Educating Archie, 1950
Educating Archie started life as a long running Radio Comedy in 1950 on the BBC Light Programme, a huge hit with audiences despite it being a ventriloquist on the radio, it attractted average listeners of 15 million, with a fan club boasting 250,000.
Like many successful Radio comedies, Educating Archie went out on a Sunday, occupying the lunchtime spot that had previously been held by Take It From Here.
In 1958, after the BBC Light Programme ended, Educating Archie made his television sitcom debut for ITV, running for 27 episodes between 1958 and 1959.
Over its entire run, on both television and radio, the show would introduce us to some people who would go on to become household names. These included: Tony Hancock, Benny Hill, Harry Secombe, Dick Emery, Bernard Bresslaw, Bruce Forsyth and even a young Julie Andrews, who played Archies girlfriend.
Tony Hancock played Archies tutor for one series between 1951 and 1952, the part was then played by a number of ‘guest’ tutors including Max Bygraves.
Educating Archie featured the antics of one Archie Andrews (a ventriloquist dummy) and his friend Broughy (Peter Brough).
The television version featured the popular ventriloquists dummy taking on a whole new lease of life walking and talking over creator Peter Brough. Archie was aided and abetted by Mrs Twissie the Housekeeper, a non paying lodger (Dick Emery) and a jack of all trades ( Freddie Sales, later Ray Barrett)
Unfortunately we were not able to track down any visual clips but here’s some audio clips of songs from the show:
Peter Brough – Brough
Irene Handl – Mrs Twissie, the house keeper
Dick Emery – Mr Monty Freddie Sales (later Ray Barrett) – the lodger
Also Starring During It’s Run
Channel: BBC Light Program (Radio), ITV (Television)
Written By: Marty Feldman and Ronald Chesney
June 1950 – February 1958 (Radio)
1958 – 1959 (TV)
Educating Archie is one of many classic radio shows regularly broadcast on BBC Radio4 Extra. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fsb9w