and then slink off to the shadows to stuff their face full of popcorn. CassiantoTalk 23:41, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was removed here on June 28 of this year: diff. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 23:50, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct, so going on your logic, six months of no one reverting means a consensus not to reinstate is in existence. Or do you intend to move that goal post too? CassiantoTalk 23:54, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ten years of having an infobox means nothing though, right? --| Uncle Milty | talk | 23:56, 25 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like I've pointed out on your talk page, WP:SILENCE is redundant as I've challenged the "presumed" consensus. It is now up to that consensus to become established through discussion. A presumption, as pointed out elsewhere, is no substitute for an actual consensus. As the article started off with no infobox, the article is restored to this version pending a reachable consensus. CassiantoTalk 00:03, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Cassianto: Right- so correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that if an article started if with an infobox, and then was removed, the article should be restored to the version with an infobox, pending a reachable consensus? Or is this double standards? jcc (tea and biscuits) 00:27, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just seen your talk page, Jcc. In that case, I'll say nothing to you here either. Do not ping me or talk to me. I will not respond. And that includes thanking me, as you just did. If I have anymore of that I'll report you for harassment. CassiantoTalk 08:50, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are spectacularly missing the point. Thanks = acknowledgement of your wishes. Though report me if you want, you are after all the person who's been banned from my talk page, so we'll see how that goes. Maybe it'll go like your last ANI thread where you tried to report me? jcc (tea and biscuits) 12:05, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
12:08, 27 December 2017 Gerda Arendt (talk | contribs) thanked Jcc (talk | contribs) But it's fine to urge someone on with the thank button. CassiantoTalk 13:01, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I use the thank button, I am aware that it is open for everyone to see, and it means thanks and support, no "urge". I am quite generous with thank-you-clicks, as you probably know. On the third day of Christmas, for which Bach composed "Höre der Herzen frohlockendes Preisen" (Hear the hearts' rejoicing praise). Sorry, no praise for making an edit you knew would be controversial (such as reverting a stable infobox) on Christmas Day. I don't know what to think, but better unwatch now. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:11, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "Thanks" feature is open to a lot of manipulation. Would you mind if I don't AGF with your use of it? Would you not consider the adding of an infobox "controversial"? Looking at the crass, bullshit boxes you've added in the past, evidently not. CassiantoTalk 15:10, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment I don't really care either way if the article has an infobox, but this is not useful. Its information value is virtually non-existent. I believe "status quo/retain" argument are the only way to resolve infobox disputes, but you undermine the argument by invoking it in cases such as this. If the discussion cannot come to some kind of consensus about what would go in a "substantial" infobox then it should be simply dropped from the article. Betty Logan (talk) 04:40, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that the December 12, 2016 version of the infobox was not very informative, however this is what was there when the infobox was removed without any discussion just a few days ago and just over a year later than the example you shared. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 05:34, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Again, and for the umpteenth time in asking; where was the discussion when the box was added? You seem to think that the discussion only works one way? It's not and now that it's been removed, the article is at its last stable version. CassiantoTalk 07:39, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Where was the discussion when the box was removed? --| Uncle Milty | talk | 07:54, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In the same place as your discussion to add one in 2007. CassiantoTalk 22:32, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Uncle Milty: The addition of the infobox in 2007 may have been bold at first, but through ten years of silent consensus, it became the default stable version. Now removal of the infobox is the bold move, which was reverted, so we should be discussing that. jcc (tea and biscuits) 00:30, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    What a load of old shit you talk. Silent = non-existent, unless of course you can provide names of those who remained silent so I can now approach them to ask if they can now put something down in writing, supporting it. There is no such thing as a "silent consensus", see any dictionary and it'll give you the definition. Whether Wikipedia likes it or not, you cannot rewrite definitions. CassiantoTalk 07:34, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I went back a year to see what the actual long-standing stable version was, since that is the version that has enjoyed the "silent consensus" all these years. Everyone seems to be on the same page insofar that the version that has been in the article all these years isn't much cop. Betty Logan (talk) 17:05, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment An IB is redundant on *this* article as the relevant information is given in the lead; an IB is unable to provide sufficient nuance for detail so it is better in a textual format. Unfortunately, we have the same scenario as usually rages around almost every IB 'discussion': IB proponents insist it's perfectly acceptable to do drive-by additions of IBs, some at a rate of knots with IPs managing to do so too, all with no discussion whatsoever, yet as soon as the occasional removal of an unsuitable IB occurs, a flash mob appears twisting reasoning to fit their own preference. For instance, IB proponents insist that if an article was created with an IB respect must be given to the creator but apparently this does not apply if it was created without; if an IB is added without consensus IB proponents feel that's OK and requires no discussion yet scream any removals must have consensus. Same old, same old ... ... SagaciousPhil - Chat 12:45, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose infobox inclusion at this time. With what was there before removal, the infobox contained no info. The point of the infobox is to provide quick-glance information that gives a relatively inclusive look at the article subject's life. As it was, the infobox was the antithesis of its intended purpose. Without more in it, it's just window-dressing and useless. I generally come down on the side of being pro-infobox, but not in this case. -- ψλ 15:57, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment One again, we have the Gordian Knot of "should there be any infobox" and "what would be a useful infobox" inextricably tangled up together. If someone suggests a method of untying this particular seasonal puzzle, they certainly deserve a prize. But I strongly suspect we'll end up with yet another cut. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:06, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose -- I am neither for nor against infoboxes, in general. In fact, I consider them to be a great tool on complicated articles such as royalty, music, film, political, sports, military, and geographical articles; however, I consider them to be useless everywhere else. Here are some of my reasons for not including an infobox here:
    1. Undisciplined expansiveness: A maximum-inclusion approach to fields that leads editors to place repetitive, sometimes downright silly information in the box. (There needs to be clear, prominent advice about not using every single field in every circumstance, and rather the need to ration the information, shaping it to the context.)
    2. Visual degradation: The way this infobox squashes the text to the left, particularly on smaller screens, and restrict the sizing of the lead picture.
    3. Prefabrication: The prefabricated feel this infobox gives to this article: "here's quick and dirty info if you can't be bothered to read on—the very name of the box" says it all.
    4. Disconnected particles: Its domination of the very opening of this article with chopped up morsels that seem to contradict the continuous, connected form and style of the running prose. (If the justification is that adding an infobox provides both genres, the problem is this utter visual domination at the top—and see the next point.)
    5. Uncertain benefit for readers: The failure of anyone who promotes infoboxes like this to explain how they are read. (Do readers look at them first, before embarking on the lead? Does the existence of infoboxes encourage readers not to absorb the main text? Do readers hop from article to article looking only at infoboxes—an argument I've heard put for retaining blue-carpeted linking practices within infoboxes? Do readers just glance quickly at the infobox and then read the article proper—in which case, what is the relationship between the infobox and the rest, and does the former reduce the impact of the latter through pre-empting basic information that the reader will encounter in the running prose? What functionality is missing when an article does not have an infobox?)
    6. Better as lists: The fact that infobox information seems, in design, to be for comparison between topics. (If this is the case, the information would be far, far better in a WP List, where the form is much better suited to comparison, and the relationship between lead and table can be made to work very well indeed; see WP:Featured lists for what I mean.)
