Harry Worth - The Man In The Window
A Radio 4 documentary profiling Yorkshire-born comedian Harry Illingsworth, better known to audiences as Harry Worth
- BBC Radio 4
- Glenn Mitchell, William G Stewart, John Ammonds, Jonathan Cecil and Harry Worth
- Stephen Garner
This year sees the 20th anniversary of Worth's passing at the age of 71. Two years earlier, he'd recorded a lengthy interview with Glenn talking about his career, influences and hopes for the future. This interview forms the centre of this tribute and includes contributions from producers William G Stewart, John Ammonds and actor Jonathan Cecil, as well as classic comedy moments from the Harry Worth archive.
Originally a miner, Yorkshire-born Harry Illingsworth - latterly "Worth" to fit on theatre billings - sought escape by moonlighting as a ventriloquist in amateur dramatic societies and concert parties. During the Second World War he served in the RAF as a fitter, eventually joining a gang show in India. On his demob, Harry preferred to remain a ventriloquist rather than return to the pits or continue as a fitter, and auditioned successfully for the Windmill Theatre. Work in variety, summer season and pantomime included two years on tour with Laurel And Hardy.
The programme charts Worth's early career; his latter success on television and radio success in series such as Here's Harry, My Name Is Harry Worth and Oh Happy Band; and examines the origin and impact of his famous window-reflection routine.