How­erd re­vealed

FES­TIVE CHOICE: Frankie How­erd: The Lost Tapes, Chan­nel 4, 7.30pm.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Tuesday -

WENTY years af­ter his death, this doc­u­men­tary re­veals never-be­for­e­seen footage of one of Bri­tain’s most pop­u­lar com­edy stars: Frankie How­erd. Along­side clips from his clas­sic shows, the pro­gramme shows pre­vi­ously un­re­leased pro­fes­sional and per­sonal ar­chive film and au­dio.

From pi­lots and home movie footage to un­seen in­ter­views and ma­te­rial from his live stand-up show, the show shines a light on the highs and lows of How­erd’s re­mark­able ca­reer.

The film also lifts the lid on his vast col­lec­tion of per­sonal cor­re­spon­dence. From Sir Lau­rence Olivier and Paul McCart­ney to How­erd’s many fans, ev­ery­one wrote to the co­me­dian and How­erd al­ways took the time to write back.

The film features a range of con­trib­u­tors, in­clud­ing some of the co­me­dian’s most fa­mous fans, such as Sir Bruce Forsyth and Barry Cryer and to whet view­ers ap­petites, the show’s pro­duc­ers have re­leased a se­ries of lit­tle known facts about the leg­endary comic...

1. When he was young, How­erd planned to be­come a priest, be­fore he moved into com­edy.

2. One of his first on-screen roles was a brief ap­pear­ance in the clas­sic Eal­ing com­edy The Ladykillers, as a flus­tered bar­row boy.

3. How­erd’s liv­ing room hearth was dec­o­rated with the Ro­man swords his friend Richard Bur­ton used when he played Mark Antony in the 1963 film Cleopa­tra.

4. How­erd was treated with LSD in an at­tempt to deal with de­pres­sion that he suf­fered early in his ca­reer.

5. Among How­erd’s many A-list friends were The Bea­tles, with whom he acted in Help!. Un­for­tu­nately his scene – which also fea­tured Wendy Richard – ended up on the cut­ting room floor.

6. How­erd found big-screen success in Carry on Doc­tor. He was the high­est paid ac­tor in the com­edy clas­sic, and also in Carry on Up the Jun­gle.

7. The BBC head of light en­ter­tain­ment had the in­spi­ra­tion for Up Pompeii! when he was vis­it­ing an­cient ru­ins on hol­i­day in Italy, and said he half­ex­pected to see How­erd ap­pear round a cor­ner in a toga, fol­low­ing his star­ring role in the stage show A Funny Thing Hap­pened on the Way to the Fo­rum.

8. How­erd ap­peared along­side The Bee Gees in their hour-long film Cu­cum­ber Cas­tle, an ill-con­ceived psy­che­delic me­dieval tale of kings and cu­cum­bers.

9. How­erd and June Whit­field re­leased a spoof ver­sion of Serge Gains­bourg and Jane Birkin’s con­tro­ver­sial saucy sex duet Je t’aime... moi non plus, with leg­endary com­edy writer Ray Gal­ton as Whit­field’s hus­band. It was banned by the BBC.

10. How­erd’s fi­nal stand-up per­for­mance was at Ox­ford Univer­sity Union’s de­bat­ing cham­ber.

COMIC GE­NIUS: Frankie How­erd’s ca­reer spanned Carry On films to Up Pompeii! and stand-up at the Ox­ford Univer­sity Union.

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