What memories of two great Norfolk characters

Our King of Comedy, Peachy Mead, pays his own tribute to a pair of top Norfolk entertainers

They were a couple of Norwich entertainers who gave so much pleasure to others – Larry Pye and Phil Johnson who we have lost in recent weeks.

Norfolk's king of comedy Peachy Mead returned from a stint in Benidorm to read my stories about how two of his best pals had passed on.

'How sad. I had worked with both of them hundreds of times,' said Peachy.

'They both leave wonderful memories of great times for the people who have watched them both at holiday parks, clubs, theatre village halls and any venues which staged entertainment,' he said.

Peachy recalled how they all started out in concert parties, then played the village halls for various football and cricket club events and for the annual company dinner/dances.

'It's funny how all three of us worked in Oak Street in Norwich at one time. Phil and I at the old Federation Club, now The Talk, and Larry at The Fellmongers down the road.

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'We also had long spells at the old Railway Club on Thorpe Road and in later years we all met at the holiday parks – often passing each other on the coast roads as we went from one club to the next,' recalled Peachy.

'We worked many shows together as we had completely different styles of comedy and music. It is hard to believe that I have now been a professional entertainer for 50 years.

'The other member of the famous four was, of course, the late Sparkie Flint of Norwich. Another fine entertainer and a wonderful man,' said Peachy.

He is still going strong and treading the boards in sunny Benidorm.

'It's home to the oldest jokes in the world and the oldest comedians,' smiled Peachy who also recalled working with a certain Engelbert Humperdinck, who I pictured at The Washington Club in 1960s with Les King and Tony Weston. 'I go can back even further. I was with him in Norwich when he was Gerry Dorsey and he got a job on the Mid-Day show at Anglia TV when it opened with Susan Hampshire and Norman Hackforth. He was accompanied by our own Peter Fenn,' said Peachy.