Heroes and Villains

MURIEL YOUNG the first newsreader to engage my close attention.

YANA , an elegant and beautiful singer who suddenly turned up on Grand Designs explaining her villa to Kevin. Heroes make welcome returns from time to time.

ARTHUR ENGLISH catchphrase,"Open the cage Ma..."at the end of his schtick. I loved his louch and irresponsible attitudes to authority,and anything he told us was made dubious by the very size of that tie,like a huge deckchair around his neck.

AL READ, catchphrase,"Right,Monkey..."in a flat Northern accent. His father ran a pie shop and left the van parked illegally outside the local football ground. In front of 20,000 people, the tannoy would ask if the owner of the Read Pie Van would move his vehicle. What a marvel of publicity! What a great comic! AL READ, London Opinion, March 1954

THE TWO PIRATES, perhaps the most mesmeric variety act I ever saw live on stage. Firstly their costumes were outrageous, stripes, small skirts and Pirate Hats. They would perform a number of simple physical exercises as if they were nearly physically impossible.

Then the highlight of the act. The little one would run up the body of the bigger, and balance finger to finger. Jumping down to receive the applause of the audience he would stare quiizically out into the house, and say in a high pitched lilting voice,"Oh no there isn't..."

The audience knew what was expected of it."Oh yes there is...", it roared.

With a wistful simper, the little one curtailed the interchange.

"Its a lie..." with his voice going up at the end of the sentence.They were perhaps the main source for Tony Hancock's balancing act, The Two Pears.

I still remember the musical pitch of the voices, and the absurdity of the proposition. Of course there is a wire- you could see it clearly in the lights.


Heroes and Villains


which one will remain a mystery, but each in their own way has made an impact on my imagination, or coloured my world picture.Lest we forget what they look like....


DANNY KAYE :"You'll never outfox the Fox..."

JOAN RHODES STRONG WOMAN I saw her tearing directories in half


W.P.MATTHEW, TV handyman

MR.PASTRY (now reincarnated as Trump's Security Advisor)






EDMUNDO ROS advertising BRAZIL NUTS, admired for his sleeve ruffles

. ARTHUR ASKEY, Liverpool comedian, escort to Sabrina and singer of Busy Bee. I have seen his toupee in a Museum.