The death of one of the last remaining wartime Music Hall star turns, Mickey (the Funny Fella) Tiddler, has been announced.
It’s often been said that without him we would never have won the war. Famous for his amazing overcoat and garish suits he became a real tonic for the troops. With an act featuring, among other things, two ferrets, Chunky the Chihuahua and his audience participation interlude, ‘The Magic Blackboard’, he passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family members.
His longtime stage partner and stooge, Walter Wilson, told BBC News: “Mickey was a one-off. There was nobody like him and that time he was arrested was nothing more than just a silly misunderstanding. That’s straight up. Stand on me guvnor. He did have a reputation of being a bit of a tightwad but that was only newspaper talk. Mind, I’m going to see Jeanie, his widow, and ask her about getting back twenty quid I loaned him in 1941 before I lose the opportunity.’
Tiddler was a particular favourite of the late Queen Mother and in fact the gossip columns of their day were full of nods and winks suggesting that perhaps there had once been something of a brief dalliance between them. Nevertheless Buckingham Palace released the following statement.
It is with the deepest sadness and regret that Her Majesty The Queen has learnt of the death of Michael Tiddler. He was a regular visitor to Sandringham during the war years and was a particular favourite of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. He will be sadly missed.
And speaking to reporters at a charity luncheon in London, after hearing the news, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh said: ‘Was he an Englishman? …eh? What? He was?…Good! Just so long as he wasn’t one of those bloody foreigners then!’