Did you know that two of Britain’s great TV entertainers hail from the New Forest?
Some interesting heritage from the New Forest Comedy Festival:
Perhaps Britain’s greatest natural clown, Tommy Cooper was born in Wales but spent much of his childhood in Langley before working in Hythe as a shipwright.
It’s here he stumbled upon his unique style, combining stand-up with magic tricks gone wrong, with an early performance in the British Power Boat Company canteen.
Tribute act to Tommy Cooper at New Forest Comedy Festival
Cooper’s catchphrase ‘Just Like That’ is the name of a special tribute show featuring as part of the New Forest Comedy Festival, performed by John Hewer.
“I wish I could fly but I can’t” is a phrase sure to bring back memories for anyone who remembers primetime TV in the 1980s. But while Orville the Duck lamented his inability to take to the skies, his Lyndhurst-born creator, Keith Harris, became a massive star in light entertainment.
Together with their orangutan friend cuddles, Orville and Harris were also huge in pantomime, delighting thousands of families in Festive shows.
Explore comedy heritage in the Museum of Comedy’s touring exhibition as it visits Forest Arts Centre, Forest Forge Theatre and Hangar Farm Arts Centre. Explore comedy history through dozens of iconic objects and curiosities, including props used by Tommy Cooper himself.
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