||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (June 2012)|
|Birth name||Myles Peter Carpenter Rudge|
|Born||8 July 1926|
|Died||10 October 2007(aged 81)|
|Genres||Folk, popular music|
Myles Peter Carpenter Rudge (8 July 1926 – 10 October 2007) was an English songwriter, famous for writing the lyrics for novelty songs. His songs "Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred" were both Top 10 chart hits in the UK in 1962, both recorded by Bernard Cribbins to music by Ted Dicks and produced by George Martin for Parlophone. His song "A Windmill in Old Amsterdam" was a hit in 1965 for Ronnie Hilton.
Life and career
Rudge was born in Bristol, England, where his father was an advertising copywriting clerk. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School, where a friend and classmate was playwright Peter Nichols. Rudge became an actor, working in at the Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Playhouse. He served in the Royal Navy during and immediately after the Second World War, from 1944 to 1947. He joined RADA after the Navy, and worked in repertory. Tall and blond, he delivered the line "Who's for tennis?" in Julian Slade's musical Salad Days at the Vaudeville Theatre.
He left acting to write comedy scripts for television and radio. With composer Ted Dicks, he wrote songs and sketches for West End revue shows, including And Another Thing, which had a long run at the Fortune Theatre in 1960, featuring Bernard Cribbins, Anna Quayle, and Lionel Blair and Joyce Blair. One of the show's songs, "Folk Song", became a hit for Cribbins, produced by George Martin, and led to them collaborating on the top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, "Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred". Noël Coward chose "Hole in the Ground" as one of his records on Desert Island Discs, saying he would pass the time on his desert island by translating it into French. Richard and Fred Fairbrass adopted "Right Said Fred" as the name of their pop group.
Rudge and Dicks also wrote the theme song for the 1966 film Carry On Screaming, and worked with Kenneth Williams on an album, On Pleasure Bent, in 1967. Other songs written by Rudge were recorded by Topol, Val Doonican, Matt Monro, Joan Sims, Jim Dale and Petula Clark.
Rudge wrote several scripts for BBC television in the 1960s, including scripts for the soap opera Compact. He also wrote two series of Stop Messing About in 1969, a follow-on radio comedy to Round the Horne, and in 1960–62 (with Ronnie Wolfe) three series of Something to Shout About, a sitcom for BBC radio set in an advertising agency. With Vince Powell, he co-wrote a religious sitcom Father Charlie in 1982, starring Lionel Jeffries and Anna Quayle. He also wrote pantomime scripts, particularly for the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. He was a volunteer for the Samaritans.
He is survived by his civil partner Stephen Murray.
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- Obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2007
- Obituary, The Times, 14 November 2007
- Obituary, The Independent, 14 November 2007