George Formby was born on this day in 1904

One of Britain’s top comedians, George Formby, was born on this day in 1904.

Originally a boy jockey, he became a variety artist at 17 and worked his way through the music halls and from 1932, the cinema, and into the affections of a vast public.

He appeared in a series of Royal Command variety performances and in 1948 he was awarded the C.B.E.

As a comedian, Formby specialised in the apparently vacuous, with his full-moon face, spreading toothy smile and a Lancashire accent.

He was not a man of many faces. Everything rested on his gentle personality. He died in 1961.