Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Me So Horney

Julian and Sandy were a pair of characters who appeared regularly from 1965-68 on the BBC radio programme Round the Horne. The duo were played by Hugh Paddick (Julian) and Kenneth Williams (Sandy), and the pair would interact with the show's host, Kenneth Horne, in a series of smut-laden performances.

Their sketches followed a particular pattern: Horne would recount an event from the previous week that involved a chance meeting with Julian and Sandy, a couple of out of work actors who were "just filling in" at an establishment until their next acting role. These encounters purported to involve Horne in a quest for the seemingly innocent, such as a haircut, booking a holiday, buying a new suit, by way of an advert in a dodgy magazine. But this was subverted at every turn by Julian and Sandy's high camp, as they raised the art of insinuation and double-entendre to a whole new level.

Bona Omies
When the show began Paddick and Williams were both gay men at a time when homosexuality was against the law and seen as aberrant, deviant behavior by much of society. Even after it was de-criminalised in 1967, being openly gay was still risky, and so the characters are never actually referred to as being queer, and so perhaps some of the show's more naive audience remained unaware. However, regular listeners could enjoy the risqué gags and Polari (gay slang) as Julian and Sandy targeted the superficially innocent Horne with their jokes. This wasn't simply nudge-nudge, wink-wink stuff; it was camp as high art, rococo in it's intricacy and flourishes, crafting pure smut from the wholly innocuous. Although Williams was hardly the shy and retiring type, he and Paddick must have relished the opportunity to shock audiences while remaining safe behind a thin gauze of innuendo.

The team preparing the material for the performers was Barry Took and Marty Feldman, a great writing partnership that only finished when Kenneth Horne died after the fourth series of Round the Horne, and Feldman decided to concentrate on his performing.

For your listening pleasure, an example of the masterful camp of Julian and Sandy. Bona!

Bona Caterers by MoundsandCircles