Mike Yarwood: So This Is Him!
Radio 2 documentary in which Rory Bremner looks at the life and career of impressionist Mike Yarwood
- BBC Radio 2
- Rory Bremner, Mike Yarwood, Jon Culshaw, Les Dennis, Steve Nallon, Laurie Mansfield and Royston Mayoh
Mike's remarkable attention to detail through voices, facial characteristics and body language made him hugely popular with viewers (and even with most of his subjects). He was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s and set the standard for impressionists who followed him.
It was Yarwood's willingness to tackle politicians as well as entertainers that made his act stand out from the rest. He created catchphrases which became identified with famous figures, even though they never actually used them, such as "silly Billy" for Dennis Healey and "I mean that most sincerely, folks" for Hughie Green. Other prominent British personalities that he portrayed included Eddie Waring, Brian Clough, Robin Day, Magnus Pyke, Alf Garnett, Frank Spencer, Harold Wilson and, of course, The Prince of Wales.
As well as the quality of his impressions, what stood out about Yarwood was the quality of his material. As we hear via the archives, the impersonation was only really half the story and Yarwood would complete the picture by being a consummate comedy performer with top drawer material up his sleeve every time.
This hour long tribute covers Yarwood's rise to the top of the showbiz tree and his subsequent decline (when in the 80s the rise of alternative comedy meant that Yarwood's gentle lampooning of establishment figures began to look out of date).
The show also interviews Mike Yarwood himself.