The Old Almondburians' Society
The Old Almondburians
GORDEN KAYE (1952-59)
'Gorden' Kaye did not actually attend King James's Grammar School, but 'Gordon' Kaye most certainly did: the involuntary change of name occurred as a result of a typing error when he joined the actors' union Equity many years ago. Gorden himself claims that it was 'a sign of his misspelt youth'.

Although his schooldays acting was limited to a brief and somewhat inglorious appearance as Lord Scroop, Earl of Masham in the 1956 production of Henry V, he became an amateur actor with Bradford Amateur Theatre group before joining Bolton Rep at the newly formed Bolton Octagon as a professional earning £18 a week. A year later he was spotted by Patricia Phoenix ('Elsie Tanner' in Coronation Street) which led to appearances as Elsie Tanner's nephew, accompanied by a welcome tenfold increase in his weekly remuneration.

This led to an invitation to play the part of cafe owner René Artois in a projected new BBC comedy series set in Nazi-occupied France during the war. It became so popular that some 90 episodes were eventually recorded and are still repeated regularly today. The show also led to a massively successful London and internationally touring stage show. This, and other stage appearances all over the country, result in Gorden remaining a very busy actor today.

Recorded on 5 March 2007
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Gorden Kaye was featured in
Desert Island Discs on
22nd December 1999.