Friday, 13 December 2013

Educating Audiences

I am not old enough to remember "Educating Archie", which was an old BBC radio show, which believe it or not featured a ventriloquists dummy called Archie Andrews, which was manipulated by ventriloquist Peter Brough. Now try as I might, I can't imagine how a ventriloquist and his dummy became a radio star in the 1950's .... I guess it really was a simpler more innocent time.
Archie Andrews - Dummy

Anyway, it was a big hit, and ran for 8 years, and acted as the radio breakthrough show for many UK comedians in the guise of 'Archie's Tutors', and the list is fairly impressive:  Tony Hancock; Benny Hill; Harry Secombe; Dick Emery; Bernard Bresslaw; Hattie Jacques; Bruce Forsyth, and Max Bygraves (TV),with a young Julie Andrews and later Beryl Reid playing Archie's girlfriend.

It then transferred to ITV TV, where you would assume it would be even more successful now that people could see the dummy and its operator .... but in fact it lasted just one season. This leads one to assume that he was very likely a crap ventriloquist, who had pulled one of the best ever con tricks in show business, by getting a radio show. Apparently once the audiences saw them in the flesh, they were 'educated' by Archie alright, and turned over the channel to BBC (there was only two channels in those days).

So what prompted this post? Well I came across a picture which triggered the thought 'That's Educating Archie' when I saw it, and although I never actually heard the radio show, or saw the TV show, I must have seen his picture somewhere, and it stuck for some reason .... here's the picture that prompted this post.

Archie Andrews- Postal Delivery On The Western Front 1917.

Maybe it is just me, but doesn't he look a ringer?

So now we know what Archie (or his Geppetto like granddad), did in the first world war  ..... so he really was just a chip off the old block.


  1. Well, with Pinocchio it was his nose that got bigger. But looking at that picture more closely, with Archie it was something else that was sticking out more!!!

    1. Hmm, now you mention it. I have no idea what that actually is, but it looks like wood LOL


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