'Cheekie Chappie' the BBC loved to hate
He was known as “the cheeky chappie” and with his mastery of the double entendre it was a fitting description.
For Max Miller, probably Britain’s leading comic of the Thirties, Forties and Fifties, was a comic who lived dangerously with an act that saw him banned by the BBC as being too blue for broadcasting.
Brighton born Miller dressed in an over-the-top flashy suit and his comic timing and delivery were said to be the role model for all other stand-up comics.
A soldier in World War 1, he embarked on his showbusiness career after entertaining fellow squaddies, eventually joining a concert party in Brighton as a song and dance man.
The 1930s saw him rise to fame and he played all major variety theatres, among them the London Palladium walking on stage to his signature tune Mary from the Dairy.
The BBC had little time for him, once banning him from the air for five years. He also appeared on the big screen and between 1933 and 1942 made 14 feature films.
A private man when not on stage he was said to be happiest when at home in Brighton. Max Miller died at home in 1963.
Written by The Editor - 21/04/2005 22:06:32
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