1 August 2016
It was 52 years ago today ...
To mark the fifty-second anniversary of Freddie's debut on Opportunity Knocks, here's an interview which begins with a short clip from that legendary 1964 performance.
Freddie's appearance came at the end of an extraordinary week which had begun with the young comic at his lowest ebb, struggling through an audience participation show in Dunoon. An article in The Stage had claimed he was leading his own troupe, but in fact it was just Freddie and a pianist called Tom, dying twice daily (except Sunday) in an open air theatre near where the ferries docked. "It was called Fun With Freddie," he recalls. "And if a few lost souls – kids, dripping wet dogs and some well known local drunks – did happen along to see what all the noise was about, they would be confronted at the end of the show by council operatives from the bin department taking up a collection in tins."
So how did he get from this ignominy to stardom? The full story of the amazing week which turned Freddie's fortunes around, taking him from Dunoon to Didsbury, can be found in his autobiography Funny Bones.
You can buy it from amazon (paperback) or direct from Scratching Shed Publishing (paperback or limited edition hardback).
Read an extract here.