Well known great British talent

well known on British tv
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Harry H. Corbett
Harry H Corbett (he added the "H" to avoid being confused with Sooty's friend) was born in Burma in 1925. His father was an officer in the army. His mother died when he was very young and he moved to England as a child and was brought up in Manchester by an aunt. After his war service, he joined a repertory company and during the 1950s appeared in many stage productions...
 
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Tommy Trinder
An amiable, beloved Cockney cut-up from the 1930s on, London-born Tommy Trinder, the son of a tram driver, quit school and sought the stage, milking laughs at the tender age of 13 in a musical revue that was touring South Africa. Following that he became a boy vocalist at Collins' Music-Hall. The wry...
 
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Arthur Lowe
Actor, Dad's Army
Lowe, rotund and professionally indefatigable, rightly gained acclaim as an accomplished comedy character actor; fondly remembered as the irascible "Captain Mainwaring" in the Home Guard comedy series Dad's Army (1968-1977), and as Coronation Street's "Leonard Swindley". The only child of a Derbyshire railworker...
 
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Norman Wisdom
He joined the army at 14 as a band boy and learnt to play the clarinet, drums and xylophone. He went to India with the army in 1941 and became a comedian by clowning around in camp concerts. When demobbed he returned home and decided to try to get on the stage but couldn't find an agent who was interested in him...
 
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Bob Grant
Bob Grant was trained at Rada after spending some time as a Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery. He plied his trade to begin with in Repertory and appeared on stage for many years all around the UK. His work in rep continued up to the mid-90s. He will be best remembered for his role of Jack Harper, the cheeky bus conductor with his traditional cigarette...
 
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Charles Hawtrey
Coming from a theatrical family (although not related to the famous Edwardian actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, he did "borrow" his last name), Charles Hawtrey made his stage debut at age 11 after having spent several years in a prestigious acting school. A string of stage roles followed, and by 1929 his success led him to move into radio...
 
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Frankie Howerd
Francis Alick Howerd, who grew up to become popular British comedian Frankie Howerd, was born in 1917 and first set foot on stage at age 4. A Sunday school teacher as a teen, his father, who died in 1934, had been an Army man for most of his life. Not long after Frankie was invited to audition for RADA...
 
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Michael Parkinson
Producer, Parkinson
Michael Parkinson was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He left at the age of 16 and his ambition of becoming a professional cricketer was dashed when he was rejected by Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He turned to journalism, worked on several local newspapers in Yorkshire before joining the Manchester Guardian...
 
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Arthur English
One of Britain's great variety comedians Arthur English was known as 'The Prince of the Wide Boys', a cockney 'spiv' character outrageously dressed on stage and wearing a huge kipper tie. Born in Aldershot, Hants English started his career at an early age appearing in amateur shows but did not become a professional performer until he was 30...
 
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James Beck
Actor, Dad's Army
Londoner James Beck took to the Theatre at the end of his National Service, playing roles as diverse as Shylock to Archie Rice in "The Entertainer". His role as Cockney spiv Private Walker in Dad's Army made him a familiar face, if not a familiar name. His life was cut short before a potentially much more interesting career.
 
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John Le Mesurier
Actor, Dad's Army
The son of a solicitor, British character actor John Le Mesurier attended public school in Dorset, England, before embarking on a career in law. However, acting was his true calling, and at age 20, with his parents' approval, he began his acting career by studying drama at the Fay Compton School of Acting...
 
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John Laurie
Actor, Hamlet
John Laurie was a Scotsman who would play many character roles in his long career - a lot of Scotsmen to be sure - but an enthusiastic and skilled actor in nearly 120 screen roles. He was the son of a mill worker, and studied for a career in architecture which he indeed began. But with World War I he left his position to join the British army...
 
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Arnold Ridley
Actor, Dad's Army
Arnold Ridley's acting career began before World War I while he was a student at Bristol University when he was paid a pound a week for, in his own words, "playing bits and pieces" at the Theatre Royal in Bristol (now the Bristol Old Vic). Having been "rather badly knocked about" in World War I (he fought at the Battle of the Somme and was injured three times...
 
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Ian Lavender
Actor, EastEnders
Ian Lavender attended Bournville Technical College in the West Midlands and then studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He graduated in 1967. Acting on the stage at Canterbury followed and his first television work was the ATV play "Flowers At My Feet" in 1968. He then became the youngest cast member of Dad's Army...
 
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Tommy Cooper
After leaving the army Tommy Cooper took up show business in 1947 and so started his long career of comedy derived around visual humour, magic tricks that didn't work and his trademark red fez, a prop that started from his days in the army. The BBC described him as an "Unattractive young man with an extremely unfortunate appearance" in an audition for new talent...