Max Bygraves obituary

Sentimental singer and cheery comedian who became a star at the London Palladium

Max Bygraves, who has died aged 89 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was an all-round entertainer: a mischievously smiling raconteur, a full-throated and sentimental singer, a television host and a reluctant gameshow compere (his two years with Family Fortunes in the mid-1980s convinced him it was not his medium).

He always kept the persona of a cheerful cockney stevedore, smart-alecky but good-natured, with a reassuringly imposing presence and the sort of innocent bawdiness that would not upset anyone. The persona was entirely suited to the voice suggesting syrup-soaked gravel, the expansive arm gestures and the chummily unemphatic manner that absolved jokes that in another mouth might have been offensive.

He was born Walter William Bygraves into a large family in Rotherhithe, south-east London, to Henry Bygraves, a prizefighter who became a docker, and his wife, Lilian. The
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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