Why “Parrotface” is back to Tweet again
Freddie Davies’ appearance on Opportunity Knock changed the comedian’s life. As a new autobiography charts his career, he tells Anthony Teague of the influence of his music-hall-star grandfather and how necessity is the mother of reinvention
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Monday, 22 September 2014
[To avoid confusion, please note this post refers to 2014 shows - go here for details of forthcoming shows in 2015]
For psittacine fans everywhere, I bear the happy news that Freddie Davies will be doing two one man shows, telling stories from his recently published autobiography Funny Bones, in November. If you were lucky enough to catch him topping the bill on a recent variety tour this is a rare chance to experience full-on Freddie, as the publicity material for the shows explains:
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Steve Bennett's review on comedy website Chortle, here, describes the earlier part of Funny Bones as "an evocative, down-to-earth account of life for a jobbing comic at the time", going on to to praise the book's "vivid description of the scene of 50 years ago ... [it] paints an interesting picture, especially in later chapters, of a old-fashioned trouper."
Here's the full review:
Unless you are of a certain age, the name Freddie ‘Parrotface’ Davies is unlikely to mean much to you. But the identifying nickname inserted between his given names means that, unless he’s a WWE wrestler, he could only possibly be a variety-era entertainer.
But those who do know the name will immediately conjure up an image of a wide-eyed innocent gazing our from beneath a Homburg as he spluttered, lisped and whistled his way through some preposterous nonsense. This quirky alter-ego, Samuel Tweet, made him a surprisingly big star of the the 1960s and 1970s, fronting advertising campaigns and topping the bill, selling out theatres on the strength of his psittacine fame. That’s parrot-related, a new word learned from this book.
Monday, 15 September 2014
For any Freddie fans who haven't come across it yet, here is the piece I wrote in June 2011 for my personal blog which led to my wor...
John Fisher, author of Funny Way to Be a Hero, biographies of Tommy Cooper and Tony Hancock and the man behind the exemplary Heroes of Co...
This is a slightly abridged version of the above article in the summer edition of The Call Boy , the magazine of the BMHS (British Music ...
As cowriter of Funny Bones I cannot pretend to be impartial, but for those who couldn't make it here are some notes on Freddie's per...
Freddie was interviewed live today by Bob Fischer of Radio Tees - it will be available on iplayer here at some point but in the meantime yo...
For those who couldn't make it, Freddie was on fine form at the British Music Hall Society's Day By the Sea at the Hippodrome,...
To the Palladium today for the Society for Theatre Research's Theatre Book Prize presentation. T hose in attendance included STR preside...
Michael Billington, writing today for the Guardian's "A book that changed me" feature, chooses Kenneth Tynan's He That ...
In Funny Bones I quoted an advertisement which Freddie's grandad Jack Herbert placed in The Stage. But I didn't provide the context....
Not, perhaps, the most obvious chronicler of his doings, but after meeting Freddie on a cruise in 1978 Polly Toynbee came to Hastings ...