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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Alas, if only Chuckles Mulroy was real

Reiver has lamented the lack of famous Cumbrian comedians. But that was before he heard about Chuckles Mulroy.

Mulroy featured in a BBC4 documentary called Cricklewood Greats. This saw comic actor Peter Capaldi tell the forgotten story of Cricklewood Film Studios.

Capaldi explained that the studios were founded by Arthur Sim from Morecambe. We saw a rare 1920s clip of Sim and a fellow comedian... Chuckles Mulroy from Carlisle. That’s right – we had stumbled upon a long-lost Cumbrian comedian.

Capaldi went on to tell tragic tales of the Cricklwood greats. Their fates included being blown up in a stunt that went wrong. He tenderly held the battered bowler hat: a tragic memento.

One star had his bushy eyebrows insured for the princely sum of £100. Another became the sweetheart of 1930s British cinema, until she began making Nazi propaganda films.

Some of this seemed rather odd. The penny finally dropped when Capaldi visited the site of the old studios – now a branch of Wickes – and earnestly relived the glory days as shoppers trundled past with their trolleys.

Cricklewood Greats was a spoof. There was no Cricklewood Film Studios. And there was no Chuckles Mulroy.

The long wait for a Cumbrian comedy star goes on.

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