Roy Hudd

Roy Hudd, OBE (16 May 1936 – 15 March 2020)[1] was an English comedian, actor, presenter, radio host, author and authority on the history of music hall entertainment.

Roy Hudd
OBE
Roy Hudd.jpg
Roy Hudd in 2005
Born(1936-05-16)16 May 1936
Croydon, Surrey, England
Died15 March 2020(2020-03-15) (aged 83)
Ipswich, England
Occupation
  • Actor
  • radio personality
  • playwright
  • author

Early lifeEdit

Hudd was born in Croydon on 16 May 1936 to Evalina "Evie" (née Barham) and Harry Hudd.[1][2] His father was a carpenter who left the family shortly after the Second World War, and his mother, who had a history of mental health problems, committed suicide by gassing herself when Hudd was 10 years old. Hudd was primarily brought up by his grandmother, and attended Tavistock Secondary Modern School in Croydon and Croydon Secondary Technical School. After completing his national service in the Royal Air Force, he studied commercial art at the Regent Street Polytechnic. He then worked as a messenger for an advertising agency, a window dresser and a commercial artist working under Harry Beck.[3]

He made his professional debut as a comedian at the Streatham Hill Theatre on 27 October 1957, in a show in aid of the Sir Philip Game Boys' Club, of which he had been a member.[4] Initially he worked with Eddy Kay, a friend from Croydon who had also been a member of the boys' club, the two billing themselves as "the peculiar pair".[5] In 1958 they joined as Redcoats at Butlin's Clacton working alongside Cliff Richard and Dave Allen.[6]

RadioEdit

Although Hudd and Kay had made a brief appearance as 'discoveries' on the BBC's In Town Tonight in 1958,[7] Hudd made his solo debut on radio in 1959 on Workers' Playtime. He remains best known for the BBC Radio 2 satirical series The News Huddlines, which ran from 1975 to 2001.[8] His other radio credits include playing Max Quordlepleen, the host at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, in the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978),[9] Crowned Hudds (1994–95),[10] The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1999–2000)[11] and Like They've Never Been Gone (1999–2002).[12]

TelevisionEdit

Hudd broke into television in the mid-1960s in sketch series such as The Illustrated Weekly Hudd and The Roy Hudd Show. His acting roles include David Furnham's The Puppet Man series for Channel 4, Dennis Potter series Lipstick on Your Collar, for which he received critical praise, and Karaoke.[13] In the mid 1990s he appeared in two series of Common As Muck, a drama about a group of refuse collectors, alongside Edward Woodward.[14] In 2000 Hudd appeared as neighbour Mr. Smedley in one episode of One Foot in the Grave.[15] From 2002 to 2003, he appeared as the undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street[8] and subsequently returned for guest appearances in 2006 and 2010; the character died offscreen in December 2018. He also starred in the ITV drama 'The Quest', alongside Sir David Jason and Hywel Bennett, from 2002–2004. In 2007 he appeared in episodes of New Tricks, Casualty (and again in July 2019) and The Last Detective. In 2010 he appeared in BBC dramas Missing and Ashes to Ashes.[16]

In 2012 he appeared in an episode of the BBC drama Call the Midwife. In 2014 he appeared in episodes of Midsomer Murders, Law & Order: UK and Holby City.[16] In December 2015, Hudd played Bud Flanagan in the BBC drama We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story, about the creation of the titular long-running sitcom.[17] In 2016 he appeared in an episode of Benidorm.[18] In 2017 he appeared in the ITV series Broadchurch.[16]

Stage appearancesEdit

Hudd appeared in many pantomime and variety performances. In 1977 he starred as Fagin in the West End revival of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! at the Albery Theatre and in 1982 he played Bud Flanagan in Underneath the Arches at the Prince of Wales Theatre, for which he won a Society of West End Theatre Award. In 2000 he starred in a musical version of Hard Times at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.[19] In 2008 he played the part of the Wizard in a production of The Wizard of Oz at London's Royal Festival Hall.[20] In 2019 he toured the UK in a production of Oscar Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance alongside Liza Goddard and Isla Blair.[21]

Music hallEdit

Hudd wrote several books on music hall, re-recorded music hall records, and appeared in the music hall revival show The Good Old Days. He was seen by broadcasters as an authority on the subject and was the longstanding President of the British Music Hall Society.[22] His CD, Mirth, Magic and Melodrama consists of a collection of classic monologues from the music hall days, including The Pig and The Lion and Albert, first recorded by Stanley Holloway. For Celebrity Mastermind, broadcast in January 2014, Hudd answered questions on the specialist subject of music hall comedian Dan Leno.[6]

He was an authority on the comedian Max Miller and was known for his impersonation of Miller. He appeared as his hero in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play Pier Pressure in 2006. He was President of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.[23]

Charity workEdit

Hudd had a long association with the Bristol Hospital Broadcasting Service, where he was considered an honorary member. In 1994 he officially opened their current studios in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He was also a past King Rat of the show business charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.[24]

In addition to this, he was the first Honorary President of Sandwell Hospital Radio in West Bromwich for a period of ten years, visiting the studios, members and patients whenever he was appearing in the West Midlands.[25]

