JIMMY WHEELER   (LEO BASSI'S GRANDFATHER)                                         The Jimmy Wheeler Show                       


UK , BBC, Standup, B/W, 1956  Starring: Jimmy Wheeler, Thora Hird.

Jimmy Wheeler was born Ernest Remnant in Battersea, south London, on 16 September 1910, and chose his stage name by a combination of fate and history. The 'Jim' part he picked up from entertainer George Formby Sr, who - when summoning him for a curtain-call - nicknamed the comedian 'lucky Jim'; the 'Wheeler' came from his father's old double-act 'Wheeler and Wilson'. (Eventually, the youngster played his part in the team, playing Wheeler to his father's Wilson.)

The moustachioed Jimmy Wheeler was a dedicated comedian, working hard to get laughs, and a regular performer on stage since the age of five, in films since he was of school age, on radio since 1928 and experimental TV from 1932. The comic was a student of television who, like so many of his contemporaries, went to some lengths to formulate a style for what was proving a difficult area for comedians to crack. Wheeler decided that the answer was to keep his TV performances as close as possible to his stage act, and this seemed to work well enough, earning him two starring series and another -
Tess And Jim with Tessie O'Shea - in between. Jimmy Wheeler is the grandfather of Leo Bassi.

Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.