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pride of manchester - frank randle
Frank Randle

"There were the times when Randle, the amateur, the Wigan alley lad, would re-affirm his grasp on his fundamental identity by skiving off for days at a time, leaving film sets idle and touring companies wildly improvising, while he and Jo Locke roistered round the cool tap-'oiles of some undetectable Pennine hostelry." - Jeff Nuttall in his 1977 biography 'Frank Randle - King of Twist'

Born at 50 Wigan Road, Aspull, Greater Manchester on 30th January 1901, Frank was a childhood friend of George Formby and both of them went on to become legends of their time. Frank was just 15 when he first appeared in the theatre as an acrobatic artist (under the name Arthur Twist). It wasn't until 15 years later though that he achieved great popularity as a music hall comedian whose wild and manic temperament brought a new style of quite risqué, if not downright vulgar, comedy to the stage.

For ten years Frank Randle ran his own touring company, Randle's Scandals, which played to big audiences all over the country, including headlining Blackpool's distinguished summer-season show. By 1950 he was Britain's highest paid comedian.

Prior to his retirement due to failing health, he appeared in 10 films, most of which he wrote himself, all produced by John E. Blakeley of The Mancunian Film Corporation.

   

The films were :
1. Somewhere In England 1940 - played Private Randle
2. Somewhere In Camp 1942 -played Private Randle
3. Somewhere On Leave 1942 -played Private Randle
4. Somewhere In Civvies 1943 -played Private Randle
5. Home Sweet Home 1945 -played Frank
6. When You Come Home 1947 -played himself
7. Holidays With Pay 1948 - played Jack Rogers
8. Somewhere In Politics 1949 -played Joe Smart
9. School For Randle 1949 -played Flatfoot Mason
10. It’s A Grand Life 1953 -played Private Randle (co-star Diana Dors)

Frank Randle
   

The world lost a comic genius when Frank died on l7th July 1957 in Blackpool, where his grave can be visited in Carleton Cemetery.

 
Buy Frank Randle - King of Twist
Robb Wilton's War featuring Frank Randle on CD
Blackpool's Comedy Greats - Frank Randle, Harry Korris & Al Read
Hooray for Jollywood - the book about John E Blakely & Mancunian Films
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chat about Frank Randle in Manc Rant

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