Category Archives: News

Denis Norden

It was announced today that Denis Norden has died at a ripe old age.

You probably know Mr Norden best from It’ll Be Alright On The Night, one of the early bloopers shows for ITV.

I knew him for his radio quiz shows, especially My Music (never a fan of My Word) where he was constantly ridiculed for his poor singing but where he had an in depth knowledge of certain styles of music.

People of an older generation would know him as a radio and tv scriptwriter, with his partner Frank Muir most famously. Their big hit was Take It From Here. You can still hear this. It sounds very safe, polite, rarely funny by modern tastes, rather middle class. The creation of The Glums was a middle class way of looking at working class people, crude, dishonest and loud. It was a programme that never really broke the mould, having sketches and musical breaks.

I do enjoy Balham: Gateway to the South, however.

I once encountered Frank Muir. He and Patrick Campbell were on a train apparently coming from Manchester into Euston, probably recording call my bluff. Odd people kept asking for an autograph, and he was very rude to them. They probably deserved it.

Chuckle along

People die all the time, of course. Sometimes someone famous dies, and the press and tv do an obit. In these days of social media, anyone can comment about what the person contributed to the world, good or bad. After a day or so, unless it is someone hugely famous, it gets forgotten, kind of.

So, it was announced yesterday that someone who appeared on tv and stage under the name Barry Chuckle died. Not his real name, of course, but we will call him Mr Chuckle.

You may well not have heard of him, but he and his brother had a very long running children’s tv show and were very popular. They weren’t really my era, and I have never watched them, so have nothing to comment on.

Except, the comments from, well, everyone, rich and famous, or just ordinary. It continues today. It has been headline news.

Why? Because Mr Chuckle had entertained them when they were young, in a genuinely funny, perhaps rather silly act that had no malice, perhaps some cartoony violence, something that people remembered fondly. Those who knew him said he was genuinely a nice person, and I am sure he was. It seems to come out of the screen.

Rather like John Noakes, who died a while back, or Oliver Postgate, these people shape our characters when we are young.

I hope that Mr C understood the love from his fans. I am sure his brother and family do.