    7. Fictitious technical benefits: There has never been a centralised RfC or similar that means we need to provide dross for the deeply flawed nonsense of Wikidata. The information on the subject is already at Wikidata, so it doesn't need to be provided again by having an infobox. An infobox does not need to be here again in order for Google and others to use: they strip info from Wikidata, not here, so it's absence here does not affect either Wikidata or third party users. CassiantoTalk 22:24, 26 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose IBs aren't WP requirements and shouldn't be there "for the sake of having a box". If they don't fulfill a specific purpose on a case by case basis, there shouldn't be all the Sturm und Drang that seems to accompany a removal. More emphasis should be placed on improving/expanding a given article than on the IB.
    There are 2 million + stubs here at present. Many consist of perhaps a sentence or two with no references; quite a few of them have IBs and often the box is larger than the article itself. Here's one-New and Lingwood-3 sentences and 2 references; the box has had more attention than the article. It's been brought to AfD and what would save it from deletion wouldn't be the nice box it has. I concur with SagaciousPhil, Winkelvi, Betty Logan and Cassianto that no box is no big deal; it would be much better to try working together to improve the article than to spend the time arguing about a box. We hope (talk) 12:22, 27 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Restore the infobox per WP:INFOBOX, WP:BRD, and our general principle to revert to the status quo ante when consensus cannot be reached about inclusion or removal of something. This article had an infobox for years without any issue. I agree with the comments at the abortive ANI thread that this needs to go back to ArbCom. This "infobox warring" bullshit is really, really tedious (in both the pro and con directions) and needs to stop.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  22:48, 28 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    See also Talk:Cary Grant#RFC on Inclusion of Infobox, essentially the same discussion with mostly the same people just at a different page.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  22:51, 28 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Indeed, it is tedious isn't it. I'm so glad you agree. But your still happy to take part, aren't you, as otherwise, you wouldn't be here. CassiantoTalk 23:00, 28 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      And? Last I looked, no one had a gun pointed at their head and was forced to participate in discussions they didn't want to. I wouldn't call it "happy" to participate, but I will participate in discussions that appear to pretended WP:ARBINFOBOX didn't happen.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Hurry! Don't waste any time if you can get ArbCom to hear the issue! They refused to hear 2 cases on the subject in August 2016 despite the issues. We hope (talk) 18:02, 29 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      It's just a matter of time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose infobox per Cassianto and We hope. At risk of repeating what I've said several times in the past; an infobox simply offers no value to many bios in the liberal arts field, especially this one. JAGUAR 14:20, 29 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Restore infobox per SMcCandlish. Agree in all respects, including that infobox warring is tiresome. Agree also that this needs to be dealt with by Arbcom. Coretheapple (talk) 14:18, 31 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Restore infobox - it's been there for ages (10 years). The article is soo much more than a stub that having the IB info at the top is actually useful. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 04:47, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Another wild claim. Evidence of this claim please? CassiantoTalk 06:51, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Sure, Cassianto. Here's some evidence for you.
        • A) The infobox was added on July 25, 2007. I mis-stated slightly, as that means the edit was 9.5 years ago.
        • B) Per WP:STUB, "A stub is an article deemed too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject." This article, at over 3,000 words, is definitely not a stub.
        • C) Some of the information in the removed infobox isn't anywhere else in the article - for instance, place of birth and death.
        • D) More of the information in the removed infobox is at least half-way down the page - for instance, the cause of death. These two items mean that having the infobox at the top, with the associated information, is useful.
      • This article was stable for a very long time. So your change (to remove the infobox) should have a good reason. From what I can tell, your main argument is that the infobox isn't useful. Can you provide evidence of that? Because from where I sit, you seem to be exhibiting tendentious editing.
      • Furthermore, you seem to be arguing that nearly 10 years of stability is not consensus. In fact, you're asking for a diff or link for consensus "by the Cambridge Dictionary definition". Please consider that WP:CONSENSUS is probably different from the Cambridge definition, and that's by design. So we really only have three pieces of information to go on:
        • The infobox was added nearly 10 years ago. No discussion (and therefore no request for removal) happened, but no one objected.
        • You removed the infobox on December 23. Since that removal, an edit war has taken place.
        • In the ensuing discussion here, we seem to be relatively split. It seems to me that if we don't have a strong consensus to remove the box, then perhaps we should leave it the way it was for 9.5 years. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 17:34, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • A) What's your point? So what if it was 10 years ago? I don't fall for silent consensus'. I think they are bullshit. And anyway, consensus can change, apparantly, according to those on your side of the argument; or is that just exclusive to you and people who share your opinion?
          • B) What's your point? Michael Hordern, Stanley Holloway, George Robey, Joseph Grimaldi, and many, many others don't have idiotboxes, and they are featured content. They passed at WP:FAC without boxes in place. How do you explain that?
          • C) If it's not in the article then it shouldn't be in the infobox
          • D) Then adjust the lead? Or is it beneath you to add to the prose?
          • E) I had a good reason - the "R" in WP:BRD.
          • F) The evidence is in "the rest of the article". Try reading it, you'll see it's repeated, most of it in the lead
          • G) They have now. There is no time limit. Particularly when it comes to WP:CCC
          • F) It's not me who's warring; it's the idiots who believe they speak for every reader in the world.
          • H) Or perhaps not. Perhaps we should go back to the last stable version, which is without the bold edit in 2007.
            Please feel free to counter any of my points, as and when you have the time. CassiantoTalk 21:22, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • So you're an avid "get rid of idiotboxes" user - I get that. Some responses to your points:
            • You've used the BRD argument several times. If I read the history page right, you Reverted a user's contribution to the infobox back on the 23rd of December, and in fact deleted the whole infobox - with the edit summary "No consensus for this". You then reverted edits replacing the infobox Thirteen times over the next two days, all without Discussing the issue at all. That sounds like edit warring to me. Maybe follow your own advice and do all three?
            • I get that consensus can change. Usually that is done through discussion. Which is what is going on here. As I read all these comments, there isn't strong consensus to remove the infobox, though to be fair, there isn't a strong consensus to include one, either. My opinion? Spend more time making the article better and less time worrying about a stupid infobox. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 03:42, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
              • Wrong. This, this, this, and this should prove that I'm not an "avid 'get rid of idiotboxes' user" at all. I like infoboxes that assist in navigation around complicated articles, as per my comment in my !vote, above; I just dislike infoboxes like this that offer no purpose whatsoever, and are there purely because people like you think it's part of the Wikipedia uniform. It is not and it never has been. The MoS is clear about this and states that infoboxes are neither required not prohibited and whether to have an infobox and anything they should contain should be discussed on the talk page first. That didn't happen in 2007; someone simply added it without a discussion and it remained there for 10 years. Simply because it was left to wallow in all its stupidness does not render the MoS null and void, and the box untouchable. Nowhere in that rule does it say that an infobox, if sat there for several years, cannot and must not be deleted.
              • The onus is not on me to discuss. If you read that essay it is a 1-2-1 cycle: person 1 is Bold, person 2 Reverts, and person 1 initiates a Discussion. Just because person 1 is actually other people who watch the Williams page, socks or people who have no doubt been canvassed on private email, does not negate the cycle. I think you'll find that most of the reverts were done in equal measures. It takes more than one person to create an edit war, and if people are too thick to understand how BRD works, then that's not my problem.
