Titter ye not! Frankie Howerd photos up for sale at auction
Fans of legendary Up Pompeii! star Frankie Howerd can snap up personal items from the comedian’s huge collection of memorabilia including his passport – showing his terrible toupee.
Camp comic Frankie became a national treasure in the early 1970s when millions tuned in to watch him play lecherous slave Lurcio, in the hit BBC sitcom set in ancient Rome.
Frankie’s catchphrases “Oooh Er, Missus; Titter Ye Not; and Nay, Nay and Thrice Nay,” won him millions of fans. He was a regular at the Royal Variety Performance and was awarded an OBE in 1977.
Now Frankie’s well-thumbed passport, photos of him with Elizabeth Taylor and Elton John, old school reports and his first contract of employment are to go under the hammer today.
Get toned ready for summer with an easy to follow program tailored to your current fitness levels using body weight exercises. Perfect for training at home, at work or in the park with no equipment!
Contact: 01275 400496
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Comedy fans will smirk at Frankie’s famously bad hairpiece in the passport photo taken in 1967 – two years before he made his big TV breakthrough.
The dog-eared passport reveals Frankie was an impressive globe-trotter with stamps ranging from his favourite holiday villa in Malta, to New York, Boston, Toronto, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Fiji, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Antigua and Budapest.
Collectors can bid for an original script signed by Frankie for the second episode of Up Pompeii! which he rehearsed at the Sulgrave Boys’ Club, near the BBC’s Shepherd’s Bush studios.
Frankie, whose career took off with the West End musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum in 1963, died from heart failure aged 75 in 1992.
The collection is being auctioned following the sale of Wavering Down, his Somerset country home, and is to be sold by auctioneers Dreweatts in Bristol today.
Dreweatts’ auctioneer Peter Rixon said: “Frankie Howerd was a true national treasure who was acknowledged as the master of the double entendre and risque gags.
“This sale will probably be the last chance for collectors to bid for some of Frankie’s remaining personal belongings which give a fascinating insight into his life from his school days right to the height of his success.
“We’ve got some wonderful photographs of Frankie with Elizabeth Taylor and Elton John, pictures of him at the Theatre of Dionysus ruins in Athens and others with members of the Royal Family.
“Frankie served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War and we’ve got a passport-style strip of three photographs of him wearing Army uniform.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest and we are planning to sell the items in three combined lots with a conservative estimate of £700 to £800.”
Born Francis Alick Howard in York in 1917, the Carry On star later decided to adopt the more distinctive Frankie Howerd as his stage name.
His family moved to Eltham in South East London when he was three and the school reports included in the sale reveal 17-year-old Frankie showed an early talent for the stage.
At Woolwich County School in 1934, his form master Mr S Platt reported: “He has a natural gift for amateur theatrical work and has given great delight to those who have had the pleasure to see and hear him.”
Another item going under the hammer is Frankie’s first ever contract of employment – as a junior filing clerk with Henry A Lane & Co in Tooley Street, London, in 1935 on the princely wage of £1 a week.
Other lots in the sale include showbiz awards and a rare 1952 Columbia 78rpm recording of Frankie singing I’m the Man Who’s Deputising for the Bull written by Eric Sykes.
The collection is to be sold at auction by Dreweatts in Bristol today.