Educating Archie. Image shows from L to R: Brough (Peter Brough), Archie Andrews. Image credit: Associated-Rediffusion Television.

Educating Archie

Archie Andrews, a ventriloquist's dummy, takes on a life of its own as it talks and walks all over its creator, Peter Brough

1958 - 1959  (ITV)
27 (2 series)
Peter Brough, Dick Emery, Irene Handl, Freddie Sales, Ray Barrett
Marty Feldman, Ronald Chesney, Barry Pevan, Ronald Wolfe
Associated-Rediffusion Television

A ventriloquist's dummy takes on a life of its own as it talks and walks all over its creator - aided and abetted by a housekeeper (Irene Handl), a non-paying lodger (Freddie Sales) and a jack-of-all-trades (Dick Emery).

Our Review: This is the TV adaptation of the long running BBC radio series that was responsible for grooming such stars as Tony Hancock, Bruce Forsyth, Bill Fraser and Hattie Jacques, as well as giving early writing opportunities to Eric Sykes, Marty Feldman, Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney.

That Peter Brough should seemingly achieve the impossible by becoming popular as a ventriloquist on the radio seemed, somehow, to have the reverse effect when transferred to this medium.

Each episode was filmed in order to achieve the transport movement necessary to bring life to the wooden co-star. The fact that it was achieved at all in an era of low-tech gadgetry was largely due to Woolf Goldberg who was in charge of the technical aspects of the show.

As the stories for the Second Series became more diverse, Freddie Sales was replaced by Ray Barrett and Irene Handl disappeared altogether. The writing team of Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney would hit the big time with The Rag Trade the following year and On The Buses later in the Sixties.