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Thread: Charlie Drake

  1. #1
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    I used to really love watching any programmes starring Charlie Drake The Worker etc. and it's a pity they are not repeated.

    Although we still hear of Norman Wisdom quite frequently, Charlie never seems to crop up in the news.



    Regards

    JD

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    name='JTDD']I used to really love watching any programmes starring Charlie Drake The Worker etc. and it's a pity they are not repeated.

    Although we still hear of Norman Wisdom quite frequently, Charlie never seems to crop up in the news.



    Regards

    JD


    A few years back, the BBC did a programme on Charlie Drake at Christmas-time (along with two others on Sykes and Bygraves). Charlie made several films which are pretty mediocre in the opinion of most of those who have seen them, but they yield the occasional laugh. It would be good to see some repeats of his TV shows in order to judge if they seem as funny to-day as when they were originally broadcast. I have heard several reports which suggest that Charlie is a rather difficult, even unpleasant, man to deal with. Perhaps he has queered his own pitch with those who have the influence to promote the work he did.

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    name='Ascoyne D'Ascoyne']. . . . . .I have heard several reports which suggest that Charlie is a rather difficult, even unpleasant, man to deal with. .
    hmmm! interesting. As the audience, we are only shown the character being played, and can mistakenly credit the actor with the likable qualities of the character they are playing. ( At least I know I do it )



    I remember Charlie in one episode of The Worker, where he is packing motorised (electric) toothbrushes; then comes lunchtime and he has the same motorised handle on his knife; ok for cutting , then we see the motorised fork ,vibrating and pushing the peas on his plate all over the place, and finally a motorised soup spoon which splashes the soup everywhere ! ( well , I thought it was hilarious ! )

    - 1960s slapsick. - love it !



    Also - in one of the (2) versions of Sykes's "The Plank" - where he is a removal man (carrying a cake! ), and ends up hanging onto the plank strapped to the roof of Sykes' car, finally being hurled into the back of a dust cart.

    -

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    name='Ady']hmmm! interesting. As the audience, we only see the character being played, and can mistakenly credit the actor with the likable qualities of the character they are playing. ( At least I know I do it )



    -


    In a TV interview Peter Cushing gave his opinion that the character of an actor was bound to come through whatever part he was playing. This might be an interesting topic for discussion.

    As for Charlie Drake, I remember reading a contribution on one website (I think it was the old "Wicked Lady") where someone, who had been on the set of one of Drake's films when he had purposely in the course of one of the takes hit one of the supporting actors who he had taken a dislike to over the head hard enough to cause him injury, expressed their utter contempt for him. Furthermore, there have long been rumours of unpleasantness during the filming of "The Cracksman" which caused Dennis Price to quit the picture half-way through. It has been suggested that this was due to a row between Price and George Sanders but Elliot J Huntley, with whom I had the privilege of discussing his biography of Price as it was being written, found no evidence to substantiate this claim; indeed someone who was connected with the film suggested that Price's early exit (although there are those who will claim that the script was written with the early disappearance of Price's character as part of the plot) was due to the influence of Charlie Drake about whom they were somewhat less than complimentary.

    (P.S. Elliot elaborates on this matter in his book and, as a second edition is possible, it would be wrong of me to give the full details in my post....another good reason to get Elliot's book when it is, hopefully, re-published.)

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    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    Republished? Republished? Some of us never got the opportunity to buy the 1st edition!

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    name='Wee Sonny MacGregor']Republished? Republished? Some of us never got the opportunity to buy the 1st edition!


    No fault of Elliot's! He explains all in another thread on this site.

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    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    name='Ascoyne D'Ascoyne'] As for Charlie Drake, I remember reading a contribution on one website (I think it was the old "Wicked Lady") where someone, who had been on the set of one of Drake's films when he had purposely in the course of one of the takes hit one of the supporting actors who he had taken a dislike to over the head hard enough to cause him injury,


    I'm whistling a bit in the dark here but I've got a vague memory that poor old Charlie suffered a chronic back injury in one of his stunts that went horribly wrong and it was this that paralysed the rest of his career, and also made him a bit of a slave to alcoholic pain relief. He received plaudits in a 70's/80's production of one of those "modern theatre plays".... the bloke in a dustbin I think it was. Beckett or Godot or something?



    If Peter Cushing was correct, Charlie must have been a darling bloke because, as a kid, I used to love the guy. Charlies' son was running a bingo hall in Brighton back in the 1990's...... Not a lot of people know that......................

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    name='Moor Larkin']I'm whistling a bit in the dark here but I've got a vague memory that poor old Charlie suffered a chronic back injury in one of his stunts that went horribly wrong and it was this that paralysed the rest of his career, and also made him a bit of a slave to alcoholic pain relief. He received plaudits in a 70's/80's production of one of those "modern theatre plays".... the bloke in a dustbin I think it was. Beckett or Godot or something?