              • 100% agree with you. Wow, I didn't think that would happen. Yes, people should stop worrying about the infobox and worry about actually improving the article. But the people who you've seen here have shown little interest in article improvement and think it is more important to worry about a box with a load of bulleted, uninteresting, and repetitive factoids in it, rather than to actually improve the stuff that matters - the prose. It's patronising of them to assume that our readership are too dense to be able to read a short and uncomplicated lead section to gain the information. Instead, they create an ugly, repetitive, and redundant infobox for these thick, uneducated readers to gain their information from. With regards to the lack of consensus for either? Well, the article should effectively be "reset" and be restored back to its most stable state, and that was before the edit in 2007. Discussion, should then be had about the merits of whether to include an infobox and what it should contain, if anything. CassiantoTalk 06:20, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            Re: Cassianto's "I don't fall for silent consensus'. [sic] I think they are bullshit." – That preference is immaterial, since WP works this way as a matter of policy. WP:CONSENSUS:
            1. "Consensus is a normal and usually implicit and invisible process across Wikipedia. Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus. Should that edit later be revised by another editor without dispute, it can be assumed that a new consensus has been reached. In this way, the encyclopedia is gradually added to and improved over time." A decade of no dispute fits the first criterion; removal of the ibox fails the second.
            2. And: "In deletion discussions, a lack of consensus normally results in the article, page, image, or other content being kept."
            3. And: "In discussions of proposals to add, modify or remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit."
             — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, infoboxes are best used for politicians & sports figures. GoodDay (talk) 07:09, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Why would that be true, and on what basis do you assert it? The vast majority of pool player bios have no infobox and seem just fine. Creating an infobox for, say, Lynette Horsburgh would be unlikely to improve the article, unless a special infobox were developed for pool players for organizing stats (as has been done with snooker players, e.g. Ronnie O'Sullivan). The majority of the holders of the political office of Vice-Admiral of Devon (and many others) have no infobox, yet do not seem to be suffering as a result. By contrast, Roger Moore, Lemmy, Stephen Hawking and insert several thousand more examples here have infoboxes that seem about as useful as infoboxes are (i.e., subjectively useful to some and a distraction to others, but overall supported by consensus or we'd just WP:TFD all the infoboxes and be done with it).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Restore infobox. It provides summary information in an at-a-glance form different from the lead and puts to good use some of the whitespace otherwise left to the right of the contents menu. In fact it expands on the lead on some points, as noted above. Since there was no infobox from July 2017 (that user's only edit to the article or talk page) to December, after which everything got hectic, I don't object to leaving it out until the discussion is closed. Pre-2007 is irrelevant. Since the arguments on both sides, except about what the status quo ante is, apply to a whole class of other articles, a broader RfC or, as SMcCandlish said, Arbcom case seems like a good idea, to avoid this whole debate, which makes unpleasant reading, being repeated endlessly. Mortee (talk) 22:31, 21 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The idiotbox should not carry anything that is not in the lead. The answer would be to extend the lead. But shudder the thought at actually writing something. CassiantoTalk 22:47, 21 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Anything in the infobox should also be in prose in the article body, so you're engaging in false dichotomy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:15, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      ...and you're engaging in a discussion that has long since died a death. Kindly go about your business. CassiantoTalk 20:22, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      No idea what you're talking about. You last commented in this thread yourself less than 24 hours ago.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:27, 22 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Re Added infobox with a known for section, which is what they are for. Sorted SparklyBauble (talk) 10:46, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The current WP:CONSENSUS is to not have one on this article. You will need to start a new WP:RFC to see if it can be changed. BTW known for sections are not a reason to add one. They are inherently WP:POV, prone to bloating and discouraged by the actor wikiproject. MarnetteD|Talk 17:20, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SparklyBauble is now checkuser blocked, so this is a non-starter.-- Jezebel's Ponyobons mots 19:14, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the uopdate Ponyo. MarnetteD|Talk 21:01, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I wanted to find Williams' age from the article at the date of his death, without having to use a calculator, but what - no Infobox! Annoying. His education would have been useful, as he didn't study at RADA or such like, also if he had any partners. All this would have been useful in an Infobox. As editors we should be helping the reader, not massaging their ego, who may prefer an edit war. IMHO, it really is a bit of old nonsense not having an Infobox. So I support / restore an infobox each and everyday. SethWhales talk 00:54, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Writing about mental health[edit]

The construction of "Though Williams was fondly regarded in the entertainment industry, he suffered from depression and found it hard to come to terms with his homosexuality.", although a conventional way of talking about depression, has the implication that depression has a very low prevalence in those who are held in affection by their peers, which I don't think is true. (talk) 19:38, 20 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree that's not true. But it is only a possible implication, as the sentence can be read as just a contrast between a positive aspect of his life and a negative one. Even if he was well regarded, of course, by others in the industry may not have made this apparent. Is this any better: "Williams was fondly regarded in the entertainment industry; but he suffered from depression and found it hard to come to terms with his homosexuality."? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:53, 20 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This sentence struck me in just the same way as it struck Does it indicate an assumption that depression is understandable, perhaps justified, in some people but not in others? The suggested alternative is an improvement, but the assumption is still there. Snugglepuss (talk) 12:24, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arguments on Just a Minute[edit]

With reference to this assertion in the article:

"He frequently got into arguments with host Nicholas Parsons and other guests on the show."

