7 Jun 2011

And Then There Was A Dummy….

This head-long dive to way back when was prompted by a link left wot leads to the Sand Dance, 1934, and, upon following the link, finding Mario Frabizi had taken up residence in my head. As in past recolectable moments of this nature, he was quickly followed on board by Peter Brough. Please, I have no idea why this happens.

The name Peter Brough got you wondering? Don’t worry, you need to be of an age for that name to ring a bell. If you are of an age, the bells will be loud.

Peter Brough had an extremely successful radio show called, ‘Educating Archie’ which ran form the early to mid{?} 1950’s. On the radio. I’ll say that bit again; on the radio.

Archie? Archie was Archie Andrews, Peter’s young side kick looking sort of person. Interestingly, Archie Andrews was also a ventriloquists dummy. Happily for Archie, Peter Brough was a ventriloquist.

How many of you have spotted the, ‘Haaaay, waaaiit a minute!’ moment? You have? Back then, most of us missed it. A ventriloquist on the radio? You have GOT to be kidding! Sorry, Not kidding at all. We had a ventriloquist on the radio. For years. A ventriloquist on the radio.

And we’re the generation who sit and softly reflect on how gullible, entertainment wise, folk are today? Us who listened to a ventriloquist on the radio?

I well remember my mum remarking, as we all sat round the wireless, “Oh my, isn’t that Peter Brough cleaver?” You know what? We all thought he was.

A ventriloquist on the radio. Think about that. What conclusion should I come to? Please note I said ‘I’, not ‘you’ or ‘us’, okay? Maybe I should remember, before criticizing the young too much for watching programs such as Britons Got Mediocrity, or the X-Factor, or Big Bubba, that I was part of the generation happily entertained, captivated and delighted by an invisible ventriloquist.

The show did move to TV which was when Mum, and millions more folk, realized Peter Brough wasn’t that hot of a ventriloquist. When Peter spoke, cool. When it was Archie’s turn to speak, guess what, Poor Peters voice went up a tad, but, sadly, his lips just carried on moving. Peters, lips that is.

Don’t get me wrong, the show was listened to, watched and loved by millions of us. I guess the show was the thing and not the ventriloquistanating stuff.

Follow this link to listen to the part two part, the second part, of an episode of ‘Educating Archie’. Go on, you know you want to!! And will you just look at the names in the credits!!


Quote; Steve Allen.

“Radio is the theatre of the mind; television is the theatre of the mindless”

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