Arthur Haynes was one of Britain’s most popular entertainers in the late 1950’s up until his untimely death in 1966. His television programme ‘The Arthur Haynes Show’ made by ATV London, commanded top ratings for Independent Television.
Forgotten for many years, it’s now possible to watch these shows again, the last of the seven volumes of this archive has now been released. And I urge you if you’ve never heard Arthur Haynes, or have memories of his shows watch them again on DVD.
In 1961 this article about Arthur appeared in the ATV Show book:
Ken Morris who, with his wife Joan Savage, provides the musical spots in Arthur's television shows, met Arthur during those Army days. Ken recalls: 'My stint meeting with Arthur was soon after D-Day, when he was a member of a company putting on a show for the troops on an improvised stage in the middle of a muddy French field. I was in the show which was to take over from his and we were late getting there. You can imagine Arthur's comments.' When Arthur, in the role of his now famous 'tramp' character says—as he often does during sketches—that he was 'up to my eyes in muck and bullets' it is not so far from the truth. Ken Morris eventually teamed with Arthur as members of Charlie Chester's gang in the famous radio shows at the end of hostilities. With the war ended Arthur set out to make his mark on show business. But nobody wanted to know. At long last he managed to get a booking in a Blackpool summer show and found himself on a bill produced by his old commanding officer, George Black—the very man who had told him that his act was 'terrible'. After his first show Arthur rushed into Black's office and said: 'What do you think of my act now?
'I still think it's terrible,' replied Black. Undaunted, like the famous character Oscar Penny-feather he was to create' later. Arthur continued to strive for success.
The turning point of his career came around 1957. It was then that Arthur met Johnny Speight, the man who has written all the scripts for "The Arthur Haynes Show". Arthur was given a script for a television show called "Strike A New Note".
But let him tell the story:
'The producer gave me the script and asked me if I thought I could do it. I was one of four newcomers they wanted to try. I took the script home and read it. When I had finished I said to my wife, Queenie, "This is going to be my big break."
immediately that Johnny Speight's style of writing suited me to a tee. It was
as if Spreight had written the programme specially for me. Well, to cut a long
story short. I did the show and I must have been a success because they asked
me to do a series
The Arthur Haynes Show series has gone from strength to strength. Arthur attributes this, not only to Johnny Speight. but also to that brilliant young actor Nicholas Parsons, who has been the foil for Arthur's humour in every series until Tony Fayne took over with similar success, for the series which ran earlier this year.
'Somehow; says Arthur, 'Nick and I struck up an understanding from the start. The harmony just comes naturally. Parsons has a high regard for Arthur. 'He is just as irrepressible off the screen as he is on; says. Nick. 'I can never turn the tables on him. He is always playing practical jokes. Like the time we went into a pub during rehearsal one day. When the bar-maid saw me she said, "What about the half crown you owe me from last week." I had completely forgotten about it. But I paid up. Later, we went to lunch and the same thing happened; the waiter asked me for half a crown, he said I owed him. I was puzzled, but paid again. In the evening when we went for supper after the show I was asked for half a crown again. I was astonished. but as I could not remember whether or not I owed the man the money I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt once more I paid. Then Arthur laughed and handed me five shillings. "The first time it was true: he said, "but the rest were gags" The financial security that comes hand in hand with success in show business has not altered Arthur Haynes one bit. He lives in a not-too-large house in Ealing, West London and his tastes are comparatively simple. Perhaps the only hallmark of financial success is his Mercedes Benz car. Even with this Arthur has not overlooked someone who has helped him to stardom. The car bears the registration number OP1 —in honour of Oscar Pennyfeather. Even allowing for the help he has had from Oscar there is no doubt that Arthur's own natural talents have pushed him to the top rung on the show business ladder of success. In addition to his television success was elected as Independent Television's Personality of the Year in March—his ability has been recognised in other quarters. Last November Arthur was selected to appear in the Royal Variety Performance, at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London before Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Fame is something Arthur takes very much in his stride. Of "The Arthur Haynes Show" series, he says:
'Nearly all of my public arc working class people and my humour is of a type they can appreciate and understand. If I attempted to assume a new personality, or sophistication, it would be detected immediately. Anyway I couldn't do it. It wouldn't suit me.' Just being himself has proved rewarding for Arthur Haynes. And there are millions of people who enjoy watching him just being himself.
For more information please visit my Arthur Haynes page.
TTFN and Happy Listening
In : General Chat
Tags: ''arthur haynes'' ''the arthur haynes show'' ''ken morris'' ''joan savage'' ''johnny speight" "nicholas parsons"
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