formby flashback 2
George serenaded Beryl until she agreed to be his bride
Radio Pictorial FEEN-A-MINT could have scoured the world and not found a bigger attraction for their new series of Continental radio programmes than George Formby, the Lancashire Lad who has leaped to the front with the speed of a Derby winner. With that look of gormless pathos and that insidious ukulele; with that capacity for getting and out of scrapes with fantastic guile and with at characteristic voice, Formby has become one Britain's biggest screen bets. His appeal is simple. George is every mother's son out for a lark. The plights into which he gets are those which we would all get into, except (and here we swell a couple of inches in height !) that we're too darned clever. The screen, stage and radio George isn't a bit clever. So we're sorry for him and, damme, we like the spirit with which he can laugh at himself and bash that absurd ukulele and sing the sort inconsequential nonsense that cheers people up. Meanwhile, the real George is clever enough be able to earn more in a month than you and ;well, I, anyway!) earn in a year. George Formby Sen. would have been proud of his son especially now that, through the medium the radio, he is reaching a public more vast than the famous old-time star ever dreamed of. But, course, George Jun. never saw his father on the stage; and George Sen. never saw his son perform. It wasn't till after his father's death that young George realised that he might make career on the stage. He'd outgrown his early love, that of being a jockey, and though he was and still is a crazy out motor-cycling, and has won many prizes on local grass tracks, he never seriously considered taking it up professionally. Instead, under the name of George Hoy, and with a stock of nonsense songs and his beloved ukulele, he set out to make good on the stage. The scene is 1921 at a northern theatre. Sixteen year-old "George Hoy" is making his first bow as professional. He prances on to the stage, goes into a song, is smitten with stage fright, forgets his lines, resumes valiantly, forgets them again, re-starts . . . and then dries up completely. What a beginning for an aspiring young star! The tough northern crowd had no sympathy to spare for the little Wigan lad who wanted to make good. They'd paid out good brass to be entertained and, sitha, who was this gormless stripling who was fooling 'em? They hissed. . . . But George had all the Lancastrian's ability for taking it on the chin. He tried again and, gradually, he became popular. But not until he was topping bills did he take on the name that will be for all time famous in vaudeville . . . George Formby. In 1925 he took three of his own shows on tour, and films were beginning to nibble. Now, of course, as well as being a popular sponsored and B.B.C. radio star he has starred in many films, No Limit, Keep Your Seats, Please, Feather Your Nest, Keep Fit and I See Ice. The latter film is the first Formby vehicle that has had a showing in a "first-run" West End cinema. The West End rarely takes kindly to the unashamed slapstick which Formby puts over so well. George has not changed one bit with success. He earns more money, of course, and is able to gratify his tastes in high-powered cars, but he is still the same good-humoured, unritzy, retiring fellow that he always was. It still takes about three hours of unremitting toil before a journalist can persuade him to let fall a single fact about George Formby. But he'll talk about Beryl. Oh, yes! Because Beryl, whom you'll be hearing in these forthcoming broadcasts, and who "taps " like a veritable female Fred Astaire, is far more important to him than electric light signs, publicity, contracts, autograph hunters or any of the trappings of stardom. She's his wife. They met when they were both appearing in the same show up north. And she gave it as her considered opinion that, as an artiste, George was pretty terrible. I can imagine that wide grin of his when he heard her say so. His placid good humour would not have been ruffled a bit. He probably strummed a couple of bars on his ukulele, went into a song and dance and asked her out to tea ! Gradually they became friendly and then one day George decided that she must be his wife. So he went and serenaded her one night at her home . . . and he kept on plonking his ukulele until she said "Yes ! " When they got married George had £70 in debts . . and no money to meet them. Beryl had no debts, and exactly £70 in the world. So the two things sort of cancelled out and, broke to the wide, they married. The going was pretty hard, as you can imagine. They toured the country in shows and as a separate act. They worked small halls and lived in bed-sitting-rooms. But, all the time, George's popularity was increasing. The time was to come when Beryl would be able to give George a huge Packard motor-car as a birthday present while, in turn, George was able to give her the beautiful detached house near Blackpool where they now live. By the way, it's amusing how they got this house. They were compelled to move from their semi-detached villa near Preston because of George's playful habit of keeping the neighbours up all night while he scoured the short-wave radio stations. So they toured around in their Packard trying to find the ideal house. Eventually, from a batch of material sent to them by various estate agents, they came across a picture of the very house of their dreams. But, unfortunately, it was detached from the estate agent's letter and they had no means of finding out where it was situated. One week-end they were out for a spin when suddenly, looming through some trees, they saw some gables which struck them as familiar. Yes, you've guessed it . . . quite by chance they had found the identical house that they had wanted ! Recently, on top of a 'bus, I overheard the following conversation between two flappers. It struck me as an illuminating commentary. First Flapper: "Who's your favourite film actor, Peg?" Second Flapper: " Robert Taylor. Who's yours? " First Flapper : " Why, I like George Formby !" Second Flapper: "What, him? Why, he ain't a bit good looking!" First Flapper: " I know, but he doesn't half make me laugh ! " In the Feen-A-Mint programmes George Formby " won't half make you laugh," and if last Sunday's programme is any indication of those to come-then I'll be listening to them all-not half I won't !
‘The tough northern crowd had no sympathy to spare for the little Wigan lad who wanted to make good. They'd paid out good brass to be entertained and, sitha, who was this gormless stripling who was fooling 'em? They hissed.’
