Production on a new TV documentary has taken Queen of Extreme Productions on a great journey!
Charting the history of The Hippodrome we have learned about diving dwarfs, a one-legged cyclist and iconic performers who once appeared such as Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini and Judy Garland.
But our knowledge of the venue was greatly enhanced when Roy Hudd, the king of music hall and pantomime history, took part in a filmed interview in the Matcham Room at The Hippodrome.
With his sharp wit and delivery, Hudd proved to be a dream for this director! He turned up with age-defying boundless energy and a suitcase full of original theatre programmes from years gone by – pure gold to any collector out there! An avid collector himself, Roy was like a little boy proudly showing off his matchbox car collection.
Hudd enthused as he shared his memories and interesting facts about performers and shows from days gone by at the venue.
Roy was spell-binding, even my young film crew were fascinated by the names and tales he told during his interview. But then, Hudd, being the great showman he is, is used to captivating a younger audience with his one-man shows. Indeed, Roy beamed with pride as he told us that the younger generation are now eager to learn from him. There’s no-doubt that he’s a master of show business, delivering every engaging recollection with wonderful comedic timing.
Hudd was interviewed by our production researcher, Paul Burton. Both spent time together prior to the interview happily swapping showbiz gossip and stories. Burton, who is a published author and a film and TV historian, caused Hudd to later comment: ‘Paul was terrific, his notes were invaluable and he was great at getting me to talk (actually, I never stop!). He made the whole thing very easy.’
To summarise, Roy, who himself once hosted a TV series from the complex during its days as the Talk of the Town, gave us a wonderful and memorable day. There’s no-doubt that he will be one of the biggest highlights of Queen of Extreme’s new documentary on The Hippodrome!
About Roy Hudd
Roy has been in show business for over fifty years. He started as a Butlin’s redcoat and then moved on to mastering stand up comedy, pantomime and music hall. All while taking time to appear in films, musicals and the plays of Shakespeare, Stoppard and Cooney. Hudd has played roles in numerous TV productions. These have included soaps, sitcoms, dramas and variety shows. For twenty-six years, Roy memorably led the BBC radio show that won every possible award at home and abroad, The News Huddlines.
Hudd has written three books on show business, his own autobiography and has been a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats for over forty years. He’s the president of the Music Hall Society and was awarded an OBE for his services to entertainment.