Brad Ashton

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Interview Date(s): 
7 Jul 1999
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BEHP 0455 S Brad Ashton Synopsis

Although this interview flits about it is full of material about the history of comedy writing for radio and television.


Born 1931, as Bernard Abrahams, he explains why he changed his name - Home in Stepney, a real Cockney, his mother and father came from Poland as babies. Brad educated Grocers Grammar School, left at 14 because he spent too much time in the local library reading about ”show business”. 0n leaving school he told his father he wanted to be a writer; his father told him he had to learn a trade first and he became a tailor  for seven years - spent his spare time visiting Variety Shows. Did National Service in the RAF, sent on a course at Nottingham University on plays and stage craft. Appeared first as a comedian at the Nuffield Centre, seen by Denis Norden and when he asked him what he thought he was told he had wonderful material but was no comedian. Through that contact he wrote scripts for the Bernard Braden Show. He goes on to talk about comedy scriptwriters and how Associated London Scripts worked. He talks about the radio scripts for Life With the Lyons and he talks about Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey, Morcambe and Wise and Mike and Bernie Winters and finishes Side 1 with a wonderful anecdote about Groucho Marx.



He continues to talks about writing and his interest in American Shows. He talks of the difficulties of live transmission and then when AMPEX came in because of the expense, the shows were transmitted  "warts & all". There is a very interesting story about a TV show with the American Actor Harry Green who died in the commercial break at the end of part 2 and how Warren Mitchell saved the day. He talks about the behind the scenes dramas with Tommy Cooper.


He continues to talk about his continuing career with talking about Comedy on Cruises or his involvement with both Dutch and German TV as a script consultant.




Born Bernard Abrahams