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'So that's what happened to the piano ........ '

Ronnie was born in 1921 in Leigh, Lancashire, and always wanted to be a 'songs at the piano man'.  With an inherited piano and a one and sixpenny guitar tutor book, he taught himself to play and was appearing in a local ukelele troupe at the age of 11.  By 17, and on the day Chamberlain made his 'peace in our time' speech, he had his first BBC broadcast with the 'Harmony Five' and became a founder member of 'The Kordites'.

He was 18 when he began submitting radio comedy scripts but, as he received the rejection slips, WW2 sent him to North Africa, Italy and Austria with the RAF, where he manipulated the three-shift system in the Signals Section and honed his craft by producing, writing sketches and music for service entertainment.  He became that 'songs at the piano man' with Taylor and Thomas.

Back from the forces, Ronnie married Irene and tried his hand at writing material.  He presented himself at BBC Manchester with his act but was mistaken for a man who had come to tune the studio Beckstein.  Bowker Andrews, the BBC's one and only variety producer, rejected his efforts but offered him a 13 week job writing continuity for Gracie Fields. 

He was introduced by Gracie to her protege, Norman Evans, and was contracted to write a radio series 'Over The Garden Wall'.

There followed a radio series with Old Mother Riley and, after devising a high speed presentation of radio light entertainment called 'Variety Fanfare', he had the opportunity to work with such comics as Jimmy James, Robb Wilton, Dave Morris and Albert Modley.  In 1950, he began a long association with Al Read. 

Ronnie was on his way.


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