Press clippings

The drama His Master's Voice (Saturday, 2.30pm, Radio 4) stars Rob Brydon as ventriloquist Peter Brough. Back in the 1950s, up to 15 million Britons would tune in regularly to keep up with the adventures of Brough and his sidekick Archie Andrews. The latter was notionally a 14-year-old schoolboy; in fact, he was made of wood and voiced by Brough. For some unaccountable reason, vent acts were big on the radio in those days, but when television arrived, Brough failed to make the transition (the actress Dora Bryan assured him that she couldn't see his lips move, except when Archie was speaking). Most forms of showbusiness have their funny little ways, and the people who owe their fame and fortune to the smartly-tailored log on their knee are more given than most to losing their grip on reality. In the case of Brough, however, it seems his family was also badly affected by their timber breadwinner.

David Hepworth, The Guardian, 2nd August 2014

Radio Times review

At the height of its success, the BBC Light Programme series Educating Archie attracted 16 million listeners. Peter Brough provided the voice, but the star of the show was his wooden doll, Archie.

And so it was also in Brough's life -- Archie was the one everybody wanted to meet, not the man with his hand up a miniature Savile Row-made tailored jacket. Rob Brydon gets two gifts in this biographical drama -- to play Brough and Archie.

The play opens after the funeral of Brough's father -- symbolically, the very night he decides to lock Archie away for ever. But this manic-eyed doll is not going without a fight.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 2nd August 2014

An interview with Peter Broughton-Rates

Although he is semi-regularly on the circuit as a stand up, Peter has had arguably more success as both a comedy producer and promoter, where he has worked with some very funny and brilliant comedians and somehow managed to consistently gather some of the best comedians all onto one bill.

The Humourdor, 7th July 2011

In part two of the terrifically enjoyable The Story of Variety, presenter Michael Grade investigated television's culpability in killing off variety, and highlighted the attempts of various performers to make the tricky transition from stage to screen.

Tommy Cooper adapted instinctively, Morecambe And Wise succeeded on their second attempt, while Ken Dodd never quite succeeded in shrinking his genius to television's proportions. Ventriloquist Peter Brough and his doll Archie enjoyed tremendous, if inexplicable, popularity on the radio, but a clip from the archive showed why they never enjoyed small-screen success - Brough had failed to grasp a fundamental element of ventriloquism and made little or no effort to disguise his moving lips.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 14th March 2011

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