    If Peter Cushing was correct, Charlie must have been a darling bloke because, as a kid, I used to love the guy. Charlies' son was running a bingo hall in Brighton back in the 1990's...... Not a lot of people know that......................




    I don't know about the back injury, but he was knocked senseless after being pulled through a bookcase during a live broadcast of one of his shows. I remember watching at the time and saw it again on a show hosted by Wogan on which Charlie appeared. The amazing thing about it was that, although it must have been obvious that CD was out cold the other two actors in the sketch still carried on like troopers and heaved him across the set and chucked him out of a window It's a wonder they didn't break his neck!

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    name='Ascoyne D'Ascoyne']A few years back, the BBC did a programme on Charlie Drake at Christmas-time (along with two others on Sykes and Bygraves). Charlie made several films which are pretty mediocre in the opinion of most of those who have seen them, but they yield the occasional laugh. It would be good to see some repeats of his TV shows in order to judge if they seem as funny to-day as when they were originally broadcast. I have heard several reports which suggest that Charlie is a rather difficult, even unpleasant, man to deal with. Perhaps he has queered his own pitch with those who have the influence to promote the work he did.
    Charlie was NOT a "difficult" man to work with, he was a perfectionist, something which is sadly lacking in so many of today's performers who rush into a studio, record and get out, making several quick bucks in the process! He was (and IS) greately admired by many of his fellow profesionals, even to the extent that Jim Davidson didn't replace him in the live "Sinderella" stage production when he was too ill to work, just using a recording of his voice for a comedy scene. He hasn't been seen for some time due to his failing health, but (apart from the fact that very little of the original tapes would still exist) the reason his work isn't shown on TV is that it doesn't include a "viewer's vote" so wouldn't make the broadcasters any money during the transmission!

    Rest assured, Charles is loved and looked after by those who care!

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    I always remember Charlie Drake as a lovable, slapstick character.

    He certainly used to "throw himself" into his work.



    "The Worker" was a very funny show for its time. I remember Charlie's many confrontations with Mr. Pugh (Henry McGee) at the labour exchange.

    Charlie also sang the shows theme song -



    "I gets up every morning when the clock strikes eight,

    I'm always punctual, never, never late,

    With a nice cup of tea and the round of toast,

    The Sporting Life and the Winning Post.

    I gets all nice and cozy and toddles off to work,

    I do the best I can,

    Cos' I'm only a-doin' what a bloke should do,

    Cos' I'm only a workin' man!"



    More recently I also remember Charlie appearing in the enjoyable 'Filipino Showgirls' (1991) where he is amongst a group of Welshmen searching for prospective Filipino wives.



    In Australia and other parts of the world Charlie Drake is more famous for his "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" hit single.



    I believe Charlie is now a resident of Brinsworth House, a retirement home for actors and performers.



    Dave.

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    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='David Brent']In Australia and other parts of the world Charlie Drake is more famous for his "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" hit single.
    Which led to the joke "What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?"



    "A stick!"



    Steve

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    There was a bit in one of the Sunday Newspapers a few weeks ago that said that Charlie Drake is now living in a home for retired actors and actresses in Twickenham. It also said that Richard O Sullivan (Man about the House, Robin's Nest and Dick Turpin) was also living there. I am sure that the back injury did not paralyse him as he appeared in a couple of Pantomimes with Jim Davidson back in the 90s.

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    name='steve.blackpool@talk']Charlie was NOT a "difficult" man to work with, he was a perfectionist, something which is sadly lacking in so many of today's performers who rush into a studio, record and get out, making several quick bucks in the process! He was (and IS) greately admired by many of his fellow profesionals, even to the extent that Jim Davidson didn't replace him in the live "Sinderella" stage production when he was too ill to work, just using a recording of his voice for a comedy scene. He hasn't been seen for some time due to his failing health, but (apart from the fact that very little of the original tapes would still exist) the reason his work isn't shown on TV is that it doesn't include a "viewer's vote" so wouldn't make the broadcasters any money during the transmission!

    Rest assured, Charles is loved and looked after by those who care!


    It's nice to have this view of Charlie Drake to counteract the negative examples to be found elsewhere. Charlie's shows were always a highlight of the week's viewing and many of those who saw them remember them with affection.

    I suppose that many of those who are perfectionists are likely to arouse the enmity of those with whom they work who might not be not so driven as themselves; this probably accounts for the negative feelings towards many famous movie directors and orchestral conductors which have been expressed by those who have worked with them.

