The photographer Andy Hollingworth, who specialises in portraits of comedians, had Freddie as his subject on Tuesday. The remarkable result can be seen above.
Andy Hollingworth writes:
Our childhood comedy heroes sit deep in our consciousness.
For years I've been tracking down mine and trying my best to represent them with fondness, given them a gentle hug back for the joy that they showed me... the daftness, the playground belly laughs, spluttering Ben Shaws pop out your nose on a brown cord settee.
Today I met one of the last of these folk, a man that Ive been trying to photograph on and off for the best part of ten years. To sit in the Spring sunshine supping tea and munching on a ham sandwich listening to stories going back to Music Hall itself - was the most precious of treats.
Ladies and gentlemen, almost 80 years young, and the same smiling clown in a squashed Homburg hat he always was,
The gentlest of comedy giants ... Mr Freddie Davies.
Freddie is approaching his eightieth birthday but, as that photograph suggests, the essence of his comic persona is ageless. He once said in a radio interview that when they perform comedians magically revert to the age they were when they first did the material.
As cowriter of Freddie's autobiography, the aptly-named Funny Bones, I have seen Freddie in action many times and can testify to this truth of this - and if you want to see for yourself he is appearing on a variety bill at the Winter Gardens, Margate, on May 7th - details here.
Andy Hollingworth's site is here.
Buy Freddie's autobiography Funny Bones here or here. John Fisher (producer of Channel Four's Heroes of Comedy series) calls it "one of the most honest and illuminating books I have read about the practice of comedy ... a cornerstone of its genre."