COVID19: Pioneering Events Organiser Richard Coram Passes Away in the UK; UAE Friends Shocked
Richard Coram was a well-known media personality and events professional whose death has come as a huge shock to his friends in the UAE
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has sent the world in a tizzy. But perhaps it doesn’t hit you as hard as when a person close to you, becomes a victim. It’s then that the shock and the horror of it all actually sinks in. That’s precisely what some of UAE’s well-known personalities and society hotshots went through when news came in a short while ago that Richard Coram, well-known TV presenter and a pioneer on the UAE music and entertainment scene has died in the UK because of Coronavirus.
Padma and Richard Coram
Richard and his Indian wife Padma moved to the UK from the UAE a few years ago. The Corams were famous among the UAE’s elite and were very well regarded for their graciousness and success. For many people, Richard was the voice of Dubai, becoming famous for his show on Channel33 in the late 80s along with being a radio host. What’s more he was also a DJ and host at charity events, live sports matches and a music columnist. In 2013, the Dubai International Film Festival unveiled The Last Impressario, a bio-doc about Michael White, that Richard had co-produced.
Years later, he set up Talent Brokers, an entertainment company that changed the face of live events in the UAE. Its stellar record speaks for itself. It was Talent Brokers that brought concerts of the likes of Lionel Richie, Elton John and Rod Steward to the region. Their last event the fabulous AR Rahman concert in 2011 and it was rumoured that despite the acclaim, it wasn’t a huge commercial success.
Rita Mehta, former publisher-editor of Cine Blitz remembers Richard as a “very charming and helpful man”. Richard was in charge of a number of events for the title in this region and had added his own unique touch to them.
Event organizer and founder of fashion exhibition PosH-RacK Shefali Munshi, says the Corams took the events scene in the city to another level. “What set him apart was his magnetic and impressive personality. He was not just a go-getter in work but he was the face of the Old Dubai social scene. Everyone wanted the Corams on board for their parties and events. He was very respected and is remembered even now fondly by friends and business associates.”
Charity Initiatives Expert at Dar Al Ber society, Juhi Yasmeen Khan recalls Padma walking the ramp for her former fashion house. “After their move to England, they didn’t visit Dubai too often. But it was wonderful to have them around, both the couple were full of life and very warm and charming.”
Padma, a former Masala! Awards Judge, was a picture of grace herself. Before she became a life coach she worked alongside Richard in Talent Brokers where they constantly tried to push the envelope with stellar concerts and parties. As she told Masala.com once, “Each concert, in our 30 years, has been a landmark in its way. Many have pushed the boundaries, whether it's Ravi Shankar, Elton John or Shah Rukh Khan. However, bringing Pakistani musicians out of Pakistan and giving them a platform here, in front of an international crowd, has been one of our greatest achievements. Our attempts to bridge the India-Pakistan gap is a great source of continuing joy to me.”
The news of Richard’s sad demise has, no wonder, come as a massive shock to his friends here in Dubai. It’s a loss that perhaps can never be replaced. And it also holds a mirror to the shocking COVID situation in the UK. At last count, over 6000 people had died with the rate expected to increase.