Does this, as I'm guessing (not being familiar with the program myself), refer to mock arguments within the program proper, i.e., collegial "play" arguments for comedic effect (along the lines of KW's pretend meltdowns on Round the Horne, though perhaps impromptu rather than scripted)? Assuming yes, I think the statement should be clarified, as it's currently ambiguous and might be interpreted to mean that KW had actual, serious behind-the-scenes disputes with his colleagues. Jcejhay (talk) 16:52, 29 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or perhaps it's a gray area, given the panel-show format? (As on Would I Lie to You? for instance, where the panelists sometimes engage in ostensibly "real" little arguments that are, however, probably amped up to make for good entertainment?) Anyway, I'd love to see the statement in the present article clarified insofar as that's possible. Jcejhay (talk) 17:01, 29 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Update: I've just edited the article to include a clarifying statement that I ran across in an editor's footnote to KW's published letters: 'Russell Davies, editor of The Kenneth Williams Letters, explains that Williams's "famous tirades on the programme occurred when his desire to entertain was fuelled by his annoyance,"' with citation. Davies goes on to say that "[w]hen he was really angry, he fell silent."Jcejhay (talk) 22:34, 30 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CN tags[edit]

CN tags are rarely helpful and smack of lazy, uncollegial editing. They merely stick a plaster over unverifiable information, and allow it to remain there until someone can be bothered to find a source, which is almost unheard of - I found a CN tag from 2007 the other day! Unsourced content should be removed on sight, per WP:V. CassiantoTalk 22:24, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or citations added, which is preferable. - SchroCat (talk) 22:28, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The way I read this section ( in the page you reference, CN tags are not necessarily discouraged. It sounds like it depends. Here, the subject is no longer living (the big concern, obviously) and the assertions are likely documentable by the next editor who has the Diaries in front of them while editing. There is no particular reason to doubt the unsourced assertions I saw; they just ought to be matched up with the specific diary passages that support them. Jcejhay (talk) 22:33, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure why the diaries are needed: the tag removed was in the "comic performer" section. The only information not cited is about Round the Horne, a featured article which carries references to cover all that paragraph, none of which is from the diaries. - SchroCat (talk) 22:37, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, this, for instance, regarding Hancock's Half Hour: "Despite the success and recognition the show brought him, Williams considered theatre, film and television to be superior forms of entertainment." Based on KW's known opinions I think it's likely the assertion is accurate, but really it ought to have a citation to clinch it. Jcejhay (talk) 22:41, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In any event, if I'm being told that (1) we ought never to use assertion-level or section-level "citation needed" tags, or (2) that citations aren't needed if the documentation exists in another article that's wikilinked, then I'd like to see a larger number of editors testify to this. Jcejhay (talk) 22:53, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think anyone is telling you that. My comment about the information being on another article covered two points: firstly that the diaries are not used in the RtH informatio that is uncited here (it was the only paragraph not covered by a citation in the section you added the tag into); and 2. The RtH article has several sources that are accessible to get the information to use here. - SchroCat (talk) 23:00, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, Jcejhay, very much at your fingertips, as it turns out. It perhaps would've been more beneficial coming here to seek a source rather than to tag it. I'm sure, between SchroCat and I, we could've pointed you in the right direction, or added it ourselves. I'm certainly not saying "never use" CN tags, I'm saying they are seldom ever helpful, unless it is used to aid an article that is under construction by someone who'll do something about it, as they have the sources. CassiantoTalk 23:53, 3 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC about "citation needed" tags[edit]

Is it inappropriate to use assertion-level and section-level "citation needed" tags in this biography of a non-living subject, where assertions are generally credible but specifically unsourced and the editor wishing to apply the CN tags does not have quick and easy access to the sources whence citations might come? Jcejhay (talk) 00:11, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sometimes - CN tags are rarely helpful and can smack of lazy, uncollegial editing. They merely stick a plaster over unverifiable information, and allow it to remain there until someone can be bothered to find a source, which, let's be honest, doesn't happen all too often. The oldest CN tag I have found is from 2007; that's 13 years that we have allowed unverifiable information to remain on an article. Unsourced content should be removed on sight, per WP:V, and it is, if it is seen straight away. It is no different doing this than it is removing it a few years down the line. If the result of a talk page discussion with those who watch the article fails to achieve the desired source being identified, it should be removed and not tagged. CassiantoTalk 00:40, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've never used an RfC before, but I thought the idea was to get new eyes on an ongoing dispute among three or more people—not for the individuals who are already party to the dispute to chime in again. Jcejhay (talk) 00:49, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you point me to rule that says those already involved cannot take part in an RfC? I mean, you're involved and you started the bloody thing! Or maybe you think the rules don't apply to you, but they do to those with whom you disagree? CassiantoTalk 07:21, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While I strongly disagree with the tone and somewhat disagree with the content of the statement "CN tags are rarely helpful and smack of lazy, uncollegial editing.", I do see citation needed tags as being useful when an editor sees that unsourced content has been added, but does not have the resources to source that content, but also does not feel it warrants immediate removal for whatever reason.
In the case of BLPs, content failing WP:V should absolutely be removed on sight. Content for non-BLPs is subject to less stringent removal requirements, but still must meet WP:V, and can still be removed at the choice of any editor at any time. Unsourced content that has been challenged must not be re-added (at least not without discussion and consensus), nor can citation needed tags be removed without providing a reliable source for that content. Note that a citation needed tag is effectively the same as challenging the content, simply without actually removing it giving other editors an opportunity to rectify the problem.
Additionally, adding content that isn't properly sourced is very poor practice on Wikipedia, as it does not follow the chain of summarizing content (primary -> secondary -> tertiary) that is expected of content in Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia articles should be summaries of what reliable, secondary sources say about a topic. Summarizing primary sources or writing "generally credible" content is the domain of original research, except in cases where "the sky is blue" or "water is wet" analogies apply.
Regarding parties to the dispute being allowed to "chime in", other perspectives in the dispute are allowed to have their say, also. Opening an RfC is an opportunity to have all parties lay out their perspectives so that the community can weigh the situation against Wikipedia's policies and guidelines and let consensus prevail.
The bottom line from me here regarding the main question in this case is that if the content has been challenged, then a CN tag needs to exist, the content removed, or reliable source added. That said, unsourced content really shouldn't be added in the first place. Waggie (talk) 02:20, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No wonder Wikipedia as a reputation of being the most unreliable and amateurish site on the internet. I also said "can". CassiantoTalk 07:24, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. It depends on context, and I have no time to dive into this, I also don't see what this does on one specific person's page, while it's a general question. I dislike tags, period. The are seen by readers and discredit our information. We could be polite and start a talk page thread, such as "in section Awards, the third entry needs a citation" (making this up, of course), and if nobody fixes it in a short while, remove it as unsourced. I work on Recent deaths a lot, where citations are required, and in that case I find cn tags helpful, identifying where there's still a problem, and meant to stay only for the short time between notice and being fixed. Lingering tags are a disgrace. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:46, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Later comment: Jcejhay, was the following intended as a reply to my comment, then please indent, otherwise better move it to your nomination above. Down here, it breaks the bulleted list of comments, and it will not be found by new visitors who will probably just add at the bottom. - I looked now at a bit of the history, and can only repeat: I dislike tags, the bigger the more. A little "citation needed" after one particular fact is one thing ({{cn}}), but a big general box at the top of a whole section is a different story. I don't know who creates these templates for whom, but I will never use one, not even the small one. We have article talk pages to attract attention of watchful editors, we don't have to lecture readers. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:33, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was a general reply rather than a reply to your comment in particular; but it was, in part, an attempt to respond to various intervening comments rather than merely being an extension of my top-level introduction of the RfC. Jcejhay (talk) 17:40, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will just say this, to clarify what prompted my RfC, and then leave it be: I have been using assertion-level and section-level CN tags (in various articles over time) as a middle ground between "this should clearly be removed, so I'll just remove it" (which I do when I feel confident it's the appropriate action) and "this needs a citation and I can just quickly supply the citation myself" (which I do when I happen to have a good source right in front of me). I thought this was what the CN tags were for. Sure, I get that it's always better to provide a citation for unsourced but sourceable assertions than just leave a tag, but I also thought the Wikipedia consensus was that a CN tag was better than nothing. And, obviously, I get the prohibitions against original research and against unsourced contentious assertions or unsourced, potentially libelous assertions re. living subjects; but there are plenty of instances that are none of the above, but are simply bits of information that appear to be part of a credible narrative and which I have no particular reason to question, but which are just specific enough to call for a citation, in my assessment. In those circumstances it would feel overly drastic (a little too "bold") to just remove it—especially if it's an entire section that I think is probably sound!—just for lack of a footnote. Someone more expert on the topic than I am can remove it if they see fit—or, alternatively, dig out the relevant citations, which I may not have the time or energy to do. I think I'm a careful and conscientious editor, but my level of commitment in terms of time and energy might be called "casual." I try to make things a little better, but I'm not always prepared to do extensive research over one sentence that someone else put in. What my concern and confusion boil down to here is that suddenly I seemed to be getting challenged for using CN tags in a way that I thought was perfectly consistent with how they're supposed to be used—though, again, I understand that this is always second best to finding a suitable citation, if one is prepared to go to those lengths. Jcejhay (talk) 12:50, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"I thought the idea was to get new eyes on an ongoing dispute among three or more people—not for the individuals who are already party to the dispute to chime in again". CassiantoTalk 13:10, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, you seemed to have grounds for disputing that, and I'm willing to believe you may have more expertise re. RfC use than I do. Anyway, based on the comments above, a clarifying statement from me seemed called for. At least one commenter seemed unsure of the reason why I'd put the RfC here. Jcejhay (talk) 13:16, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just so long as you remember an RfC is for everyone, regardless of any prior discussions that may have taken place. CassiantoTalk 13:25, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey, I wasn't trying to shut you out. It's just that I thought (and apologies if I was mistaken) the point of an RfC was to get outside opinions—and then, sure, those of us in the original dispute might respond to those. I was just taken aback when the first comment in the RfC was from you rather than someone new. True, I had to speak first in the course of introducing the RfC, but that was obligatory—and I tried to keep the wording there relatively neutral. Jcejhay (talk) 13:29, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. I sometimes feel the tags are helpful at pointing out the facts that most need sourcing. But they also should be used sparingly and with an understanding of how active an article is edited. Many articles have glaring typos and mistakes that are eventually fixed but sometimes they remain for quite some time. Other articles are well watched over with most problems quickly addressed.

    With this article I suggest having only a few tags at once and exercise patience. If you feel the list is large maybe make a list on the talk page and encourage people to tackle it? There’s also a reasonable chance that one or more sources will cover the bulk of them. Gleeanon409 (talk) 16:48, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • There is no difference to leaving a tag and not putting one on; the information remains unverifiable. It is extremely rare, if not unheard of, of a tag being put on a stub or C-class article and then someone coming along an hour or so later to provide a source. It just doesn't happen. Putting on a tag does not solve the problem, as I found out when I found a tag that had been put in 13 years ago. That is why, going to the talk first is a better option than simply bill-postering an article in the hope someone, somewhere, at sometime, will fix it for you. That way, those interested in the subject will see it and they are more inclined to have a source. CassiantoTalk 17:49, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For a while I was trying to make occasional use of talk pages for more or less the sort of purpose you describe, but I stopped doing that because it seemed my queries/suggestions went unanswered (or were misunderstood). So I gave up on that approach. Granted, the problem of unanswered talk gambits does underscore your point about articles that lie neglected, and I don't deny that a CN tag that lingers in perpetuity is problematic in a similar way. On the one hand, lingering CN tags are even worse because they're more visible than talk posts (I can understand why some of the people here find them an embarrassment); on the other hand, the fact that it's visible at least cautions the reader that an assertion may deserve checking up on (as opposed to the more clear-cut cases where outright removal is justified). Even if the citation never arrives, at least there's a sort of "yellow flag" to alert the reader. That's how I see it, anyway. Jcejhay (talk) 17:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What kind of encyclopaedia includes a piece of information and then tells the reader..."actually, this may be false, I would suggest you go somewhere else to check this first as we can't be sure if what we're saying is true". It is embarrassing and only goes some way into building a view that Wikipedia should be avoided at all costs if you want verifiable, trustworthy information. CassiantoTalk 17:55, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With all due respect, Cassianto, you are oversimplifying. I think everyone in this conversation understands and supports the principle of verifiable, trustworthy information; but I think we also recognize gray areas when we see them (which, to echo Waggie above, can emerge for various reasons). To take one of the examples from this article: It was asserted (not by me) that KW never came to terms with his homosexuality. This was not sourced, per se, and yet I recognized, from recently browsing through KW's letters, that he said various things that might well, to a more dedicated reader, justify the assessment that KW never came to terms etc. I also thought it quite likely that the diaries (which I have not read) would provide ample evidence for such an assertion, and I suspected that whoever made the assertion had based it on such evidence, but had neglected to footnote it. Obviously, if KW were still alive, such an unsourced assertion would have to go. Given that he is not, I personally did not feel justified in removing what was probably a defensible summary of KW's attitude (but one which probably ought to be sourced). Hence my use of the CN tag. Please understand that I would not have objected to the assertion being removed instead by a subsequent editor—I would have acquiesced in their "bolder" judgment call—but what gave me concern was the evidently sweeping objection to CN tags on general principles. Jcejhay (talk) 18:21, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm oversimplifying it because it's a very simple thing to understand. No citation, no text. CassiantoTalk 18:33, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's hard to know how to respond to that, but I'll just offer a different kind of example: Sometimes, as you know, there's a medium-size paragraph with a single footnote at the end. Depending on the content and depending on the nature of the single cited source, it's not always transparent to an editor who happens along how or whether every single assertion is documented in that single source. So I suppose, in such a case, you (as the hypothetical editor happening along) would either personally put in all the necessasry research to footnote each individual assertion; or remove all but the final sentence in the paragraph? Jcejhay (talk) 18:41, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree, that of course does happen. It only becomes apparent when someone like you or I happen upon it and it interests us enough to want to do something with it (take to GAN or FAC) and the sources are checked and the article rewritten. That is a downfall of allowing an encyclopaedia to be written by anyone who has a computer. CassiantoTalk 19:58, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, if I were the hypothetical editor happening by in that scenario, what I would do (unless I were prepared to re-research and re-write from the ground up, which would be unlikely) was mouse over the end-of-paragraph source and (assuming it was not an easily accessed online source) ask myself whether I could give the benefit of the doubt to the seven sequential assertions in the paragraph as being documented in the source. If the title of the source suggested that it was broad in scope (e.g., "The Complete History of Hugo Barneezles, Film by Film"), I would give that benefit of the doubt, in the absence of any particular reason to question any of the individual assertions. If the source looked too narrow in scope to encompass the content of the whole paragraph, on the other hand, I would flag possibly not-sourced assertions with CN tags. (So if the end-of-paragraph source were called "Interview with Hugo Barneezles about This Particular Film," I might flag assertions regarding the previous film that might have been covered as background in this interview, but not necessarily. And if any particular assertions looked dubious on their face value ("Really? The article is saying Hugo Barneezles never used extras in any of his 75 films?") but might indeed be warranted by the (broad-scope) end-of-paragraph source, then I would CN those specifically. These are the things I might do rather than taking the more drastic step of removing all but the final sentence in the paragraph. Jcejhay (talk) 20:24, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Cassianto, I myself have addressed numerous citation needed tags. Generally I build new articles but occasionally I work on others and add cites. When I’m building, as a rule, I don’t add information unless I also add the cite or know the facts to be verifiable. But I may be an exception to common practice. Gleeanon409 (talk) 18:56, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • We have rules for a reason; people are not supposed to be adding information without a source. Nowhere does it say that that is permitted, so long as you add a CN tag to it. The fact people are allowed to get away with it is why we have CN tags. If someone were to drive by one of the articles I have worked on, on my user page, and dump a load of unsourced text on it, I would revert as "unsourced". We all do it, especially those who, like me, spend a lot of time at FAC, and who mostly write articles intended for FAC. I don't see how doing that is in any way different to doing it several months or years down the line. CassiantoTalk 19:52, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Here’s one that just happened. They were able to cite the first half of the sentence so did it while preserving the second half.