DeathEdit

On 16 March 2020 Hudd's agent announced his death on 15 March, aged 83, following a "short illness".[26]

FilmographyEdit

Year[16] Title Role Notes
1968 The Blood Beast Terror Smiler
1971 Up Pompeii Nero's M.C.
The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins Fisherman (segment "Avarice")
1972 Up the Chastity Belt Nick the Pick
The Alf Garnett Saga Milkman
1973 An Acre of Seats in a Garden of Dreams Narrator
1999 A Kind of Hush Chef
2000 Purely Belter Mr Sewell
2005 Jack, the Last Victim Sir Geoffrey
2014 Robot Overlords Morse Code Martin [27]
2018 Patrick Eric the Caretaker

HonoursEdit

Hudd was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List.[28] In 1983 (1982 season), he was awarded the Society of West End Theatre Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Underneath the Arches, as Bud Flanagan.[29]

On 29 November 2010, Hudd was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Westminster; he studied commercial art there when it was the Regent Street Polytechnic.[30]

BibliographyEdit

Hudd wrote numerous books from 1971 onwards:[31]

  • Joke Book (Mini-ha-ha Books) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 28 May 1971)
  • Music Hall (Picturefile) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 November 1976)
  • The News Huddlines by Roy Hudd and Illustrated (Paperback – 1 January 1980)
  • Beautiful Dreamer: A musical melodrama based on the life and songs of Stephen Collins Foster by Roy Hudd (Unknown Binding – 1981)
  • Underneath the Arches by Patrick, Glanville, Brian, Hudd, Roy Garland (Paperback – 1982)
  • Underneath the Arches: Musical in Two Acts by Patrick Garland, Brian Glanville, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1984)
  • That's Entertainment: Vol.1 by Roy Hudd, etc. (Paperback – 1 December 1992)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 1993)
  • Roy Hudd's Huddline Annual by Roy Hudd and Tony Hare (Hardcover – October 1994)
  • I Say, I Say, I Say: Johnners' Choice of Jokes to Keep You Laughing by Brian Johnston and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 September 1995)
  • The Pantomime Book by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – August 1996)
  • Look Back with Laughter. Volume Three by Mike Craig, Dame Thora Hird, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Cavalcade of Variety Acts: A Who Was Who of Light Entertainment, 1945–60 by Roy Hudd and Philip Hindin (Paperback – 18 November 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 30 October 1998)
  • The Pantomime Book: The Only Known Collection of Pantomime Jokes and Sketches in Captivity by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 31 October 2001)
  • Twice Nightly by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 2007)
  • The Pantomime Book by Roy Hudd and Paul Harris (Paperback – 15 September 2008)
  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009)

ReferencesEdit

  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009), ISBN 978-1843174943

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Birthday's today". Telegraph.co.uk. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. Mr Roy Hudd, actor and broadcaster, 77
  2. ^ GRO: June 1936 2a 883 Croydon – Roy Hudd, mmn = Barham
  3. ^ "Sandi Toksvig interviews Roy Hudd". Chain Reaction. Series 11. Episode 5. 23 March 2016. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Newsman's Diary - Funny Men". Norwood News. 25 October 1957. p. 10. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Finsbury Park Empire". The Stage. 19 March 1959. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ a b Davies, Hannah J. (16 March 2020). "TV actor and radio comedian Roy Hudd dies aged 83". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Finsbury Park Empire". The Stage. 8 May 1958. p. 12. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ a b "Huddlines cancelled". Chortle. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  9. ^ "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The Radio Times. 30 March 1978. p. 49. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Crowned Hudds". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  11. ^ "The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Like They've Never Been Gone". BBC Genome. BBC. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Roy Hudd". BBC. Comedy - Up the M4. Retrieved 16 March 2020.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ Caroline Rees (7 May 2015). "Common as Muck box set review – where there's muck there's warmhearted fun and drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  15. ^ "One Foot in the Grave: Threatening Weather". The Radio Times. 2 November 2000. p. 106.
  16. ^ a b c d "Roy Hudd". British Film Institute. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  17. ^ "We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story". BBC Online. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  18. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (18 January 2016). "Benidorm: Series 8 - Episode 2". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Hard Times The Musical, a CurtainUp review". Curtainup. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  20. ^ "The Wizard of Oz". Time Out. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Theatre review: A Woman of No Importance, King's Theatre, Edinburgh". The Scotsman. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Actor and comic Roy Hudd dies aged 83". BBC News. 16 March 2020.
  23. ^ Maxmiller.org Archived 14 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Past King Rats of The Grand Order of Water Rats". Gowr.net. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  25. ^ Gibbons, Brett (16 March 2020). "Actor and comic Roy Hudddies aged 83". birminghammail. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Roy Hudd, actor and comic, dies aged 83". BBC News. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  27. ^ Mike McCahill (26 March 2015). "Robot Overlords review – spirited sci-fi with Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "No. 57155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2003. pp. 9–11.
  29. ^ "The Laurence Olivier Awards: full list of winners 1976-2008" (PDF). Official London Theatre. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Honorary awards 2010 | University of Westminster, London". Wesminster University.
  31. ^ "Roy Hudd". www.worldcat.org. Retrieved 16 March 2020.

External linksEdit