Harry Enfield on Gerard Hoffnung
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Gerard Hoffnung’s life was short. He died in 1959 at the age of 34, but this cartoonist, musician, broadcaster and raconteur achieved a lot in that time. Born in Berlin, he lived most of his life in London. His charming cartoons which often gently poked fun at musicians and conductors were printed in magazines and books. His wife Annetta said he was always on-show and even a trip to the bank could turn into an uproarious occasion. Having caught the attention of the BBC he recorded a series of interviews with Charles Richardson, and his delivery of 'The Bricklayer's Lament' to the Oxford Union in 1958 is considered a triumph of comedic story-telling. The Hoffnung concerts which combined music and comedy sold out quicker than Liberace. Harry Enfield discovered Hoffnung when he was looking through the records in his local library. He knows it's boring for comedians to talk about timing but Hoffnung's was brilliant, and he finds it annoying that comedy wasn't even his main job. Harry got to know the family later on and his impersonation of Gerard became the inspiration for his own character 'Sir Henry'. Harry's joined in the studio by Gerard and Annetta's children, Emily and Benedict Hoffnung. Future episodes in this series include Alice Roberts on Emma, Queen of England, Journalist Steve Richards on Bruce Forsyth and Baronness Ros Altman on Antoni Gaudi. Presenter: Matthew Parris Producer: Toby Field for BBC Studios Audio
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