Charlie Drake

From Academic Kids

Charles Edward Springall (born 19 June 1925) is an English comedian, actor, writer and singer who took his mother's maiden name "Drake".

He was born in London, and, with his small stature, curly hair and liking for slapstick was a popular comedian with children in his early years.

He was a popular television entertainer in the 1950s and 1960s, making his TV debut in "The Centre Show" in 1953. He then joined his wartime comrade Jack Edwardes to form a double act, and following an appearance in a talent show, called themselves "Mick and Montmorency".

Moving his appeal to a wider audience, he appeared in "Laughter in Store" (1957), "Drake's Progress" (1957), "Charlie Drake In..." (1958 to 1960) and "The Charlie Drake Show" (1960 to 1961). He is remembered for his opening catchphrase "Hello My Darlings!"

TV fame led to four films, none of them successful - "Sands of the Desert" (1960), "Petticoat Pirates" (1961), "The Cracksman" (1963) and "Mr Ten Percent" (1967). He returned to TV in 1963 with "The Charlie Drake Show" again, a compilation of which won an award at the Montreux Television Festival in 1968. Other shows included "Who is Sylvia" (1967) and "Slapstick and Old Lace" (1971), but it was "The Worker" (1965 to 1970) that was his best by far.

He made a few more appearances on TV, but concentrated on straight stage acting, including Shakespeare and Harold Pinter, and a TV performance as "Smallweed" in "Bleak House" (1985) and even as a criminal in a thriller series.

He recorded a remarkable number of records (see Discography), the first of which, a rock and roll number, got into the Top 10, but the rest were mostly novelty songs.

He suffered a stroke in 1995 and has now retired.

Discography

  • Splish Splash / Hello My Darlings (1958) #7
  • Volare / Itchy Twitchy Feeling (1958) #28
  • Tom Thumb's Tune / Goggle Eye Ghee {1958)
  • Sea Cruise / Starkle Starkle Little Twink (1959)
  • Naughty / Old Mr Shadow (1960)
  • Mr Custer / Glow Worm (1960) #12
  • My Boomerang Won't Come Back / She's My Girl (1961) #14
  • Tanglefoot / Drake's Progress (1962)
  • I Bent My Assigai / Sweet Freddy Green (1962)
  • I've Lost The End Of My Yodel / I Can, Can't I (1963)
  • I'm Too Heavy For The Light Brigade / The Reluctant Tight-Rope Walker (1964)
  • Charles Drake 007 / Bumpanology (1964)
  • Only A Working Man / I'm A Boy (1965)
  • Don't Trim My Wick / Birds (1966)
  • Who Is Sylvia / I Wanna Be A Group (1967)
  • Puckwudgie / Toffe And Tears (1972) #47
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