Thomas Reginald Handley, British comedian. 1892 - 1949

Born 12th January 1892 in Liverpool, Tommy served in the army during World War I, then worked in variety, and in the infancy of radio became known as a regular broadcaster. He worked with people such as Arthur Askey and Bob Monkhouse, and wrote many radio scripts, but it is the BBC comedy series ITMA for which he is best known. He later starred in the IMTA film in 1942 and in Time Flies (1944).

In later years, he suffered with high blood pressure, the result of his driving commitment to ITMA, and died suddenly on January 9th, 1949. In a eulogy at his memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral, the Bishop of London said that "he was one whose genius transmuted the copper of our common experience into the gold of exquisite foolery. His raillery was without cynicism, and his satire without malice...".

Sadly, the BBC decided that he was such a key figure of ITMA, that the show died with him.

I have placed some of this information into an article at wikipedia

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