Francis Alick Howard, OBE (6 March 1917 – 19 April 1992), better known by his stage-name Frankie Howerd, was an English comedian and comic actor whose career, described by fellow comedian Barry Cryer as "a series of comebacks", spanned six decades. His first stage appearance was at age 13 but his early hopes of becoming a serious actor were dashed when he failed an audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He began to entertain during World War II service in the British Army. It was at this time that he adapted his surname to Howerd "to be different"... (read more)
Links to Peel
Peel mentioned on his 14 December 1989 show that when he was he was 8 or 9 years old, he went to see Frankie Howerd in a pantomime at the Liverpool Empire. He went on to say that Frankie called up a number of children including himself on stage to sing Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear. Despite mentioning the event, Peel, according to available playlists, never played any of Frankie Howerd's records. But Howerd was primarliy a stage and TV performer, not a recording artist, so this doesn't necessarily mean that the DJ had no time for his work.
However, in one Radio London daytime show (02 August 1967), Peel sounds as if he wasn't taking the records, the ads he has to read, or the show in general, very seriously. His mannerisms at times resemble Frankie Howerd's - very different from the presentation style JP adopted on the Perfumed Garden. Later, on one of his BBC shows (not dated yet), Peel mentioned that he had seen the comedian in the street, trying to hail a taxi after a performance, and was amused that in real life Howerd used the same mannerisms and quirks as he did onstage, And Frankie Howerd did manage to gain the respect of later generations of comedians and comedy fans, gaining appreciative write-ups in the NME in the "alternative comedy" era of the 1980s and appealing to the audience who read that paper and listened to Peel's shows.