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Charlie Chester MBE





His famous opening phrase as a comedian was "This is Cheerful Charlie your Chin-up Boy Chester!"



He was BBC Radio's official host for every wartime anniversary, from Dunkirk and D-Day through to his most recent programme on VE Day plus 50.



In 1952 he devised a new TV show called Pot Luck, the first ever British audience participation series. , Chester's greatest television success was in Educated Evans which ran from 1957 to 1958


Charlie wrote his autobiography 'The World is Full of Charlies' in 1974.

Born in 1914 in Eastbourne, 'Cheerful Charlie' Chester won 82 talent competitions before turning professional as a teenager. His sixty year career was spent primarily as a comedy radio star.


That started with his long-running show Stand Easy, a half-hour comedy sketch show which included the Crazy Gang. It ran from 1945 to 1951, when the title was changed to Keep Smiling. All the scripts were written by Chester.


vIn 1972 he started his long-running 2 hour radio programme Sunday Soapbox broadcasting from Birmingham although resided at Chestfield in Kent.


"With a box full of records and a bag full of post, it's radio soapbox and Charlie your host!"


The show, broadcast regularly on Sunday afternoons until 1996, reflected his concern for less fortunate members of society. The show received over 1,000 letters a week with 4 million listening in.


He was also heard presenting brass band music in a programme he launched in 1984.


Charlie suffered a stroke and died in Twickenham, Middlesex in June 1997.




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Charlie on stage - Radio 2; 10.10.78


Music to Drive By (Charlie Chester's Sunday Soapbox theme tune) -  by Oscar Brandenburg Orchestra.



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