19 Facts About Arthur Askey


Arthur Askey achieved prominence in the 1930s in the BBC's first radio comedy series Band Waggon and subsequently starred in several Gainsborough Pictures comedy films during the Second World War including Charley's Aunt and The Ghost Train.


Arthur Askey was made an OBE in 1969 and a CBE in 1981; he has appeared frequently on television, radio and the stage until his death in 1982.


Arthur Askey was educated at St Michael's Council School and the Liverpool Institute for Boys.


Arthur Askey served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the First World War and performed in army entertainments.


Arthur Askey had to be heavily made up for his face to be recognisable at such low resolution.


When television became electronic, with 405 horizontal lines, Arthur Askey was a regular performer in variety shows.


On 3 May 1956, Arthur Askey presented Meet The People, a launch night programme for Granada Television.

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Arthur Askey has appeared frequently on television in the 1970s, such as being a panellist on the ITV talent show New Faces, where his usually sympathetic comments would offset the harsher judgments of fellow judges Tony Hatch and Mickie Most.


Arthur Askey appeared on the comedy panel game Jokers Wild.


Arthur Askey made many TV appearances in variety, including BBC TV's long running show, The Good Old Days.


Arthur Askey was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, in December 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews, and in December 1974, when Andrews, dressed as Humpty Dumpty, surprised him on a television show while discussing the art of pantomime.


Arthur Askey made four appearances on the BBC Radio series Desert Island Discs in 1942,1955,1968 and 1980.


Arthur Askey appeared in the West End musical Follow the Girls.


Arthur Askey made many stage appearances as a pantomime dame.


Arthur Askey was appointed OBE in 1969 and advanced to CBE in 1981.


Arthur Askey was married to Elizabeth May Swash in 1925 until her death in 1974; he was the father of actress Anthea Arthur Askey.


Arthur Askey carried on working on his comedy career until just before he was hospitalised in July 1982, owing to poor circulation, which resulted in gangrene and the amputation of both legs.


Arthur Askey died in London's St Thomas's Hospital on 16 November 1982 and was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium.


Arthur Askey is among other famous names in the Dirk Wears White Sox version of "Friends" by Adam and the Ants.