Tuesday, 5 May 2015

#Blog Alert Titter Ye Not

a long, long time ago, well 1989 in a smoky nicotine stained studio just off Fleet Street, I invited Frankie Howerd onto The Pete Murray Show.  Listen to this Blog here He, Frankie, was for some god forsaken reason.  I imagine a lack of cash, doing a one-man show in London.

Most of you probably remember Frankie as that gregarious comedian best known for saying:

"Titter Ye Not" and forever eyeing up nubile young ladies breasts in the BBC show 'Up Pompeii"   

I thought, what a hoot to have this legendary comedian in on the show.  Well it all started going pear-shaped when Cath the Programme Assistant came into the studio and exclaimed. "Eeee won't come down." She was northern by the way.  It turned out that Frankie had completely blanked her in reception, pursed his lips and returned to his coffee, ignoring her pleas to follow her down to the studio.

So a plan was hatched and young Chris was sent up to bring Mr Howerd to the studio.  And Frankie duly trotted down after Chris and then slumped himself in front of me.

I said a cheery - "Good morning Mr Howerd" 

"Mmmmmm" was the reply.

Oh I thought to myself, not such a hoot then. This had all the makings of a radio disaster.  We sat in silence as he waited to be ushered into the live studio.  I was strangely drawn to his hair, that was reflecting in the bare florescent strip that lit the studio.  It appeared to be a very light shade of blue.  I discovered later that it was a toupee made from nylon, which explained the odd colour.

So the news finished, Frankie shuffled into the studio and sat with his bent low opposite Pete Murray.  Pete looked at me in horror through the glass and I looked in horror back at Pete.

But as soon as the red light went on Frankie burst into life, ok he was a bit serious to begin with:

(Listen to Frankie Howerd on LBC Radio in 1989 here)

But he soon lightened up and became much more of his public persona.  I guess the poor sod was short of readies and needed to do the gig and of course had to do the surrounding publicity.  So he really didn't want to be in a grubby studio flogging his act yet again, poor dear Francis.     

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