HAVE I OFFENDED YOU?
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.