display | more...
A British scriptwriter of comedy, one of the perennial favourites of the last fifty years, usually in association with Denis Norden. They met in 1947, and their first work together was on Take It From Here. The central part of this radio show was The Glums, with Jimmy Edwards as Mr Glum, Dick Bentley as the halfwitted son Ron, and June Whitfield as Ron's ever-suffering girlfriend Eth.

That lasted until 1958, when they worked on Whack-O!, a TV show also starring Jimmy Edwards, this time as teacher. Their hugely popular radio panel game My Word began in 1956 and lasted for 34 years; they spun off My Music in 1967. In both the two of them appeared as team captains whose sole purpose was to spread wit and jokes and incidentally inform you about words or music.

Although he styled himself a writer rather than a performer, his natural style did make him a very good presenter of material. Another series he worked on, this time with Alfred Marks, was "Frank Muir goes into...", where they interspersed fascinating antiquarian material, quotations from old writers, queer nuggets of useless information from the past, with a wry appreciation of the good jokes and absurdities that could be squeezed out of subjects.

Another show was Call My Bluff. A number of these shows produced spin-off books: I find The Frank Muir Book absolutely invaluable (it's all the scholarly bits they used in "Frank Muir goes into...") and not infrequently use it for noding. He did a comic novel The Walpole Orange which I found disappointing: too genial, too unfocused, and not very funny.

Frank Muir was born in Ramsgate in Kent on 5 February 1920. His 1997 autobiography was called A Kentish Lad. He died on 2 January 1998, a few hours after watching Forrest Gump, apparently with approval. He was extremely tall, and the word dapper is explained with a picture of him in most dictionaries. He had a neat moustache and always wore a striking bow tie. His elegant tones and dry, kindly wit brought light into many people's lives and are much missed.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.