Archie Andrews goes under the hammer

Liz Thomas

The original Archie Andrews doll, used by ventriloquist Peter Brough in popular fifties radio show Educating Archie, is to be auctioned off.

A selection of model heads and the full dummy in its trademark blazer, all created by Leonard Insull, will go on sale later this month and are expected to fetch in excess of £20,000 in total. The collectibles, along with an assortment of programme memorabilia, have been in the Brough family for generations.

Brough’s granddaughter, Sarah Domellos, said: “It is very important the dolls go to a good home – somewhere that will keep the memory alive. At the moment, he [Archie] is just living in a suitcase. He would be far better off with a museum or collector.”

Broadcast on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, Educating Archie attracted around 15 million listeners every week and had a children’s fan club with close to 250,000 members. Produced by Ted Kavanagh and penned by Eric Sykes and Sid Colin, the show also featured performers including Dick Emery, Tony Hancock, Harry Secombe, Bruce Forsyth, Max Bygraves and Julie Andrews.

At a private viewing of the items for friends and family, JF Novelli, manager for the late John Mills, said: “Peter Brough and Archie were loved by the public. They made a generation of people happy and that is why all of this memorabilia is important. It is a historical record of a dying artform.”

For further information about viewing the collection contact Luke Macdonald on 01823 332 525.

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