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Denis Norden

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Denis Mostyn Norden was born into a Jewish family in Hackney, East London, on 6 February 1922.
    He was academic and bookish, winning a scholarship to the City of London School. The novelist Kingsley Amis was a fellow pupil.
    "I was very tall, very skinny and always had my nose in a book", he remembered. He also had a burning desire for adventure.
    He wrote to the Daily Express at the age of 16, and asked if he could accompany the foreign correspondent to the civil war in Spain. To his amazement the journalist agreed, but his spoilsport parents put their foot down. So he turned his mind to another ambition.
    "I'd seen a photo in Life magazine of two Hollywood screenwriters beside a swimming pool being served drinks by two blondes and I couldn't imagine a better life than that," he said.
    To find out what audiences wanted, he left school and - at the age of 18 - became Britain's youngest cinema manager.
    When the war intervened, he became an RAF wireless operator, teamed up with Eric Sykes and branched out into performing for the troops.
    Demobbed, he started writing for radio and found himself teamed up with fellow aspiring comic, Frank Muir."

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