was a bit of inspired mucking about that got Stanley his first
broadcast and eventually his first fan letter.
was testing some equipment when broadcaster F R Buckley - 'Buck'
- came over for a chat. Stanley was about to try a recording so
he handed the microphone to Buck who then started ad
libbing a commentary about an imaginary sport called the 'Fasche'.
Buck handed the microphone back to Stanley - introducing him as
Codlington Corthusite - who carried on in Unwinese. This went on
for a good few minutes, finishing with Buck signing off.
recording was played back to two of Stanley's producers, Peter
Cairns and David Martin, who added some bizarre sound effects and
got it aired on Pat Dixon's (later producer of the Goon
Shows) 'Mirror of the Month' programme.
piece got a very good response and led to another sketch where
Stanley played a man from Atlantis being interviewed about his
life in the sunken city. One enthralled listener was even moved
to write in:
a result of this radio interview I received my first Fan
Letter. It was from Joyce Grenfell, the highly talented
and whimsical lady who was, though she didn't know it,
my own particular heroine. It gave such a boost to my
own rather timorous entry into show business and was a
kindness I can never forget.
next big break came while out in North Africa recording a series
of shows by Frankie Howerd for Combined Services Entertainment.
By the time the tour got to Egypt, Howerd had succumbed to a
bad case of the trots so anyone who could (including Eric Sykes,
then Howerd's writer rather than a performer) had to fill in.
was pushed on stage by producer Roy Speer and told do 'a short
with some timidity I sent up the cooking à la Middle
East with a recipe cooked in a hommily pammer with
asbestos strimmel on the handload to prevent the heat
which riseyhup and cause a blister on the parv. I know
that it was early days for me, but they took it
now it was the 1950s and although he was more than happy in his
engineering role at the BBC, recording interviews with Pablo
Casals, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Frank Whittle, Augustus John
and Bertrand Russell amongst others, Stanley was beginning to do
more and more work on the other side of the microphone.
next major turning point came when Roy Speer took him along for
a meeting with one of the country's most famous Music Hall and radio
stars of the day, Ted Ray.