Roy brings his comedy and memories to St George’s Theatre
- Credit: Archant
Comedian, actor and Coronation Street actor Roy Hudd will be making a welcome return to the town as part of this year’s Great Yarmouth Festival when he appears at St George’s Theatre on Sunday, June 5 with a fund of hilarious stories from his half century in showbusiness.
Roy’s career began as a Butlin’s Redcoat after his army service but it was in the 1970s, when Yarmouth’s Golden Mile was full of star names that he topped the bill for a summer season at the Wellington Pier with hit singer Frank Ifield.
Enormous pictures of the stars’ faces were always fitted to the towers at the front of the pier and Roy remembers staying at the Carlton Hotel opposite the pier.
“I arrived after dark the night before. In the morning I opened the curtains and there was my head. Frank’s was so hideous they made them change it. I was very happy with it; I was thrilled to bits I was up there.”
On Sunday evenings he would nip over the river to do cabaret at the Ocean Room. He has since made appearances at Caister Holiday Camp with the Ivy Benson Band and more recently at Gorleston Pavilion taking part in a show for the entertainment charity The Water Rats of which he is a keen member.
His varied career was mainly thanks to his long serving agent Maurice Aza.
“I had a great agent in Morris for 50 years. He told me right at the beginning to audition for Shakespeare. I knew nothing about Shakespeare, I told him I didn’t even own a pair of tights but Morris said ‘This game (variety theatre) is going to be finished. People won’t want old comics but they will want old actors’.”
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Roy Hudd is best known on TV as undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in Coronation Street but he was also much involved with David Frost in the early satirical comedies of the 1960s. This eventually led to almost 30 years with the popular Radio 2 satirical show The News Huddlines with June Whitfield.
He also took the leading role in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on Your Collar.
His many West End stage successes include a long run as Fagin in Oliver!, and playing Bud Flanagan in the musical Underneath the Arches. His wife Debbie, who will host his one man show at St.George’s, is a pantomime director.
An Afternoon with Roy Hudd is at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 5 at St George’s Theatre. Tickets £12.50 from the box office on 01493 331484 or online at www.stgeorgestheatre.com