HAVE I OF­FENDED YOU?

Evergreen - - News -

Ian Laing, our for­mer “Man in Aus­tralia” sends me reg­u­lar amus­ing emails full of wit and sar­casm. Each has me chuck­ling out loud be­cause the Aus­tralian sense of hu­mour is sim­i­lar to the Bri­tish which is why we re­spect each other so much.

He also sent me a query about a ra­dio co­me­dian who, at the end of a sketch, used to say “Have I of­fended you?”, with em­pha­sis on the first per­son. It was done in a North­ern ac­cent and both of us re­mem­bered it clearly. Af­ter scour­ing our brains to no avail, how­ever, we scoured the in­ter­net but again with no pos­i­tive result.

Then Ian had a brain­wave and looked up Al Read ( below). Sure enough it was him who barked out the words to a cow­er­ing ac­quain­tance, both played by him­self. In fact he took many roles, in­clud­ing that of an ig­no­rant foot­ball sup­porter ( he was a Manchester United fan), and a small boy em­bar­rass­ing his dad on a visit to the bar­ber’s when, af­ter ask­ing why all the women in the magazines had no clothes on, said loudly “Mr. Bar­ber. If you cut that man’s ear off — can I have it?” Ini­tially an ama­teur co­me­dian who owned a fac­tory called Obax Meat Prod­ucts, Al was over­heard by BBC pro­ducer, Bowker An­drews, speak­ing to a gro­cer’s din­ner where ev­ery­one was con­vulsed with laugh­ter. He was soon per­suaded to turn pro­fes­sional and a full ac­count of his ca­reer is in Ev­er­green, Au­tumn 2007.

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