        • There’s a rule in place? This is the first I’m hearing of any rule that you can’t add any information without a source. Gleeanon409 (talk) 20:21, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • See this, WP:OR, WP:V, WP:CITE, WP:RS to name but a few. CassiantoTalk 21:12, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • Those don’t support that there is any rule that content must be added with sourcing; it’s certainly desirable, but not required. Apparently a perennial effort to require all content have inline citations (my preference) is also perennially shot down, in part because the vast majority of Wikipedia isn’t sourced at all. I may be wrong but I think the vast majority of Wikipedia is contributed by anon IPs and most of it is both unsourced and ultimately kept as accurate. Gleeanon409 (talk) 23:11, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No - to answer your RfC question directly, it is not inappropriate to add this tag. It's exactly what it was intended for. And - It is not okay to remove maintenance templates until the issue flagged by the template is remedied first—that is, only once the maintenance tag is no longer valid, unless it truly did not belong in the first place - and I say yes, it truly did belong and it should be restored until the issue flagged has been resolved → find the sources or remove the content in question. As far as I know, WP doesn't have a policy and/or guideline that permits editor's to insert content where assertions are generally credible but specifically unsourced — that pretty much sounds like original research to me, and OR is not permitted. Isaidnoway (talk) 13:02, 5 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, Isaidnoway. To be clear, I was not advocating adding any assertions that were "generally credible but specifically unsourced." The issue was simply whether, when coming across such an item—in that gray area where a citation seems probably called for but outright removal feels too drastic, all things considered—it was OK to just leave it with a CN tag, as a middle ground between removing it and doing nothing (assuming one isn't in a position to dive into the research oneself). But I think you've given your answer to that. Jcejhay (talk) 13:10, 5 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would never hesitate to remove something that was clearly or probably OR, but I'm talking about the instances where something seems likely to be (a) information that came from a reliable source but the editor neglected to add the citation, or (b) a mid-paragraph assertion that's covered by the end-of-paragraph citation, but that's not transparent or definite, or (c) a defensible summary of duly sourced information farther down in the article, or (d) an assertion that's generally supported by multiple sources in the reference list, which should be specifically sourced but not removed, etc. This is where the "benefit of the doubt" business seems to come in vis-a-vis CN versus removal. Jcejhay (talk) 13:20, 5 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. Once inline CN tags are present (or specific content has been challenged in any other way, which "editor wishing to apply the CN tags" certainly is), the only options are to remove tagged content or add the requested citations, per WP:CHALLENGE. You can add a section-wide refimprove tag if you want, but not remove the inline CN tags. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 19:02, 21 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


As far as I know both Williams' mother and father were Welsh. But he wasn't Welsh. There is a brief discussion thread about this in the archive here. The article already says: "Williams stated in his diaries that he believed he had Welsh ancestors because of his parents' surnames (both his parents were, in fact, born in Wales)." I think that's enough.Martinevans123 (talk) 14:40, 12 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Says he is Welsh so I will change unless evidence in contrary can be shown. Titus Gold (talk) 15:04, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A Welsh newspaper that does not cite its sources, and that points out he was born in London but claims he thought of himself as Welsh. This is not enough to settle the matter, so please await a consensus before re-asserting your edit.
Statements by Williams himself, or a biography would ideally establish the matter. But in any case, it is not exclusively about how he felt, but also about how sources treat him. For instance, if a biography stresses his Welshness, and quotes him as feeling he was Welsh, that would be good evidence. If a biography calls him English or British but then just includes mention of his love for Wales and his Welsh roots, then what we have is fine. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 15:12, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The fact the Newspaper is a "Welsh newpaper" should be irrelevant, and the article does indeed link to footage of Williams himself stating he is Welsh before speaking the language. For me that's good enough, if someone of full Welsh parentage who happens to be born in London still describes themselves as Welsh in their early 60s I think we can safely call that person Welsh. Cymrogogoch (talk) 16:10, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had missed the quote from the footage from him, which is good evidence yes. Plenty of sources (newspapers and others) call him English - more than call him Welsh by about 25% from my first look, and British is less than half that number, but raw numbers are not much good. I note that someone may say one thing in one interview and another elsewhere, so I am sorry, I do not think this is enough to settle the matter. I note there is a biography of him based on his diaries, and it would be very interesting to know what the biographer says on the subject. I am leaning towards agreeing with you that Welsh is better, but to put the matter to rest, we need better sources. It does matter that we read sources critically and establish which audience they are writing for before trusting them as a single source. Per MOS:ETHNICITY, Decisions on which label to use should be determined through discussions and consensus. The label must not be changed arbitrarily. To come to a consensus, editors should consider how reliable sources refer to the subject, particularly UK reliable sources, and consider whether the subject has a preference on which nationality they identify by. So in summary, we have some good evidence that he referred to himself as Welsh - although we have not yet ascertained if he did so exclusively. We have a disparity of sources referring him to as English, Welsh and British (in that order). We have not yet had input from his biography. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 16:52, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK this is a good second reference to show that he did see himself as Welsh:
  • Williams, Kenneth (1995). The Kenneth Williams letters. London : HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-638092-4. Retrieved 23 February 2023. There was one moment when they talked of the endless mismanagement of the Whitehall government, and the his- torical sufferings of the Irish people, and this Pakenham made some crack about me having a nerve to show my English face in Dublin. I did the very slow take and riposted 'Wanna get your facts right dear, I'm Welsh.': 108 
This biography calls him British:
In (Williams, 1995) above, he says on page 243: "Anyway, my mother was a Morgan, and my father was a Williams, so I suppose the ancestry can be said to be Welsh. But I don’t like nationalism. The very IDEA of devolution is mad. I don’t even like the sound of the Welsh language, and I think their insistence on retaining it is barmy. All those signs to be re-written! can you imagine?"
I note that he says "their insistence" so he was not apparently feeling very Welsh at that moment.
Has: "I did it all wide-eyed with a Welsh accent [...] I was even more gratified when | read C. A. Lejeune’s notice for the picture: she referred to me as an ‘interesting new ‘‘Welshfind”’.’ That was true as far as ancestry went. My mother was a Morgan and my father a Williams."
Comment: in this anecdote he is only called Welsh because he played a part with a successful Welsh accent. However, he does again express his Welsh ancestry.
