Saturday, 7 August 2010

Fool Britannia (1963)

As a fan of Joan, like many collectors I would get a buzz whenever I found a new item be it magazine, book or something relating to one of her films.
So whenever possible, I would visit film trade fairs around the country, or look for shops dealing in film memorabilia, and London was where I usually struck lucky.

I purchased this 45 r.p.m. record at one such fair, having gone through the stall holders entire stock.

Fool Britannia was written in 1963 by Leslie Bricusse and Joan's husband at the time, the late Anthony Newley. A series of 15 satirical sketches the cast also included Peter Sellers, Daniel Massey and Michael Lipton alongwith Joan and Anthony.
This copy released on the ember record label has 5 tracks and Joan features in 2 of them, "Whatever happened to John and Martia" with Peter and Tony, and "There's No Business Like No Business" with Tony, Peter and Mike.

Over the years I have seen various re-releases and the cover pictures have changed with Joan's being taken from a Dynasty photo.

The whole 15 track production was released to CD on the Hallmark label in 1997.


In 1990 I was fortunate to meet Anthony Newley when he toured my home town with his one man show, which included some of his many famous songs, he also spoke of his career and his marriages, including the one to Joan. At the end of the evening he took part in a Q&A session with the audience. Whatever their differences had been during their marriage, when a question from the audience about Joan was asked, he remained loyal and only said good things about her.

Front of House, he was amazed when I showed him my copy of Fool Britannia and he offered to sign it, alongwith a magazine which I will feature in a future post.

My Mum took this photograph of us in the theatre bar.

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