Deryck Guyler - Career


After the war, he became a regular on the immensely popular radio series, It's That Man Again (ITMA), a series built around comedian Tommy Handley. Guyler claimed that his character 'Frisby Dike' (named after a Liverpool department store bombed in the Blitz) was the first time the real Liverpudlian accent was heard on the radio. He took part in a Royal Command Performance of ITMA for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in December 1947. Guyler remained with the show until the death of Handley in 1949 when the series ended.

After ITMA, Guyler worked in varied roles from BBC Children's Hour to classical parts, including with John Gielgud in King Lear. He was known for his often amusing asides in rehearsals. For a Children's Hour documentary about life in the coal mines, which Guyler was narrating, the producer had visited a mine and recorded most-realistic sound effects. As these were banging, crashing and thumping sounds he was heard to mutter: "Sounds like a Peter Brook production".

In the 1950s, he played the time-traveller (also known as "the voice") in the British sci-fi radio series Journey Into Space. Guyler then took on the role in the title character of a Scotland Yard detective in the Light Programme series Inspector Scott Investigates, created by John P. Wynn, that ran from 1957 to 1963. During the half hour programme a crime was committed; Scott and his sidekick, Det. Sgt. Bingham (Brian Hayes, brother of Patricia Hayes) interviewed two or three suspects; then, while music played, there was a short intermission for listeners to guess 'whodunnit' before the final reveal. During the 1960s and 1970s when he starred in the satirical radio programme about life in the British civil service The Men from the Ministry with Richard Murdoch. Guyler played the pompous, self-important Number One in the General Assistance Department, with Murdoch as his diffident but equally incompetent Number Two.

He appeared as the Police Inspector in the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night (1964) and as the art professor in the Gerry & the Pacemakers film Ferry Cross the Mersey (1965).

Guyler holds a unique place in theatrical history, having 'acted' in every performance of The Mousetrap since the opening night on 6 October 1952 in Nottingham. He delivered a news bulletin via a recording which is still being used at the St Martin's Theatre at present.

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