Monday, 4 January 2010

Roy Hudd

Another great British comic steeped in the music hall and variety tradition. I have several of his books about the days of music hall and variety and very entertaining they are too.
Firat aware of him back in the 60's when he was part of the satirical TV show "That Was The Week That Was" and for the "News Huddlines" on the radio during the 80's and 90's.
Here he is doing a famous monologue about Albert & The Lion first made famous by Stanley Holloway.

"Roy Hudd has been an entertainer for most of his life. He is best known as a comedian but is a variety artist, accomplished actor, playwright and a leading authority on Music Hall. He was born in 1936 and attended Croydon Technical College. But when he finished his National Service he became a Butlin's redcoat.

In the early '60s Roy lived in Tankerton Terrace off Mitcham Road, Thornton Heath. He worked on stage in variety shows before making his television debut in 1965 in 'Not so much a Programme, More a Way of Life'. This was followed by 'The Illustrated Weekly Hudd' and in 1969 he was given his own show 'The Roy Hudd Show. These shows proved just what a versatile entertainer Roy Hudd was.

Roy's love of radio brought the satirical show 'The News Huddlines' to the airwaves in 1975. This show, with its mixture of comedy and current affairs, was such a success that is only came to an end in 2001.
Turning his talent to serious acting he really impressed Dennis Potter the writer of 'Lipstick on Your Collar' when he appeared on our screens as the seedy cinema organist. Potter told Roy that he had wanted him to play the part of Arthur in 'Pennies from Heaven' but the part eventually when to Bob Hoskins.

1994 saw Roy teamed up with Edward Woodward. They played a couple of Manchester dustmen in the series 'Common as Muck' and in 1995 Roy played the part of Lord Emsworth's butler in 'Heavy Weather' by PG Wodehouse. He had his work cut out as Peter O'Toole took the part of Lord Emsworth and continually ad-libbed meaning Roy's cues were never the same from one performance to another. For this part Roy actually took lessons from a real toastmaster. The following year saw Roy in his second Dennis Potter part, this time written especially for him, called Karaoke/Cold Lazarus and this time with Albert Finney. Roy's latest appearance in 2002-03 has been in Coronation Street as Archie the Undertaker - another successful spell.

Roy Hudd was delighted to be made an OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List commenting 'that it was nice to be thought of'. He was openly critical of those who had refused the honour."


C.J.Duffy said...

Yes, I like Roy Hudd. A very talented individual. Not sure what I think about the MBE, OBE thing though. All that British Empire stuff seems rather out of date now. In the highly unlikely event of being offered one, I think I would prefer to receive a MBC or OBC with the C bit being a reference to the Commonwealth. Still, just me being silly no doubt.

wastedpapiers said...

If anybody deserves a medal its Roy. I wrote him a fan letter once when he wasin Coronation St. telling him that Hazel ( my other half ) is a big fan of Corrie and we had a son called Archie ( the same name as his character ). He sent Hazel a signed photo which says " Thank your lucky stars that your Archie does not look like this one!" We have it proudly framed hanging on the wall next to Ivor Cutler.

C.J.Duffy said...

What a smashing fellow. Sounds like he has kept his feet well on the ground.

Doctor FTSE said...

What irks me about the Honours awards . . they seem inconsistent. e.g Chris Hoy gets a knghthood for winning a couple of bike races. Dame Judy - and Roy Hudd, and many more - work their sox off over a lifetime before they collect their gong or whatever.

Wastepapiers - you a fan of Ivor Cutler! Now there was a real one-off. Broke the mould after they made Ivor. Must look him up on YouTube . . .

C.J.Duffy said...

Ivor Cutler was very much a one off and has featured here before and will, no doubt, appear again. I first became aware of him when, as Buster Bloodvessel, he appeared on The Beatles awful 'Magical Myserty Tour' TV film.

wastedpapiers said...

Ivor invited us to tea once and he came to our pokey flat in Lambeth for a cuppa and cakes. Much missed one off character. All in a previous post - found in the menu.

Kippers Dickie said...

I love him too, but why does everyone do The Lion and Albert?
My "Discography" lists over thirty recordings and although I haven't checked on YouTube, I bet it's mainly The Battle of Hastings and this one.
My favourite is Three Ha'pence a Foot
Can anyone help with "The biggest Yorkshire Puddin' in the World"?
I have a monologue called "Yorkshire Pudden!" by Weston & Lee (1940)....but not the biggest.
It maybe a song, I don't know for sure.

wastedpapiers said...

Who's discography are we talking about now? Roy Hudds or Stanley Holloways? I have never heard of the Biggest Yorkshire Pudden' I must admit but it sounds like a gooden'!
I have a couple of CD's of monologues. One by the Bolton Bullfrog - Bernard Wrigley is particularly good.

Kippers Dickie said...

Yes, I was referring to Stanley Holloway recordings actually.
But my point is....I would love to hear some of these obscure monologues if recordings were made or if records have survived. I do poke around in old boxes of 78s but couldn't play one if I found it.

C.J.Duffy said...

Obscure is always good. A bit like those B sides you used to discover on the flip side of the single. Rain and I am the Walrus being two of the better known. Personally I never tire of hearing 'Albert' as it remains very funny.

I hope my typing and spelling are okay as I have, again, logged on without me specs!?