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George serenaded Beryl until she agreed to be his bride
Radio Pictorial FEEN-A-MINT could have scoured the world and not found a bigger attraction for their new series of Continental radio programmes than George Formby, the Lancashire Lad who has leaped to the front with the speed of a Derby winner. With that look of gormless pathos and that insidious ukulele; with that capacity for getting and out of scrapes with fantastic guile and with at characteristic voice, Formby has become one Britain's biggest screen bets. His appeal is simple. George is every mother's son out for a lark. The plights into which he gets are those which we would all get into, except (and here we swell a couple of inches in height !) that we're too darned clever. The screen, stage and radio George isn't a bit clever. So we're sorry for him and, damme, we like the spirit with which he can laugh at himself and bash that absurd ukulele and sing the sort inconsequential nonsense that cheers people up. Meanwhile, the real George is clever enough be able to earn more in a month than you and ;well, I, anyway!) earn in a year. George Formby Sen. would have been proud of his son especially now that, through the medium the radio, he is reaching a public more vast than the famous old-time star ever dreamed of. But, course, George Jun. never saw his father on the stage; and George Sen. never saw his son perform. It wasn't till after his father's death that young George realised that he might make career on the stage. He'd outgrown his early love, that of being a jockey, and though he was and still is a crazy out motor-cycling, and has won many prizes on local grass tracks, he never seriously considered taking it up professionally. Instead, under the name of George Hoy, and with a stock of nonsense songs and his beloved ukulele, he set out to make good on the stage. The scene is 1921 at a northern theatre. Sixteen year-old "George Hoy" is making his first bow as professional. He prances on to the stage, goes into a song, is smitten with stage fright, forgets his lines, resumes valiantly, forgets them again, re-starts . . . and then dries up completely. What a beginning for an aspiring young star! The tough northern crowd had no sympathy to spare for the little Wigan lad who wanted to make good. They'd paid out good brass to be entertained and, sitha, who was this gormless .stripling who was fooling 'em? They hissed. . . . But George had all the Lancastrian's ability for taking it on the chin. He tried again and, gradually, he became popular. But not until he was topping bills did he take on the name that will be for all time famous in vaudeville . . . George Formby. In 1925 he took three of his own shows on tour, and films were beginning to nibble. Now, of course, as well as being a popular sponsored and B.B.C. radio star he has starred in many films, No Limit, Keep Your Seats, Please, Feather Your Nest, Keep Fit and I See Ice. The latter film is the first Formby vehicle that has had a showing in a "first-run" West End cinema. The West End rarely takes kindly to the unashamed slapstick which Formby puts over so well. George has not changed one bit with success. He earns more money, of course, and is able to gratify his tastes in high-powered cars, but he is still the same good-humoured, unritzy, retiring fellow that he always was. It still takes about three hours of unremitting toil before a journalist can persuade him to let fall a single fact about George Formby. But he'll talk about Beryl. Oh, yes! Because Beryl, whom you'll be hearing in these forthcoming broadcasts, and who "taps " like a veritable female Fred Astaire, is far more important to him than electric light signs, publicity, contracts, autograph hunters or any of the trappings of stardom. She's his wife. They met when they were both appearing in the same show up north. And she gave it as her considered opinion that, as an artiste, George was pretty terrible. I can imagine that wide grin of his when he heard her say so. His placid good humour would not have been ruffled a bit. He probably strummed a couple of bars on his ukulele, went into a song and dance and asked her out to tea ! Gradually they became friendly and then one day George decided that she must be his wife. So he went and serenaded her one night at her home . . . and he kept on plonking his ukulele until she said "Yes ! " When they got married George had £70 in debts . . and no money to meet them. Beryl had no debts, and exactly £70 in the world. So the two things sort of cancelled out and, broke to the wide, they married. The going was pretty hard, as you can imagine. They toured the country in shows and as a separate act. They worked small halls and lived in bed-sitting-rooms. But, all the time, George's popularity was increasing. The time was to come when Beryl would be able to give George a huge Packard motor-car as a birthday present while, in turn, George was able to give her the beautiful detached house near Blackpool where they now live. By the way, it's amusing how they got this house. They were compelled to move from their semi-detached villa near Preston because of George's playful habit of keeping the neighbours up all night while he scoured the short-wave radio stations. So they toured around in their Packard trying to find the ideal house. Eventually, from a batch of material sent to them by various estate agents, they came across a picture of the very house of their dreams. But, unfortunately, it was detached from the estate agent's letter and they had no means of finding out where it was situated. One week-end they were out for a spin when suddenly, looming through some trees, they saw some gables which struck them as familiar. Yes, you've guessed it . . . quite by chance they had found the identical house that they had wanted ! Recently, on top of a 'bus, I overheard the following conversation between two flappers. It struck me as an illuminating commentary. First Flapper: "Who's your favourite film actor, Peg?" Second Flapper: " Robert Taylor. Who's yours? " First Flapper : " Why, I like George Formby !" Second Flapper: "What, him? Why, he ain't a bit good looking!" First Flapper: " I know, but he doesn't half make me laugh ! " In the Feen-A-Mint programmes George Formby " won't half make you laugh," and if last Sunday's programme is any indication of those to come-then I'll be listening to them all-not half I won't !
formby flashback 2
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