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I have the greatest of pleasure in constructing this page, although it is over 40 years since the untimely death of George Formby we can boast of the closest of connections with the Formby family through the friendship of George's younger brother Ted. Ted has been associated with the Society since he was approached some years ago when the Society needed permission to authorise some restoration work to the Formby monument in Warrington's Manchester Road Cemetery. From this contact first been made, a warm relationship has developed and Ted and his wife Win are usually to be found at the Blackpool conventions at the Winter Gardens. Always a very approachable man, Ted has lived a extremely interesting life himself although he has never appeared on stage (unlike his sisters and brothers who all 'trod the boards' in some way or other). As a young man Ted worked within the entertainment business for a company involved in booking artists. He soon made contact therefore, with all the stars of the 30's and 40's including all the major singers and band leaders of the era. Ted is now in his eighties but is quite fit and is a pleasure to be with. When you are near to Ted you definitely get the sense of George Formby. Ted is the same height and weight and shares the same Formby profile and also, he has George's clear blue eyes. It is always a pleasure to see him at the Blackpool conventions and to spend a little time in his company - one of nature's gentlemen. Peter Pollard  
One of nature’s gentlemen
A round of applause goes up in the Savoy Hotel on Blackpool seafront.    The big hand is for the most popular man in the conference room.- Ted Formby, the former milkman who vowed 60 years ago that he would never live in his brother's shadow.   And he didn't. Until five years ago that is, when he was persuaded to leave his home near Oxford to attend one of the meetings of his brother's world-wide appreciation society.   Now 83-year old Ted admits he has become a bit of a star himself. "Well not exactly a star. But I sign a lot of autographs. I hope George would have been proud of me, I certainly am of him.   During the break in the extravaganza of nostalgic ukulele playing Ted, his wife Win by his side said, "Over the years all sorts of stories have been told about George and Beryl, many rubbish. That's what happens when you're a really big star, people get jealous."   Ted is the special guest at the 40th anniversary of the appreciation society, formed in 1961, the year George died aged 56. "He would have been 96 now", muses Ted, 14 years younger than his brother. "In fact, he always loved Wigan and I was the only one of the seven children not born there in Westminster Street near the old Central Park". "He trained as a jockey, but when my famous father died, my mother was distraught and insisted George follow in his footsteps to keep the show business part of the name alive.   "Eliza was a very strong woman. She had to be, being left with all us kids at just 39. When being a comic named George Hoy Booth (mother's maiden names) didn't work, she hatched a new plan - to make him the new George Formby. It worked".   At 14 Ted followed George to London and became a theatrical agent, but the Second World War intervened and things were very different when fighting finished. While George was topping the bill and earning a fortune, Ted suffered ill health
and after giving up a cinema manager's job he worked out of doors on the land and then became a milkman. All the while he never lost touch with George.   Ted when on, "I never told people I was George's brother. I wanted people to like me for myself. But I watched George become a great star. "His wife Beryl was his great strength. Yes, she was branded a bully, but every great man needs a woman to shield him. It was the same with mum and dad."   "And George wasn't gormless. He was a lovely chap who entertained millions and never became big-headed.   "But ill health took its toll and George began to fall from his top rank status. His first heart attack was at 50 - and it taught me a lesson, I stopped smoking. Beryl died of cancer on Christmas Day 1960 and George was left totally adrift. Speaking of his brother's sudden engagement to a garage owners daughter just weeks later Ted said, "I'll be honest. I never understood why he did it and I don't think the marriage would have come off.   "In hospital and days before he died, he told mother that he had been carried off on a wave of publicity and there was no going back. "Mother said he sounded like a little boy talking. George told her that he didn't think the engagement would come to anything".   And so Ted, with his legend of a brother - convinced that the name of George Formby will live for many years. A tribute to Ted came from Dennis Taylor, president of the appreciation society. "We first met when he gave his permission to improve George's grave which had become a bit tatty. We knew he never traded on his brother's name. Now he is an important part of our organisation. "I suppose he's become a bit of a star in his own right." This article is reproduced with the kind permission of author, Geoffrey Shryhane Wigan Observer
Ted Formby obituary Ted Formby obituary
