Jimmy Edwards

Jimmy was born on 23rd March, 1920 in Barnes, London. His real name was James Keith O'Neill.
He performed in the Cambridge Footlights review and joined the RAF during the Second World War. He was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross after his Dakota was shot down at Arnhem in 1944. Because of his facial injuries sustained in the crash, he had to have plastic surgery and to hide this he grew a large handlebar moustache, which became his trademark.

After demobilisation he appeared at the Windmill Theatre followed by a series of engagements at other London theatres, including four years at the Adelphi in 'London Laughs'. His first film, called 'Trouble in the Air' was made in 1948 and he played B. Barrington Crockett. He made his name in radio and television. His most famous radio show 'Take it From Here' ran from 1948 to 1960 and later featured the Glum family with Ron and Eth. He introduced the tuba into his act and it became a feature of his many variety performances.

He first made a name for himself on TV with his series called 'Whacko!' in which he played Professor James Edwards. It ran from 1956 to 1960 and in 1971. He also was the panel game creator and a regular member of 'Does the Team Think?', which started in 1958. Other radio shows included 'They're Out' and 'Navy Mixture'. Take It From Here was transferred to television in 1978, consisting of just the Glums. He appeared in many more television series such as 'The Seven Faces of Jim' and 'More Faces of Jim' in 1961 and 1962, 'Bold as Brass' in 1964, 'Blanding's Castle' in 1967 and 'The Fossett Saga' in 1969. He was very popular.

His film appearances included a film version of 'Whacko!' called 'Bottoms Up!' in 1959, 'The Plank' in 1967, 'Lionheart' in 1968, 'Ghost of a Chance' in 1968 and 'The Bed Sitting Room' in 1969. His final film was 'Anoop and the Elephant' in 1972.

In 1953 he wrote 'Take It From Me' and in 1984 an autobiography called 'Six of the Best'. He also founded and was Vice President of 'The Handlebar Club', whose members had large moustaches. His hobbies included polo, hunting, flying and brass bands. He was also in partnership with his brother in a successful 900 acre farm in Sussex . He died on 7th. July, 1988.