It’s hard to believe that one man, with three different voices, could inspire a generation of comedians. But that’s exactly what Buzz Hawkins has done.
If his name doesn’t sound familiar then his voice or voices certainly will.
It’s absolutely daft,so I expect my audience to be up for it from the very beginning
For the past 34 years, radio comedy The Bradshaws has become a British institution, appearing on more than 50 radio stations, including Radio Wave.
As well as creating the show, Buzz Hawkins plays all three of the main characters, switching between them with ease.
Over the years, the show has twice been nominated for the prestigious Sony Radio Award and has won a legion of fans including the likes of Peter Kay, Henry Normal and Caroline Aherne.
The three reportedly used to meet up to discuss episodes and with Caroline Aherne in particular, it’s clear to see that The Bradshaws was a big influence on her eventual creation – The Royle Family.
Despite being from Manchester, Blackpool could be described as a spiritual home for The Bradshaws, due to the inspiration behind it. It was first created by Buzz when he was working as a producer for The Late Sequence on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio.
Upon being challenged to write a poem for the station’s ‘Poet’s Corner’ - The Bradshaws were born.
Buzz told The Gazette: “I got in my car that night, switch on the radio and Albert and the Lion was on, which is a really old monologue about a family that go to Blackpool Zoo and a lion eats the lad.
“I thought that was a great idea but instead of a narrator I did it with three voices.
“It was our only holiday as a kid that, we used to get on the bus and drive through the lights.
“Now all these years later , I can drive through the lights and there’s a tableau to The Bradshaws. I wish my mum and dad could have seen that.”
Buzz is bringing The Bradshaws to life in a new stage show at Thornton Little Theatre, on Thursday, May 18.
About the show, he said: “It’s absolutely daft,so I expect my audience to be up for it from the very beginning.
“To make sure that happens I put stuff on the seats like ‘how to make a paper aeroplane’, so immediately the audience are being more childish, nice and relaxed and we’re having a great laugh together and that’s what it’s about.
“It’s that moment of joy where you just let everything go and just have a grin. And I have a grin every single time.
Tickets are priced at £15.
To book, visit www.wyretheatres.co.uk or call 01253 887693.