Cad, bounder, rotter and an absolute shower! Terry-Thomas was one of the most colourful, popular and best-known comedians of post-war Britain. A broad and rich career on stage, television and radio, he exported his portrayal of the silly-ass Englishman from British films such as Private's Progress, Carlton-Browne of the F.O. and I'm All Right Jack to Hollywood, where he depicted an upper-class English twit in a number of films, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and How to Murder Your Wife. From the height of fame and considerable fortune he was struck down with "perfidious Parkinson's" which ended his career early and drove him into poverty, where he survived on charitable hand-outs. A good peer review here saw the odd wrinkles ironed out. We hope reviewers enjoy reading about such a colourful character as much as we have enjoyed writing about him. – SchroCat (talk) 09:37, 16 July 2013 (UTC) & CassiantoTalk 09:37, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Support based on my PR. I'll have to recuse myself from looking at the images, having uploaded several myself. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks, Crisco, for all your time and efforts in PR, here and in the work you did with the images: all very much appreciated and your efforts have gone a long way to making this article what it is today. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 11:54, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Now added (it wasn't in the original LexisNexis results, but I've picked it up directly from the Guardian archives). Many thanks NM for taking the time to look through: it's very much appreciated. All the best - SchroCat (talk) 13:50, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Support. I had the pleasure of peer reviewing the article. It was then plainly well on its way to FA quality, and is now there, in my view. Other must comment on the pictures (I am too ignorant of WP's rules about images) but the text meets all the FA criteria, in my opinion. It is full but not overfull, the proportions are judicious, the referencing scrupulous and the prose a pleasure to read. Tim riley (talk) 16:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks for your very thorough peer review: the standard the article enjoys now is as much down to the generous participation of the three reviewers as it was our efforts. - SchroCat (talk) 16:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Comments: I've got to the end of the war section so far, and it is a very good read. I've found a few prose issues, mainly over redundancy or phrasing. But nothing major. More to come later. Sarastro1 (talk) 17:17, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"He spent several years appearing in smaller roles, before wartime service with Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) and Stars in Battledress saw him sharpen his cabaret and revue act, and build an increased public profile.": This use of "saw" is something I find rather clumsy and I think it is best avoided. What about "He spent several years appearing in smaller roles, before wartime service with Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) and Stars in Battledress sharpened his cabaret and revue act, and increased his public profile."
Thanks for the review. I went for: "He spent several years appearing in smaller roles, before wartime service with Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) and Stars in Battledress. The experience helped sharpen his cabaret and revue act, increasing his public profile." -- CassiantoTalk 17:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"His time with ENSA helped him develop a successful comic stage routine upon his demobilisation": Not sure about this. "helped him develop" sounds a bit uncomfortable, and I wonder if the demob part could be moved to the next sentence, where it may fit better.
Done. I have gone with: "The experience helped sharpen his cabaret and revue act, increasing his public profile and proved instrumental in the development of his successful comic stage routine. Upon his demobilisation, he starred in Piccadilly Hayride on the London stage was the star of the first comedy series on British television, How Do You View? (1949)." -- CassiantoTalk 17:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"He appeared increasingly on various BBC radio shows": Perhaps better as "increasingly appeared"?
"He had his most creative period during the 1950s": Maybe "His most creative period was the 1950s".
Either was good with me, I went with yours. -- CassiantoTalk 17:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"From the mid-1960s he appeared increasingly": This phrase already used in the lead.
True. How about: "frequently starred"? -- CassiantoTalk 17:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"He led a generally happy childhood, but regularly felt that his parents harboured a secret desire to have a daughter in his place.": "regularly felt" does not quite work for me. Perhaps "often felt" would be better, but I would be inclined to replace that phrase with something like "but believed that his parents secretly desired a daughter in his place".
Yep, now tweaked - SchroCat (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"The performances seldom worked, and his father became increasingly distant with his family.": Minor point, but would "distant from his family" work better? "Distant with" sounds like an error (although it probably isn't, and I understand the intention). Depending on what was happening, "removed from" would also work.
I've gone with "removed from" - SchroCat (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"Terry-Thomas became interested in the stage, and regularly attended the Golders Green Hippodrome to see the latest shows. It was there that he developed an interest in fashion": interested … interest. Also, we could perhaps cut back to "There, he developed an interest…"
Both points addressed - SchroCat (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"It was the latter subject which later earned him an expulsion from the school for his frequent and inappropriate use of ad lib during lessons. As well as drama, he also took up a position in the school jazz band, first playing the ukulele and then percussion. Together with his ability to play instruments, [Additionally,] he often performed comedy dancing routines to the band's music.": Redundancy?
