Turned out nice again!
Eighty years ago, there were few more popular entertainers in Britain than Wigan-born singer and performer George Formby.
With his gawky toothsome appearance and cheery (and famously cheeky) songs played on his ukulele, his playful manner was exactly what Britons needed during the dark days of the Second World War.
Born Gorge Booth, the son of a variety star, George Formby took his dad’s stage name and eclipsed his fame.
With risqué singalong hits including Leaning on a Lamppost and Cleaning Windows still familiar today, George’s Little Stick of Blackpool Rock was censored by the BBC
George’s films were also a wartime morale-booster , one of which – Let George Do It! - featured a dream sequence in which he punched Hitler after parachuting into a Nazi rally.
George was at one point the highest paid entertainer in the land, but his career began to slow down after the war as he began suffering ill-health. In private life, his marriage to wife Beyl was deeply unhappy. When she died in 1960, he revealed the relationship had been “hell.”
Although he denied an affair, he announced his engagement to new love Pat Howson, just seven weeks after he was widowed. But their ‘whirlwind’ romance was very sadly short lived, when George died just two days before their wedding.
On the day of George’s funeral, 150,000 people lined the route of his cortège in Liverpool – in one of the biggest British showbusiness funerals of all time.