In the same source (Williams, 1985), he says: "Most of the people staying there were, like us, English and on holiday, " on page 195. He speaks a lot about the English. In another anecdote he refers to some rowdiness where someone says people like him and his friends make her ashamed to be English and he does not correct her. In the passage above in (Williams, 1995:243) he says he was born in London before mentioning his parents and Welsh ancestry. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 22:10, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Summary - My reading of Williams' own preference is as follows: He was not strongly nationalistic, and seemed to think of himself as both English and Welsh. However, there are two occasions where he clearly expresses his opinion that he sees himself as Welsh. Both of those were occasioned, but I found no equivalent cases where he insisted he was English. Biographers do not mention his nationality much at all, but when they mention it, they call him British. I would like more editors to discuss this, but my feeling at this point is that something nuanced in the lead would suffice, such as "Williams' parents were both Welsh, and despite being born in London, Williams saw himself as Welsh." I think the short summary should remain as British, per the biographies, unless we can show that sufficient WP:RS do otherwise. The (Williams, 1995:243) quote about not liking nationalism does seem to suggest, to my mind, that he would have objected to an attempt to make him wholly one and not the other. That is my view. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 22:34, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some really good reserach by @Sirfurboy and I think the conclusion is fair. I would still advocate decribing him as Welsh (as he himself did in multiple sources) in the opening line, with discussion of his views and "Britishness" in the early life section, that would follow the consensus of similiar bio articles. Cymrogogoch (talk) 10:39, 24 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, okay, I would be content with that. That is - Welsh in the lead, and an expansion as you describe in the early life section. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 11:21, 24 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have amended the opening line, added an InfoBox and expanded the early life section. While I have not discussed Williams' views on nationalism (I think we agree that there really isn't enough here to add anything worthwhile to the article) I felt that "English born Welsh actor" in the opening line would be a better summary than simply stating he was Welsh.
As you've said (and was mentioned in the archived debate) I think there is an element of Williams "playing up" his nationality for performative reasons. While this may well have extended to happily also describing himself as English, there is a paucity of good sources for this, while Williams' own writings (diaries and letters) and the video interviews all show Williams himself explicitly stating he is Welsh and even correcting those who refer to him as English. As such I am unsure what to add in support of his Britishness/Englishness.
As you rightly pointed out, we should be careful of singular sources and there seems to be only one instance of a young Williams accepting the term English (diaries), which goes against the rest of infomation in that source. While I don't think biographers or obituarians describing him as "British" really adds anything here, I do feel that the current edit could use something more about his "Englishness". But I don't see anything which would improve the article from the edit I have made today.
Happy to discuss further.
Cymrogogoch (talk) 15:23, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for this. Did we have an edit conflict though? Because I also updated to say he is Welsh etc. as discussed here and currently I only see my edit on the article, not yours. Updating the infobox is fine by me too. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 15:47, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Damn I think we did!
I've merged the two edits as best I can but I'm happy to give you final edit, have a look and take out/add anything and I'm sure I'll be happy. Thanks for your help with this. Cymrogogoch (talk) 19:42, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All looks good to me, thanks (someone reverted the infobox so that will have to have a separate discussion). The one thing I am not sure about is the short description. I changed it from English to British, because British is what the biographies say. You have taken that to Welsh in line with the new lead. I am not strongly minded either way on that, but the short description doesn't have to follow the lead. I will leave it as it is for now, but if other editors want to say British in the short description, my !vote on that is neutral. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 20:03, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies to, I wrote my last edsum without appreciating that was a different IP to the one who set it to English, and appreciate now you were reverting the other IP who had ignored the comment. But again, current consensus is that this should be Welsh. Thanks. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 19:02, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What a very odd consensus. It's hard to refute he was English. It's easy to refute he was Welsh. It's not possible to refute he was British. It might be better to say he was British, but add a footnote about his own "belief" that he was Welsh. There is already quite a lot of detail about that belief in the article. (talk) 20:53, 9 June 2023 (UTC) p.s. did you know that Haile Selassie was Jamaican.Reply[reply]
If you think nationality is entirely to do with where you were born, perhaps. But Williams had the excellent claim to being Welsh that both his parents were Welsh, and as per the above, he asserted this. Normally I would agree that British would be better, but the curious thing is that Williams never referred to himself that way. British is one term he did not seem to use. We have very limited information from sources, per the source review above. But if you can find other sources that speak of him as British, or even where he speaks of himself as British, we could discuss further. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 22:15, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The British Comedy Guide says he was English, but IMDb goes with British as does gettyimages. He's also called British in Butters and Davies' 2010 book Kenneth Williams Unseen: The Private Notes, Scripts and Photographs. I also watched this 1983 episode of the BBC's Comic Roots. He doesn't say anything about being Welsh, or British, or English. But I think it should be added as an external link in the article. It's quite informative and, of course, very funny. (talk) 11:50, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You state that a link "doesn't say anything about being Welsh, or British, or English. But I think it should be added as an external link in the article." I am unsure what you are arguing for here or why this is relevant.
If you want to change Williams' nationality from Welsh to English or British I have to ask why? The current article goes into much (well sourced) detail on Williams' nationality as well as his birth and childhood in London. As discuss above, a number of secondary sources refer to Williams as English but these are none contemporary to Williams' life and up against his own numerous assertations that he or his family were Welsh.
As such it's really uncontroversial to state he is Welsh. Cymrogogoch (talk) 10:57, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And just an additional comment on sourcing. IMDB is not a Reliable source per Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources. Content is user generated. The others are not much better for our purposes. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 11:10, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. I was half expecting that response. (talk) 11:28, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Convenience break[edit]

Cymrogogoch, I'm not saying it's "controversial", I'm just saying it's debateable. This article is also "not contemporary to Williams' life." He loved to portray himself as eccentric and I see all of those numerous assertions as part of that portrayal. Yes, he could speak a bit of Welsh. Yes, he had Welsh parents. But he never lived in Wales. And he never normally sounded Welsh, in fact he usually sounded very English (often with a very affected "posh" English accent). Williams "being" Welsh might mean a lot more to UK editors here, but internationally I think most people who know anything of his career would think of him as being British, or even English. (talk) 11:43, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree it is debatable. At this point we have clear evidence he called himself Welsh, and a lack of clear evidence that he or sources routinely call him British. I don't really object to a more nuanced lead that says something like "British, who asserted he was Welsh, being the son of Welsh parents," or similar. It would be good to get sources that tell us this. Preferably biographies. Per MOS:ETHNICITY, we can also look at how all the sources treat him in general (and especially UK sources), but the problem here is there is no unanimity on that. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 12:49, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have looked into his Parents' Place of Birth. They were both born in London.
Charles G Williams details from Q1 1900 Birth Index for England & Wales -
Pancras, London, England
The 1901 Census reveals his father Charles George Williams plus his parents Charles J Williams and Elizabeth Williams all to have been born in St Pancras, London.
Louisa Alexandra Morgan details from Q1 1902 Birth Index for England & Wales (note that births, deaths and marriages are indexed by the date of registration. You have 6 weeks to register a birth in England & Wales. So Q1 of 1902 will contain 1901 births.)
St Pancras, London, England
There are 5 Louisa Morgans in the 1911 Census in London. Without a birth certificate I cannot be certain which one is correct. All 5 of the potential Louisas have mothers born in England. 1 has a Welsh born father - but she can be discounted because she was born in 1900. (I have found her entry in the 1901 Census (taken in March/April 1901) - but it predates the birth of the Louisa we are interested in.)
I think it would be more accurate to describe him as English with a Welsh paternal grandfather. Kenneth Williams comments on his ancestry all appear to be assertions of what he believed. Did he ever actually verify it himself by a visit to the General Register Office?
