25 June 1913|
|Died||2 January 2005
St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Cyril Fletcher (25 June 1913 – 2 January 2005) was an English comedian; his catchphrase was 'Pin back your lugholes'. He was most famous for his Odd Odes, which later formed a section of the television show That's Life!. Fletcher had first begun performing the Odd Odes in 1937, long before they first appeared on television (though he did appear on pre-World War II television). He came up with the idea when he was short of material for a radio show. The first Odd Ode was a comic, yet sentimental, reading of Edgar Wallace's war poem Dreaming of Thee. Following this broadcast he was given a regular programme on Radio Luxembourg; it was this show that brought him to national attention. He called himself "the odd oder".
He also appeared as a panellist on the popular UK BBC panel show What's My Line? that ran from 1951 to 1963. He was the presenter of Central TV's Gardening Today for 14 years and Channel Television's Cyril Fletcher's TV Garden and ran from 1990 to 1992 for 2 years.
Fletcher was born in Watford, the son of a solicitor, who was the Friern Barnet town clerk. Following schooling at Friern Barnet Grammar School, where he first began to entertain by composing witty poems about his schoolmasters, he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Fletcher was also a Freemason and a successful businessman, believing it to be important to diversify in such a fickle business as show business. He was the founder of Associated Speakers, an agency for after-dinner speakers, on whose books were the likes of the Duke of Bedford and Lord Longford, as well as himself.
His wife, Betty Astell, died in July 2005. They had a daughter, Jill Fletcher.
- Alexandra Palace Television Society
- Fletcher, Cyril (1973). The Countryman: A Quarterly Review and Miscellany of Rural Life and Progress 73. Oxford: J.W. Robertson Scott. ISSN 0011-0272. page 47.
- Fletcher, Cyril (1978). Nice One Cyril: Being the Odd Odessey and the Anecdotage of a Comedian. London: Random House. ISBN 0-214-20581-9. page 19.
- Hayward, Anthony (3 January 2005). "Cyril Fletcher: Performer of 'Odd Odes' and 'That's Life'". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- Grand Lodge Scotland |url=http://www.grandlodgescotland.com/index.php/masonic-subjects/famous-freemasons