Peter Brough (
February 26, 1916- June 3, 1999) [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3872440,00.html Guardian Unlimited | Archive Search ] ] was an English radio ventriloquistwho became a well-known name to audiences in the 1950s. He is associated with the puppet Archie Andrews.
Shepherd's Bush, London, Peter began his radio career in 1944 in ventriloquism (audiences didn't mind the fact that you couldn't see him) but he debuted "Archie", a mischievous child who domineered his mentor in 1950. Archie's chief characteristics were his Savile Rowtailored blazers and manic eyes.
Archie followed in the tradition of the American ventriloquist
Edgar Bergenand his dummy "Charlie McCarthy".
His radio series based around the character -
Educating Archie- featured the likes of Dick Emery, Freddie Sales, Benny Hill, Tony Hancock, Hattie Jacques, Bruce Forsyth, Harry Secombe, Beryl Reidand even a young Julie Andrewsas the girlfriend of Archie. The show often averaged 15 million listeners, and a fan club boasted 250,000 members.
Due to the success of his radio show, he made his debut on
televisionin 1956 in the BBCsitcom "Here's Archie" which co-starred Irene Handland Ronald Chesney. The show was written by the latter and Ronald Wolfe, who would later team up on classic British sitcoms" The Rag Trade" and " On the Buses".
Two years later, Peter was on
ITVin "Educating Archie", utilising the same team as before, although Marty Feldmantook some of the writing credit as well. The TV appearances exposed his limitations as a ventriloquist, as his lips were frequently seen to move.
By 1961, Peter decided to retire "Archie" following the death of his father, also a ventriloquist, and proceeded to take over the family's textile and menswear business. His TV appearances from then on were sporadic, and he died in 1999.
In November 2005, the original Archie Andrews doll was sold at auction in
* [http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/archie.htm Television heaven] - some information on Educating Archie.
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/talent/b/brough_peter.shtml BBCi Guide to Comedy] - list of Peter Brough shows.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4459700.stm] - BBC news story on the auction of Archie Andrews, 22 November 2005
* [http://www.wardsbookofdays.com/3june.htm Peter Brough and Archie Andrews @ "Ward's Book of Days"]
* [http://mercurye.com/ventriloquism/ "A Pictorial History of Ventriloquism"]
* [http://mercurye.com/brough/ "Peter Brough & Archie Andrews"]
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