A Quick Bio
I was born in Birmingham in the UK on the 24th August, 1934. The Shaftesbury Society in London helped me overcome my height difficulties; they are a Christian group which cares for young people with disabilities.
I started performing in 1950 at the age of 16 when I joined the Burton Lester’s Midgets as a performer. Shortly after I became a DJ with Mecca Organization before joining Billy Smart’s Circus as a clown and shadow Ringmaster. Later in my career I toured the country for 9 years doing panto and ice shows, where I met the queen. After leaving the ice, I formed a musical comedy act: The Mini Tones.
My friend Jack Purvis and I later became nightclub performers. Jack would also go on to star in Star Wars. The role of robot R2D2, for which I seem most recognisable, came in the 1977 film Star Wars. I would go on to perform in all 6 Star Wars films as well as documentaries relating to them.
In 1978, as R2-D2, I put my footprints into concrete outside Graumann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, Hollywood.
I have worked with many comedians including Dickie Henderson, Leslie Crowther, Ken Dodd (as a Diddyman), Little and Large, Russ Abbot, Ben Elton, Dick Emery and Dave Allen. I have also been on 3,2,1 and Opportunity Knocks and even met Laurel and Hardy.
This 2013 I am really happy to support The Christmas Jumpers Co and their super range of Christmas jumpers. Their efforts help raise money for the ICOEF, a superb children’s charity.
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Well Christmas if fast approaching and this year I’m going to be proudly sporting my Brian the penguin Christmas Jumper, courtesy of the Christmas Jumper Co.
Many thanks John and Brian
R2-D2 was named when a technician from "American Graffiti" asked Lucas for Reel number 2, Dialogue track number 2. R2-D2 and C-3PO characters are inspired from the famous comics duo of Laurel and Hardy. R2-D2 wind-up action figure made by Takara in Japan, was one of George Lucas's favorite toys. Lucasfilm itself ordered thousands of them for company employees.
For all those who regularly and kindly enquire after my health - Im doing just fine thanks.
I visited the specialist recently who was very pleased with me and I have to accept that at my age my body refuses to do what it could do so easily 20 years ago. I still enjoy my music very much and was delighted to see Bill Wyman's Rythmn Kings at the Preston Guild Hall in November. I met up backstage with my old friends Bill Wyman and Georgie Fame and we chatted till the wee small hours about the good old days and musicians we have admired and worked with. I would like to assure all my friends and fans that there is still plenty of life in me and I do still get chance to get out and enjoy myself.
I do hope you will enjoy the book.
My very best personal wishes to you all.