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Arthur Askey

Arthur Askey

Arthur Bowden Askey, (6 June 1900 – 16 November 1982) was an English comedian and actor. Known for his short stature (5' 2", 1.58 m) and distinctive horn-rimmed glasses, Askey's playful humour incorporated improvisation and catchphrases including "Hello playmates!", "I thank you" (pronounced "Ay-thang-yaw") and "Before your very eyes". Askey achieved prominence in the 1930s in the BBC's first radio comedy series Band Waggon and subsequently starred in several Gainsborough Pictures comedy films during the Second World War including Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt (1940) and The Ghost Train (1941). His novelty recordings for His Master's Voice include "The Bee Song" (1938), a lasting part of his act. From the 1950s, Askey was a prominent television presence and made regular appearances on the BBC's long-running music hall programme The Good Old Days. Askey was made an OBE in 1969 and a CBE in 1981; he continued to appear frequently on television, radio and the stage until his death in 1982.
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