ted formby HOME HOME A - Z A - Z
I have the greatest of pleasure in constructing this page, although it is over 40 years since the untimely death of George Formby we can boast of the closest of connections with the Formby family through the friendship of George's younger brother Ted. Ted has been associated with the Society since he was approached some years ago when the Society needed permission to authorise some restoration work to the Formby monument in Warrington's Manchester Road Cemetery. From this contact first been made, a warm relationship has developed and Ted and his wife Win are usually to be found at the Blackpool conventions at the Winter Gardens. Always a very approachable man, Ted has lived a extremely interesting life himself although he has never appeared on stage (unlike his sisters and brothers who all 'trod the boards' in some way or other). As a young man Ted worked within the entertainment business for a company involved in booking artists. He soon made contact therefore, with all the stars of the 30's and 40's including all the major singers and band leaders of the era. Ted is now in his eighties but is quite fit and is a pleasure to be with. When you are near to Ted you definitely get the sense of George Formby. Ted is the same height and weight and shares the same Formby profile and also, he has George's clear blue eyes. It is always a pleasure to see him at the Blackpool conventions and to spend a little time in his company - one of nature's gentlemen. Peter Pollard  
One of nature’s gentlemen
A round of applause goes up in the Savoy Hotel on Blackpool seafront.    The big hand is for the most popular man in the conference room.- Ted Formby, the former milkman who vowed 60 years ago that he would never live in his brother's shadow.   And he didn't. Until five years ago that is, when he was persuaded to leave his home near Oxford to attend one of the meetings of his brother's world-wide appreciation society.   Now 83-year old Ted admits he has become a bit of a star himself. "Well not exactly a star. But I sign a lot of autographs. I hope George would have been proud of me, I certainly am of him.   During the break in the extravaganza of nostalgic ukulele playing Ted, his wife Win by his side said, "Over the years all sorts of stories have been told about George and Beryl, many rubbish. That's what happens when you're a really big star, people get jealous."   Ted is the special guest at the 40th anniversary of the appreciation society, formed in 1961, the year George died aged 56. "He would have been 96 now", muses Ted, 14 years younger than his brother. "In fact, he always loved Wigan and I was the only one of the seven children not born there in Westminster Street near the old Central Park". "He trained as a jockey, but when my famous father died, my mother was distraught and insisted George follow in his footsteps to keep the show business part of the name alive.   "Eliza was a very strong woman. She had to be, being left with all us kids at just 39. When being a comic named George Hoy Booth (mother's maiden names) didn't work, she hatched a new plan - to make him the new George Formby. It worked".   At 14 Ted followed George to London and became a theatrical agent, but the Second World War intervened and things were very different when fighting finished. While George was topping the bill and earning a fortune, Ted suffered ill health and after giving up a cinema manager's job he worked out of doors on the land and then became a milkman. All the while he never lost touch with George.   Ted when on, "I never told people I was George's brother. I wanted people to like me for myself. But I watched George become a great star. "His wife Beryl was his great strength. Yes, she was branded a bully, but every great man needs a woman to shield him. It was the same with mum and dad."   "And George wasn't gormless. He was a lovely chap who entertained millions and never became big-headed.   "But ill health took its toll and George began to fall from his top rank status. His first heart attack was at 50 - and it taught me a lesson, I stopped smoking. Beryl died of cancer on Christmas Day 1960 and George was left totally adrift. Speaking of his brother's sudden engagement to a garage owners daughter just weeks later Ted said, "I'll be honest. I never understood why he did it and I don't think the marriage would have come off.   "In hospital and days before he died, he told mother that he had been carried off on a wave of publicity and there was no going back. "Mother said he sounded like a little boy talking. George told her that he didn't think the engagement would come to anything".   And so Ted, with his legend of a brother - convinced that the name of George Formby will live for many years. A tribute to Ted came from Dennis Taylor, president of the appreciation society. "We first met when he gave his permission to improve George's grave which had become a bit tatty. We knew he never traded on his brother's name. Now he is an important part of our organisation. "I suppose he's become a bit of a star in his own right." This article is reproduced with the kind permission of author, Geoffrey Shryhane Wigan Observer
Ted Formby obituary Ted Formby obituary