    Apparently, Toscanini (a real martinet if ever there was one), enraged by the playing of one of the members of the orchestra he was rehearsing, threw his baton at the player in question and took out one of his eyes. The subsequent performance might well have delighted the audience but I doubt that the unfortunate musician who had been on the end of Toscanini's attack felt that the damage to his sight was worth the end-result.

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    name='Moor Larkin']I'm whistling a bit in the dark here but I've got a vague memory that poor old Charlie suffered a chronic back injury in one of his stunts that went horribly wrong and it was this that paralysed the rest of his career, and also made him a bit of a slave to alcoholic pain relief. He received plaudits in a 70's/80's production of one of those "modern theatre plays".... the bloke in a dustbin I think it was. Beckett or Godot or something?



    If Peter Cushing was correct, Charlie must have been a darling bloke because, as a kid, I used to love the guy. Charlies' son was running a bingo hall in Brighton back in the 1990's...... Not a lot of people know that......................




    I thought Charlie Drakes son was the lead singer in Simply Red.

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    Charlie used to refer to himself as, "Charles Drake, ballad-singer,Weybridge", and his favourite tipple was said to be " a large Drambuie shandy".



    Great stuff.

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    I have 3 not so good quality episodes of The Worker.

    Watched the first tonight and surprisingly it had me giggling a few times.

    Not bad for a sitcom as old as that.

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    No one on this thread has mentioned the famous Charlie Drake catchphrase -

    "Hello my darlings".

    I know that at the height of Charlie's popularity in the UK the term was borrowed by the general public and it became a popular greeting for awhile.



    A bit like Norman Vaughan's famous "Swingin' - dodgy" catchphrase of the sixties.



    Dave.

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    I remember Charlie in the early days with a partner when they called themselves Mick and Montmorency (sp)

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    name='Ascoyne D'Ascoyne']In a TV interview Peter Cushing gave his opinion that the character of an actor was bound to come through whatever part he was playing. This might be an interesting topic for discussion.

    As for Charlie Drake, I remember reading a contribution on one website (I think it was the old "Wicked Lady") where someone, who had been on the set of one of Drake's films when he had purposely in the course of one of the takes hit one of the supporting actors who he had taken a dislike to over the head hard enough to cause him injury, expressed their utter contempt for him. Furthermore, there have long been rumours of unpleasantness during the filming of "The Cracksman" which caused Dennis Price to quit the picture half-way through. It has been suggested that this was due to a row between Price and George Sanders but Elliot J Huntley, with whom I had the privilege of discussing his biography of Price as it was being written, found no evidence to substantiate this claim; indeed someone who was connected with the film suggested that Price's early exit (although there are those who will claim that the script was written with the early disappearance of Price's character as part of the plot) was due to the influence of Charlie Drake about whom they were somewhat less than complimentary.

    (P.S. Elliot elaborates on this matter in his book and, as a second edition is possible, it would be wrong of me to give the full details in my post....another good reason to get Elliot's book when it is, hopefully, re-published.)


    Here is the extract regarding The Cracksman that Ascoyne refers to (from The Man Who Always Did His Best: The Life and Death of Dennis Price):



    Price next pitched up in The Cracksman, appearing briefly as Grantley, the gentleman thief who exploits Charlie Drake�s gullible locksmith to steal a car, burgle a house and then rob the contents of a safe. On each occasion the slippery Grantley manages to flee the scene of the crime before the police arrive leaving Ernest to take the rap and do the bird.

    For reasons that remain inadequately explained, Price then disappears from the film and two new characters are introduced � rival crime bosses played by Eddie Byrne and George Sanders.

    Since Price�s departure inexplicably denied the film�s audience a chance to savour a sulphuric Price versus Sanders face-off, it has been rumoured that Price actually walked off the picture because of a flare up between himself and Sanders (hence the introduction of Eddie Byrne�s character). Whilst director Peter Graham Scott strenuously denies that any such row ever occurred and remembers shooting the script as written, he did, however concede that it was conceivable that Price�s early bath was because Charlie Drake�s ego couldn�t countenance anyone stealing his diminutive thunder: �Dennis definitely did not leave the picture and I certainly don�t remember any clashes on the set. What might have happened was that Charlie Drake had a lot to do with the script and he was a very jealous man of course, and if he�d seen Dennis quietly, as it were, taking the scenes away from him he might well have gone to Bill Whittaker [the film�s producer] and asked for Price to be removed. As I say, I certainly don�t remember any clashes on the set but I do know that Charlie would get very jealous of certain actors and he�d say, �Oh, we�ll have to cut them down a bit.� He really was like that.�



    Elliot

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    Many years ago, Stephen Drake, Charlie's son, used to fill my cars up with petrol and MOT my cars for me. He was the spitting image of his father and he was a lovely lad.

    I could never understand, though, why he used his Dad's stage name as, by all accounts, the family name was Springall.



    Starry x.

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