Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Adventures of Mr Thake

In 1924, writer JB Morton adopted the name Beachcomber and began a humorous column in the Daily Express which was to run for more than 50 years.

Reading about the odd lives of Beachcomber's characters – whether they were nonsensical, puritanical, pompous or simply insane – became part of the ritual of breakfast throughout the land.

A typical example of Beachcomber's gift for creating what GK Chesterton described as "a huge thunderous wind of elemental and essential laughter," is Mr Thake.

Out of print since the Thirties, The Adventures Of Mr Thake is a collection of letters to Beachcomber read for this BBC Radio 4 series by actor Leslie Phillips. The character, Oswald Bletisloe Hattersley Thake, was depicted as an upper-class twit. Described affectionately as "a caricature of his nation", Thake never quite understands what is happening to him, or why.

Pause for 15 minutes at 3:30pm for the next three days to get your dose from the talking-type wireless. If you can't I am sure www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer will take the strain for a later listen.


chris said...

a joy

Robin said...

If Mr Thake has been out of print since the thirties, what is this paperback edition, published in 1984 by Alan Sutton in Gloucester, doing on my shelves?

Nick Browne said...

Dear Robin,

It was the BBC who informed me Thake had been out of print since the 30s. We may have to consider the possibility that Auntie is fallible.

Episode 1 is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ljyw4/Afternoon_Reading_The_Adventures_of_Mr_Thake_Thake_on_the_Riviera

chris said...

the bbc does fib. I have a "beachcomber" containing the said Thrake, too!