Yes: re-worked along your lines - SchroCat (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"and relished in the association with his upper middle class school friends": Maybe "relished his association with upper middle class school friends"?
"His confidence at school grew, causing him to mature more quickly.": This doesn't quite seem to fit with the surrounding sentences, and comes a bit out of the blue. Did he lack confidence? And more quickly that what/who?
Re-worked this bit to provide a little more background and sense - SchroCat (talk) 16:22, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"his more grown-up manner impressed": grown-up seems a little unencyclopedic.
"In 1933 he left Smithfield Market to work with a friend at an electrical shop. The employment was brief and he eventually took to selling electrical equipment as a travelling salesman.": Maybe "In 1933 he left Smithfield Market to work briefly with a friend at an electrical shop before he became travelling salesman of electrical equipment."
"and his hearing was still problematic, following the damage caused during the filming of This'll Make You Whistle": Do we need to repeat how it was caused in this section? It was only a few paragraphs ago.
How was he able to get compassionate leave to perform? Sarastro1 (talk) 17:17, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
This was a question raised at PR too: unfortunately there are scant details, except that he lied! - SchroCat (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Provisional support: I wasn't going to finish this tonight, but got engrossed in reading the rest, so here are my final comments. Nothing at all major, and happy to switch to full support when these nitpicks are addressed. Sarastro1 (talk) 19:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Early post war work':
"Terry-Thomas compered the show, as well as appearing in some of the sketches, including his own "Technical Hitch" routine.": Is the comma after show needed?
"noted for being the first comedy series on British television": Noted by whom? Also, this is quite a big claim and I would be more comfortable with a source which was not about Terry-Thomas. Biographers are well-known for inflating their subjects' claims to fame, and while there is no reason to doubt this, perhaps a more independent source would be a good thing. But this is not a huge deal for me either way.
I'll dig something out on this as I think others have also said this - SchroCat (talk) 20:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
New and independent source now added (there are also some others which repeat the claim) - SchroCat (talk) 08:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"The series, which was also written by Terry-Thomas": As this seems rather important, maybe move the fact earlier in the section?
Yes: I've re-worked this, with this being at the front of the section. - SchroCat (talk) 08:35, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"with the final episode being broadcast on 11 June 1952.": noun plus ing. Maybe just "The final episode was broadcast…"
"In February 1956 Terry-Thomas appeared on Desert Island Discs, and chose two songs from his "Technical Hitch" routine as part of his selection": I'm struggling to know why this is important enough to include, particularly for a potentially international audience!
I think Desert Island Discs is known internationally to some extent and it's certainly a mark of some distinction in the UK (well, two appearances, maybe!) Are there any other international reviewers who can advise on this too? If there are others who think it's superfluous, then we'll take it out. - SchroCat (talk) 20:54, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Do we need to make it clear that his films were comedies, or is it obvious enough?
I think it's just obvious enough, and I'm not sure where we would put the information if it was to be included. If you can suggest a good place to add it, then I'll drop it in, just to cover the point for those who don't know him. - SchroCat (talk) 08:37, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"his desired characterisation was that of a silly-ass sergeant major, but the role was written as a strict, alcohol- and prescription drug-dependent Army officer instead": I'm not quite clear on this. Who "desired" that characterisation? T-T? Or someone else. Perhaps "silly-ass" needs some quotation marks. And I think "instead: may be redundant.
Again, I'm unconvinced by the need to include Desert Island Discs.
"Terry-Thomas was happy to do his own stunt work, which he did for films such as A Matter of WHO and Bachelor Flat; he later said "I like to do my own stunts"": I don't think we need the quote AND the sentence before it. One or the other would suffice.
I struggled over this during the writing: now re-worked, I think! - SchroCat (talk) 20:34, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The "amiable bounder" quote is used twice, once in each of the first two paragraphs.
Good spot! Interestingly it's from two different sources; I've removed the second and re-worded - SchroCat (talk) 20:25, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"Terry-Thomas's anecdotes, stringing several stories together, were later used by Ronnie Corbett in his monologue spot in his series The Two Ronnies.": As written, this suggests that Corbett stole his anecdotes! Maybe replaced "were later used by" with "later inspired".
This is very readable, but the only sections which are a little harder work are the film sections, which maybe become a little list-y. My preference would not be to reference so many of his works, but this is not an issue which affects my support and do not feel that you must take any action here. Great work. Sarastro1 (talk) 19:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks Sarastro1 - a great review and one we'll diligently work through! - SchroCat (talk) 21:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Support: There is one unaddressed point (about confidence at school) which I tweaked myself, and the Desert Island Discs does not bother me either way. This is a great piece of work which I think comfortably meets the criteria, and I am happy to support now. Sarastro1 (talk) 16:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
That's great: many thanks indeed! I've tweaked the confidence point to provide a little more background - SchroCat (talk) 16:22, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Wonderful news, thank you for taking the time to review. As always, your review is much appreciated. -- CassiantoTalk 16:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Image check - all OK (PD-1923, PD-US-no-notice, own work). Sources and authors provided.
