Friday, August 28, 2009

Win Will Hay by Graham Rinaldi

For slightly complicated reasons that I need not enter into here, I have come into posssession of two new copies of Will Hay by Graham Rinaldi.

The website of Tomahawk Press, the book's publisher, says:

Every British comic actor that followed Will Hay owes Hay a debt of gratitude – for it was Hay who defined the modern essence of British comedy. Working closely with Hay’s family, Graham Rinaldi’s definitive tribute to the respected comic actor, takes a close look into Hay’s on-screen and off-screen personae.

Drawing upon Hay’s own writings; - newspaper articles, notes from his astronomy observations and pilot’s logbooks and extracts from his unfinished and previously unpublished autobiography I Enjoyed Every Minute – the book gives a unique insight into Hay’s childhood, his continuous thirst for knowledge and his passion for aviation, astronomy and comedy.

The book is illustrated throughout with previously unpublished photographs from Hay’s family albums including a rare photograph of Hay with Amy Johnson, plus memorabilia from his performing career. Extensive research into Hay’s stage work includes extracts from his original Fourth Form at St Michael’s sketches, The Will Hay Radio Programme and, for the first time, from all of his revue and variety shows including Nosey Knows and Moonstruck for Fred Karno.

Each of Hay’s 18 films is examined, with insightful information regarding their production, written extracts from deleted scenes (including for the first time in their entirety the missing sequences from Ask a Policeman,) previously unpublished stills and interviews with those who worked with him from Val Guest, Leslie Gilliat and Roy Ward Baker to Dame Thora Hird, Barry Morse and Googie Withers.

Did you know that in addition to creating the mould for British comedy, that Hay was an accomplished astronomer, linguist and pilot? No? Then you must read this book about one of British film’s most fascinating characters!

To win a copy of Will Hay just email me the answers to the following three questions:

  1. What is the name of the 1942 film in which Will Hay satirised Nazi Germany?
  2. Which two actors regularly appeared in films as Will Hay's sidekicks?
  3. Who played "Will Silly" (an affectionate parody of Will Hay) in Harry Enfield's television special Norbert Smith - A Life?
The competition closes at 2359 on Monday 7 September.


Frank Little said...

Those sidekicks immortalised themselves (unless the council has had the pavement torn up) in cement at the grand opening of the Odeon in Slough, in the great days of picture-houses. Bette Davies also signed her name there, probably at the time she was in this country evading the Warner Bros. lawyers.

Frank Little said...

Did you know that in addition to creating the mould for British comedy, that Hay was an accomplished astronomer, linguist and pilot?
I knew about the astronomy, but not the other things. He was also, according to one contemporary, a prize hypochondriac.

crewegwyn said...

He was - in many ways - a rather strange man.

Could explain my fascination .....