(LEO BASSI'S GRANDFATHER)
The Jimmy Wheeler Show
, 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
Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.