Ten reasons we love Stanley Baxter
To be recording a new radio play on the day he turned 90 is quite an achievement, but from legendary comedian Stanley Baxter it’s barely surprising – he’s been working in entertainment since he was a child. Here are 10 (of many more) reasons we love this newly-minted nonagenarian.
"Zarraburdorahairywullie?" - Stanley in a 1986 Christmas TV special
1. Stanley started his show-business career as a child actor under the instruction of his extrovert mother. He did impressions of Harry Lauder and Mae West, aged 7, without knowing who either of them were.
2. He invented "Parliamo Glasgow" in which he translated Glaswegian into English, with phrases like "sanoffy caul day" (“it’s an awfully cold day”) and "zarraburdorahairywullie" (“is that a lady or a gentleman?”).
3. Kenneth Williams was one of his best friends. They met during National Service.
4. He was a legendary dame on the Scottish panto circuit, often playing opposite the late Ronnie Corbett, before hanging up his hooped skirt in 1992.
5. When Stanley appeared as a child on the Scottish edition of BBC Children’s Hour he had to stand on a box to reach the microphone.
Baxter in a 1970 Hogmanay special
6. He puts his longevity down to being a confirmed hypochondriac, because he identified a heart problem swiftly. "Every headache a brain tumour, every cough is cancer," he says.
7. He demonstrated, alongside the late Victoria Wood, to keep Highgate’s local post office open. They failed.
Baxter in Dennis Potter's Wednesday Play, The Confidence Course, in 1965
8. He thinks the Kardashians are a pop group.
Baxter celebrating his 75th in 2001