Charlie Drake Show, The

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The diminutive Charlie Drake, who had a fine line in slapstick and pathos and a catch-cry of "Hello my darlings", featured in this BBC comedy series (which followed his successful 1959 - 1960 Charlie Drake programme).

The Charlie Drake show was scripted by Drake and Richard Waring, and produced by Ronald Marsh.

It featured slapstick-style sketches and situations which brought out the pathos and genius of this much underrated comedian.

Meanwhile on ITV, Charlie featured in a comedy-music series (also called The Charlie Drake Show) in 1963 under producer Colin Clews with scripts by Drake and Lewis Schwarz. A very young Olivia Hussey also appeared in some of the routines.

Drake also starred in The Worker from 1965 - 1970 and then in the early 70's had a show called Slapstick and Old Lace in which he involved viewers in singalongs and madcap sketches in a Vaudeville style (7 x 30 minute episodes).

Charlie Drake was no stranger to accidents, but his narrowest escape was in the first of a new series entitled Bingo Madness. The plot called for Drake to be hurled through a bookcase by two villains, feign unconsciousness, fall to the floor and then be picked up and thrown out of a window.

drake_68The stunt nearly ended in tragedy as Drake really was knocked unconscious when he came through the bookcase.

It was a live show and the actors, not realise anything was amiss, carried on, picking him up and bundling him through the window.

Drake's head crashed against a stage weight. After the initial applause, there was a hush as everyone realised something was wrong.

The director blacked out the screen as millions of people witnessed what could have been the death of Charlie Drake. He lay in a coma for days, and the rest of the series was cancelled.

Charlie Drake also enjoyed a successful career as a recording artist, releasing a number of comedy singles during the 50's, 60's and 70's - The most famous (and my personal favourite) being My Boomerang won't come back.

The others were:

  • Splish Splash b/w Hello my darlings (1958)
  • Volare b/w Itchy twitchy feeling (1958)
  • Tom Thumbs tune b/w Goggle eyed gee (1958)
  • Sea cruise b/w Starkle starkle little twink (1959)
  • Naughty b/w Old Mr Shadow (1960)
  • Please Mr Custer b/w Glow worm (1960)
  • My boomerang won't come back b/w She's my girl (1961)
  • Tanglefoot b/w Drake's progress (1962)
  • I bent my Assagai b/w Sweet Freddie Green (1962)
  • I've lost the end of my yodel b/w I can cry can't I? (1963)
  • I'm too heavy for the light brigade b/w The reluctant tight rope walker(1964)
  • 007 b/w Bumpanology (Bump head blues) (1964)
  • Don't trim my wick b/w Birds (1966)
  • Who is Sylvia? b/w I wanna be a group (1967)
  • Pudgywudgie b/w Toffee & tears (1971)
  • You never know b/w I'm big enough for me (1975)