Educating Archie

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Peter Brough and his doll Archie Andrews

Educating Archie was a BBC Light Programme comedy show broadcast from June 1950 to February 1958 on Sunday lunchtimes featuring ventriloquist Peter Brough and his doll Archie Andrews.[1] The programme was popular despite a ventriloquist act on radio seeming quite illogical. Educating Archie averaged 15 million listeners, and a fan club boasted 250,000 members. It was so successful that in 1950, after only four months on the air, it won the Daily Mail's Variety Award.[2]

The show introduced comedians who became well known including Tony Hancock as Archie's tutor, who would greet Archie with a weary "Oh, it's you again" and always replied to a put down by him with "flipping kids". Other "tutors" included Benny Hill, Harry Secombe, Dick Emery, Bernard Bresslaw, Hattie Jacques and Bruce Forsyth together with a young Julie Andrews as Archie's girlfriend. Later, Beryl Reid took this role, playing the St. Trinian-esque Monica with catch-phrases, "jolly hockey-stick" and "as the art-mistress said to the gardener". Reid also played a young Brummie girl, catch-phrase: "Evening each, moy noyme's Mar-leen".

Max Bygraves later played Archie's tutor with catch-phrases, "I've arrived , and to prove it, I'm here" and "That's a good idea ... son!". The duo recorded songs from the show on the HMV label namely "The Dummy Song" and "Lovely Dollar Lolly".

ITV sitcom adaptation[edit]

In 1958, Educating Archie was adapted for a television sitcom produced by ITV contractor Associated-Rediffusion broadcast under the same name. This version was broadcast 1958–59 and featured the ventriloquist's dummy Archie Andrews taking on a life of its own, talking and walking all over its creator Peter Brough, aided and abetted by a housekeeper played by Irene Handl, a non-paying lodger played by Freddie Sales (later Ray Barrett), and a jack-of-all-trades, played by Dick Emery.



  1. ^ The Sunday Post: Ventriloquism. Andrew Martin, BBC Genome Blog, 20 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ Briggs (1979), p. 714


  • Briggs, Asa (1979), The history of broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume IV: Sound & Vision, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-212967-8 

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