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Educating Archie

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    1951 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (printers)
    Unknown (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Rae Hammond

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Variety bill advertising the stars of <i>Educating Archie</i> Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Chiswick Empire, 7 May 1951.

Educating Archie was a comedy radio show broadcast at Sunday lunchtimes between June 1950 and February 1958 starring the ventriloquist Peter Brough and his vent doll Archie Andrews. The show also introduced comedians who were well-known or who went on to become well known, including Tony Hancock, Benny Hill, Harry Secombe, Dick Emery, Bernard Bresslaw, Bruce Forsyth, Max Bygraves, Julie Andrews and Beryl Reid. Radio stars were a big draw in variety theatres, and seeing a vent doll act on stage obviously had even more to offer than hearing it on the radio where it was nevertheless hugely successful.

Chiswick Empire in Chiswick High Road, West London, was one of London's best-loved variety theatres where all the biggest stars of the day performed twice nightly, including Laurel and Hardy, Vera Lynn, Arthur Askey, Ken Dodd, Terry-Thomas and Alma Cogan. Opened by Oswald Stoll in 1912, it also staged plays, concerts, revues, an annual pantomime, and sometimes opera and ballet, but was closed in 1959 to make way for an office block. Performers on this bill with Peter Brough and Archie Andrews include the close-up magician Edward Victor, who wrote books on sleight-of-hand, and Harold Taylor, an amateur magician in the RAF during the war who went on to make a successful career as a professional magician.

Physical description

Typographic and photographic poster with red and blue lettering advertising the bill at the Chiswick Empire for the week commencing Monday, 7 May 1951, featuring a black and white photograph of Peter Brough and his ventriloquist doll Archie Andrews (stars of the radio's 'Educating Archie'). The acts are printed in text boxes along with their 'bill matter' describing the act: Doreen Harris 'Radio's Radiant Songstress' 'At the Piano Billy Hall'; Linda and Lana 'Artistry in Rhythm'; Harold Taylor 'Wit and Wizardry'; Bob Wayne & Barbara 'Slightly Insane'; The Permanes 'The Nightingale's Courtship'; Edward Victor 'Hand Made Humour', and Ravic & Partner 'Thrills on Wheels'.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)


1951 (printed)


Unknown (printers)
Unknown (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


Height: 36.1 cm, Width: 25.7 cm

Descriptive line

Variety bill advertising the stars of Educating Archie Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Chiswick Empire, 7 May 1951, letterpress and photolithography


Printing ink; Paper


Printing; Photography


Entertainment & Leisure; Ventriloquism; Posters; Advertising


Theatre and Performance Collection

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