Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What Ho! The Wodehouse Walk!

Here's David on LW's Richard IV & Wodehouse…

Remember Frank Muir? He of the pink bow tie and pipe.

His chocolate commercial, for example. The one where he donned an Edwardian swimming costume and sang “everyone’s a fruit and nutcase” to the strains of the Nutcracker Suite.

That’s every one for sure – us, him, the Cadbury chocolate bars he was pitching.

Bit of all right, that.

As was what he said about his fellow humorist and broadcaster Arthur Marshall (who was also a bit of all right).

Called him (bending Rupert Brooke’s famous line) “an unofficial English sunbeam.”

Now Muir and Marshall are just warm-up acts for this post.

Wanted to marshal Marshall because of what he said about P.G. Wodehouse.

(Head spinning? Don’t worry about it. It’ll make sense. And feel good.)

Marshall said (in the Sunday Times A Day In The Life Of piece about him): “I retire to bed very early, about half past nine. And every night before composing myself for sleep, I read a paragraph or two of P.G. Wodehouse. Because the writing is so perfect, the choice of words, the jokes, I always feel that I can go to sleep and, if I die in the night, there’ll be this pleased expression on my face – a smile of quiet acceptance.”

(Arthur Marshall died, in his sleep, in 1989.)

A far more acerbic humorist – Evelyn Waugh – said Wodehouse’s books had “three uniquely brilliant and entirely original similes to each page.”*

To. Each. Page.

And considering that Wodehouse wrote 90-some books…

The only question is who in their right mind wouldn’t want to go on a P.G. Wodehouse’s walk? It’s felicities and joy and delight recollected in tranquility.

In tranquility in Mayfair.  Does it get any better than that.

The walk’s a Richard IV creation. (Created and guided by Richard B., he of the velvety voice and Audiobooks fame.) It comes trailing clouds of glory. Received the ultimate accolade – and imprimatur. Namely a very favourable review in the journal of the U.S. Wodehouse Society, a very favourable review written by the editor of the UK one.  Pow! Pow! That’s quick draw, double holsters action.

If you’re the sort who’ll take direction – or act on a recommendation – well, here she be, this is a dash of direction, a ration of recommendation.

In short, this is a very good walk led by a star guide. It’s a Sunday afternoon leg stretcher that’ll put a pleased expression on your face. Go on. Come on (it). Do yourself a proverbial (favour).

*There are thousands of examples. To dip lucky – i.e., pick a couple out of the hat: “She wrinkles her nose at me as if I were a drain that had got out of order” (from Right Ho, Jeeves). “The doctor felt my pulse and tapped me all over like a whiskered woodpecker” (from Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen).  

Search at for details of dates & meeting points


Richard IV

Richard IV is an actor, swordsman and an expert on early detective fiction.  Velvety voiced and perfect timing, he makes for some awfully handsome listening! No surprise to learn that he's narrated numerous documentaries and audiobooks.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment