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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th January 1936 Born today: Noel Harrison, London, singer/actor (Mark-Girl from UNCLE)
26th January 1926 Television first demonstrated by John Logie Baird in London.
26th January 1922 Ralph Vaughan Williams' Pastoral Symphony, premieres in London
26th January 1904 Wealthy mining entrepreneur Whitaker Wright is convicted of fraud and immediately commits suicide by swallowing cyanide at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Master Ventriloquist
The Father of Modern Ventriloquism lived here.
Location: Flat 71, Kenilworth Court, Putney, SW15 1EN
Description: The Father of Modern Ventriloquism, Fred Russell (Thomas Frederick Parnell OBE) lived here in Kenilworth Court in Putney, London, from 1914 to 1926 and is widely credited as being the first to use the classic knee-sitting technique.
His act remained hugely popular for several decades, involving prolonged tours of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as visits to others including the USA and Sri Lanka.
In 1948 he was awarded an OBE for his long services to entertainment and continued perform late in life, eventually being billed as 'the oldest ventriloquist in the world'.
He died in Wembley, aged 95.