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PERCY THE PRAWN
REGAL-ZONOPHONE MR1118 recorded 1933
(2 sides, 6'32")
One of the most effective of the early radio performers was 'A.J.Alan', who occasionally broadcast his own short stories between 1924 and 1940. His identity was a closely guarded secret, and it was only much later that he was identified as Leslie Harrison Lambert, a Government official. His broadcast style was much more natural-sounding than the rather formal approach of most broadcasters, though it was the result of a very carefully prepared technique: among other things he pasted his script pages onto cardboard so that they wouldn't rustle - and brought his own candle in case the lights went out.

He managed to convey the sense of a real person telling an unprepared story; his broadcast usually ran around fifteen minutes and the stories were often slightly eerie with a sting in the tail. With even the simplest story he could rivet his listeners, and he made a huge impact on the radio audience. Several of his broadcasts are preserved in the BBC Sound Archives, and make fascinating listening: few people have ever had his total command of the microphone.

The recordings I've presented here are from commercially issued gramophone records, which aren't as good as the broadcasts but do give a clear idea of his style.
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HILARION THE FISH
REGAL-ZONOPHONE MR991 recorded 1933
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(Mouse over the details for notes on each record)