LEGENDARY ventriloquist doll Archie Andrews, (now living on the Ashdown Forest) famous for for the 1950s radio show Educating Archie, is looking resplendent in his new set of clothes following his visit to bespoke Southborough tailor, Colin De’ath.
Archie is used to having only the best says his guardian Colin Burnett-Dick who lives at Chuck Hatch in the northern fringes of the Forest.
His original clothes were all made in Saville Row and he used to have a wardrobe that would match any star from his era.
Peter Brough, Archie’s original partner, was not only a ventriloquist but had a hand in the families textile business as well so had all the right contacts.
After fifty years in a suitcase Archie is set to make a comeback and needs to look his best. His new show, Re-educating Archie, is making its first appearance in Eastbourne this autumn. The show is a tribute to 1950’s variety and is a mix of sketches and speciality acts which were so typical of the period.
The original show was a launchpad for many of the famous names we all know today. Tony Hancock, Max Bygraves, Hattie Jaques, Dick Emery, Harry Secombe, Benny Hill and a fourteen year old Julie Andrews were just some of the regulars who appeared on the show.
Colin bought Archie from the Brough family in 2007 and had not intended to bring Archie back into show business for a second time around but public interest in the little chap coupled with media pressure convinced him. The 1950s was a very special time in entertainment history, says Colin. Television was begining to take over and sadly theatres all over the country were beginning to close. There are signs now that live entertainment and in particular variety shows are getting popular again so we hope that Archie, along with his new ventriloquist, Steve Hewlett, from Eastbourne can lead the way in this new revival.
If you want to see Archie and his chums again they are appearing at the Underground Theatre in Eastbourne on October 27 and 28.
Tickets are available from the Eastbourne tourist information office.