Now here's a strange thing. Nelson Mandela was a George Formby fan! Or so they are now telling me! As the great man lies dying, and also on account of my Oscar Pistorius 'connection', hot on the heels of last week's broadcast to Australia, I'm now doing a broadcast to South Africa about the very subjects.
My publicists tell me that several of my books were "not allowed to be sold" in South Africa because of my own personal views. The two main ones are the Formby book, and Dusty Springfield. Both stars were kicked out of the country for expressing their views.
I loved Beryl Formby, and think she should have got the OBE as well as George. Anyone who coul stand up to the dreadful Daniel Malin--let alone slap his face for being a racist--has my admiration. George said, "When you get red spuds and white spuds, and when you peel them, they are the same colour as on the inside." Their 'crime' was that, when a little black girl walked onto the stage to give Beryl flowers, she picked her up and kissed her. The South African government ordered them not to sing in front of blacks, so Beryl re-organised the tour and they performed to blacks only in the townships. The man who organised this was shot dead on the tarmac as the Formbys' plane was taking off. Disgusting people. Therefore I can see why Mandela--a young man at the time--admired Formby.
Regarding Oscar, that's my business. He's been an associate of mine for some time. We're fans of each other. I admire him, and he me. Did he, or didn't he? All will come out in the wash, as my mother used to say. I'm still supporting Ryan Idol, and always will. I don't turn my back on nice people until they're proved not to be nice. This boy has had a lot to put up with.