It is a while since I watched the Kenneth Williams edition of Comedy Roots. Certainly the 1st part of it seems to very much depict a Londoner in London recalling London! The imitation of his mother's voice does not sound Welsh. I think if a viewing of the entire programme does not mention Wales - you have to ask if his Welsh identity was something he used when he was being contrary.
Certainly watching some of the biographical programmes about him he was perfectly capable of being very contrary. WullieMoughan (talk) 11:30, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have now watched the programme Comedy Roots in full again. His Mother, father & one grandmother are all mimicked with a London accent. He refers to his love of German Romantic literature and music arising from a performance at County Hall in London. There is simply no mention of him being inspired by his Welsh ancestry at all. WullieMoughan (talk) 12:06, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Welcome to Wikipedia, and this is a good bit of research for your first logged in edit. In terms of the description of Williams, what really matters is sources, and the genealogy is very interesting, as is what you say about mimicked accents, but constitutes original research. You might want to read about WP:OR, but the upshot is that we don't edit pages based on original research. Nevertheless what you have found is useful in furthering the debate. I think you may well be right about him asserting his Welsh identity to be contrary, yet he does it several times, and not for the same reason. One book about him calls him British, and that is all I could find from biographers. There was an anecdote (quoted above) where he seems to tacitly adopt an understanding he is English, but he does not state it. I would be content with a movement from the current status quo to a description that calls him British, but that he asserted his Welsh descent and called himself Welsh, or similar such edits. I do not see a strong case for calling him English based on the sources. My only concern is that British is not a term he ever seemed to use himself. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 12:50, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to agree with User:WullieMoughan about the Comedy Roots programme. Williams was a great mimic. But why would he present his mother, father and grandmother as strongly-accented Londoners, almost Mocknies, without a single trace of Welsh? On the other side of the coin, when would he really have had the opportunity or the need to argue he was English, or British? He was happy to tell people he was born in London and so, a bit like Wikipedia, go figure. (talk) 21:03, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The current source for the Welsh claim in this 1974 television interview with Mavis Nicholson. It seems we have no article for Thames TV's This Afternoon. At about 5:50 he confirms, somewhat indistinctly, that his parents were Welsh and that his "mother's people were all from Monmouthshire, Pontnewydd". That's it. Even if this claim were true (and reading all the above it seems a bit unlikely), this seems to be a rather thin source upon which to claim "he was Welsh"? Are there no other corroborating sources, at least for William's rather feeble claim? (talk) 12:06, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My researches of the 1901 Census for his father show 2 English born grandparents. In the 1911 Census the possible matches 5 from memory for his mother all have English born parents.
There is a 1968 interview when he was filming Carry On Up the Khyber (forgive spelling) in Wales. He does come across as liking to be the centre of attention.
I suspect on a basic “Passport Test” Kenneth Williams would not have been able to claim a Welsh Passport (if such a thing existed) as his ancestry is more remote than grandparents.
Without paying for certificates and digging into earlier Census (1891 and before) I suspect we are possibly looking at Great Grandparent(s) or Great Great Grandparent(s) of Kenneth Williams being Welsh.
I haven’t been able to establish a living memory link to Wales for Kenneth Williams. I suspect it maybe found. watching Comedy Roots is interesting - as I would have expected him to have gone back to his belief.
I have researched my own family tree and quickly smashed as false certain notions my late mother had grown up with about our roots! I’ve done the same for my partner. In short ancestors do not always come from where WE want/state them to be from.
However describing him as “Welsh” and not as “English, although he believed he had Welsh ancestry” seems like editing President Biden’s biography to call him simply Irish. WullieMoughan (talk) 14:02, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, of course. It seems Williams' mother had quite a "theatrical" side and she may well have invented all sorts of ancestry for her young impressionable son. I guess we will never know. I think Biden might actually have a stronger claim. (talk) 14:17, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
this seems to be a rather thin source upon which to claim. Read up. The main source for his claim is:
There is a full sourcing discussion there. Please have a read of that. Again, editor's own ancestry research is original research. We can't use that. Take a look, instead, at what the published sources say. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 15:25, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If that's the main source, maybe it should be added right next to the claim in the article? I guess the interview video does support the latter part of the claim. Thanks. (talk) 15:30, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Yes, good suggestion. I have added an earlier in text citation. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 16:05, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is that the only page? I can see page 108, but the preceding pages are not visible to me in that view. I see you have added a quote above which explains that the context was him being accused of "having a nerve to show my English face in Dublin." So he was essentially trying to extricate himself from an embarrassing situation. And then he launches off into a fine little piece of melodramatic theatrical schtick, to get some more laughs. He was totally playing to the gallery here? Are there any instances of him saying he was Welsh in a totally straight and serious way (although the boundaries between fact and fiction were always intentionally "a bit blurred" with Williams, I think)? (talk) 16:57, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I don't see how what's on page 108 of The Letters (1994) supports a claim that "Both of Williams' parents were from Wales." It supports a claim that in October 1969 Williams said he was Welsh, in a televised Dublin chat show, when he was accused of being English, with that announcement being met with "the biggest laugh of the programme." (talk) 10:07, 18 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think to call him just "a Welsh actor" is extremely misleading. His whole public persona was as a Londoner through and through. The cultural context of all his work was, without a doubt, the UK as a whole. We should describe him as British or, if we must, "British with Welsh antecedents" or words to that effect. Alarics (talk) 12:04, 10 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it should be ‘English of Welsh parentage’ or even ‘Londoner of Welsh parentage’ he was only Welsh when it was convenient to an argument. He wouldn’t have called himself British because not many people used that description about themselves, it’s only over the last 30 years that has been used for anything but passports.To state that he was Welsh is completely misleading and is likely to make the reader call into question the verity of the whole article. Botticellireject (talk) 15:14, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These latest two comments do tend to show the problem. In general I would tend to prefer "British" where the nationality is not clear, but as per Botticellireject, he didn't seem to call himself British. I disagree a little that it is only in the last 30 years people used the term British of themselves, but for Williams, at least, there is no evidence he would have described himself thus. The only thing he called himself was Welsh, but those mentions were indeed occasioned. We might have solved it with what sources call him, but there is no unanimity on that either. Biographers tend to avoid calling him any nationality, perhaps aware that it is a thorny issue. I am not opposed to "Londoner of Welsh parentage" (or "born in London to Welsh parents"), as we have, in the article, evidence that he called himself Welsh, but was born and raised in London. I am not convinced it is the best summary of the main text, but I think it is a fair one. I am not happy with "English of Welsh parentage" because he explicitly calls himself Welsh on more than one occasion, and does not explicitly call himself English. I would also be happy with a fudge per what his biographers do, and simply not mention the nationality in the lead, and leave it to the fuller text in the main to make it clear. Sirfurboy🏄 (talk) 08:05, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could of sworn Kenneth Williams died in 2005![edit]

It mislists(?) his death as being in the year of 1988! 2A00:23C7:2B13:9001:C599:16AB:8915:7F65 (talk) 00:42, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All of the references including this one and the many obits (see this example) confirm April 1988. Perhaops you are thinking of a different Kenneth Williams. MarnetteD|Talk 03:14, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This article in The Independent was published in 2005. Perhaps you were thinking of that? (talk) 12:15, 17 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]