It's Turned Out Nice Again!
by Sue Smart
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They were Music Hall aristocracy. George Formby senior was the first Northern comedian to gain a national reputation. The great Marie Lloyd maintained there were only two performers she would turn out to see and he was one of them.His story of rags to respectability hid a secret he took with him to the grave. An international star of stage, film, music and radio in the mid-twentieth century, his ukulele-playing son, also George, entertained three million troops in every theatre of war except Russia during the Second World War and raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity. His role in boosting British morale was second only to that of Churchill himself.In short, the nation, and the Royal Family, loved him. He and his wife Beryl had style and charisma, but they always retained the common touch. Struck down by ill-health in the 1950s, George spent more and more time on his boat on the Norfolk Broads, always with Beryl, making friends wherever he went.Both the George Formbys wove myths around themselves and have had myths created for them. Here, through new research and a wealth of previously unpublished photos, the real men emerge for the first time. It certainly has, as young George might have said himself, turned out nice again.
- Melrose Books, December 2011
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