Tweaked some summaries and a caption for clarity.
"No notice" images have backside of photograph with initial upload for verification - OK. GermanJoe (talk) 20:26, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Many, many thanks GermanJoe: your help here is much appreciated, as was your advice earlier on the intricacies of international copyright! - SchroCat (talk) 20:30, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Support: I did a fairly lengthy peer review which I knew hadn't picked up everything, but others have since stepped in. I have also made a number of small alterations during my final read-through. This article is a good, enjoyable read which deals with the subject very thoroughly. There is, however, one sentence still bothering me: "His time spent in the British film industry had served him well, with the film historian Geoff Mayer writing that "his creative period was confined primarily to the period between 1956 and 1960". The two halves of the sentence are unrelated, and neither part adds anything significant to the article. Why not cut it? Brianboulton (talk) 22:32, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I have cut the line out Brian. Thank you very much for the review and your extensive work at peer review. As always, your involvement has been invaluable. -- CassiantoTalk 22:58, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
That's wonderful: thank you so much Brian for your work on this, both here and at the PR. - SchroCat (talk) 09:45, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Citations There's no value in wikilinking big generalist publishers such as BBC Books or Cambridge University Press. It doesn't help anyone who's checking a reference. (Template:Cite_book/doc#Publisher says "may be wikilinked if relevant", and these have no special relevance.) Colonies Chris (talk) 12:53, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi CC, Yes, it's more a matter of consistency, with all the others being linked. I have found it helpful in the past to have the links in place, and having them there does no harm in a biblio. - SchroCat (talk) 13:07, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see what use any of the publisher links could possibly be. I just identified a couple of the most obvious, but none of them have any particular relevance to the subject. And if one did, that link would stand out better for not being surrounded by others that are irrelevant. Colonies Chris (talk) 13:55, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Chris, thanks for coming back. I appreciate that you don't see the use in them, but others—including me—have found them useful in the past. As these links are in non-prose sections, and therefore less likely to break the narrative flow, then having them causes no problems to the reader and could help some. Unless others feel strongly about removing them, I'd prefer to see them remain. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 14:01, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you enlighten me about how a link to a generalist publisher such as these could be useful when checking a reference? Colonies Chris (talk) 15:45, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Chris, I am not sure why you are pushing this point so much: I have said that if others feel strongly about the links being there then I will reluctantly take them down. - SchroCat (talk) 15:51, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm pushing it because overlinking not only does no favours to our readership, it erodes their trust that the links we provide will help them improve their understanding of the topic. WP:BTW suggests we should ask ourselves "How likely is it that the reader will also want to read that other article?". I suggest that the likelihood of anyone gaining benefit from these links is very low indeed. Colonies Chris (talk) 17:13, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I've already said that I have found them useful in the past. I've also said that if others comment on it, then I will reluctantly remove the links, which I think are acceptable under the MoS. I think we should leave it there for the present until others say otherwise. - SchroCat (talk) 17:47, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Concur with SchroCat. I also find them very useful. -- CassiantoTalk 08:04, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Concur with Schro and Cass. Personal preference: unlinked publishers not required by MOS or WP:FA? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:16, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
(undent) So now a couple of people have said that they find links to generalist publishers in the refs useful - could someone please give a concrete example of how it's useful? Colonies Chris (talk) 18:28, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
No because it is not relevent to this FAC. We have decided to keep them as they are, and that's what is going to happen. Let's move on. -- CassiantoTalk 07:39, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Until it is a codified requirement according to the MOS (which would mean all FAs should follow it) your issue is not one that must be actioned. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:44, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Comment Is an infobox required/preferred? EddieHugh (talk) 10:37, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Not really. The MOS states that they are "neither required nor prohibited" for any article, which is a factor the FA procedure observes. - SchroCat (talk) 10:43, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Ian, Manh thanks for your edits and the close - and many thanks to all those who took the time to comment earlier. - SchroCat (talk) 21:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
No prob; given the number of experienced reviewers I'd intended just to spotcheck prose in the lead and a para or two in the body, as I would before any promotion, but got hooked and speed-read the whole article (he was always a favourite, along with Sellers and co.) and there was only one section where I felt the prose could stand small improvements. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:12, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.