Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The things you learn

Yesterday I was listening to a Podcast whilst driving home from an appointment in Reading.  It's a radio 4 show called 'Chain Reaction' - a brilliant show.  Person A interviews Person B on one episode, then Person B interviews person C the following week.  Person C interviews person D... etc etc - you get the idea.

Anyway - a very random topic came up about the late great George Formby.  Who would have thought that dear old George was a political thinker ahead of his time...

In 1946 Beryl and George toured South Africa shortly before formal racial apartheid was introduced, where they refused to play racially-segregated venues. According to Formby's biographer, when George was cheered by a black audience after embracing a small black girl who had presented his wife with a box of chocolates. National Party leader Daniel François Malan (who later introduced apartheid) phoned to complain; Beryl replied "Why don't you piss off you horrible little man?".

And something else comes to mind when I think of the stars of yesteryear... whatever happened to the old black & white films that used to be on TV on Saturday afternoons?  A whole generation is missing out!


  1. I listened to that podcast yesterday too! Like you, I thought it was a fabulous story.

  2. I didn't know that about George and Beryl. Good for them!

  3. Funny about your last paragraph after telling the George Formby story (which I also hadn't heard before) and then your regretting the passing of the old B/W films being screened.
    I remember him on a TV series, Sunday afternoons, I think, on ITV - at a time when there was only this channel and the one BBC channel to choose from. He used to sit in an armchair and he gave an introduction to one of his films which was then screened. (I might have said that it was perhaps this which triggered your memory, but as George died in 1961 it cannot possibly be!)