It was announced today that the British comedian, actor and singer Max Bygraves has passed away in Australia. Born Walter Bygraves in London’s docklands in the East End, he changed his name after impressing fellow servicemen with his impersonations of Max Miller.
He married Blossom Murray in 1942, shortly before his career took off alongside popular fellow entertainers including Frankie Howard. With his catchphrase ‘I wanna tell you a story’, he was soon appearing at his first Royal Command Performance and was later second on the bill to Judy Garland at the London Palladium.
Vernon Corea introduced the music of Max Bygraves to South Asia when he produced the iconic children’s radio programme ‘Kiddies Corner’ over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon. There were several songs by Max Bygraves that were really popular on Radio Ceylon. ‘Kiddies Corner’ has been presented by Vernon Corea, Craig Thompson and Vijaya Corea. The radio programme was produced by Vernon. He play a song written by Max Bygraves himself which was a huge hit in Sri Lanka. It was called:
‘Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellenbogen by the Sea’
Another song by Max Bygraves was also popular on ‘Kiddies Corner’ on Radio Ceylon: