George Formby: Troubled Genius
The George Formby Story
In 1999, David Bret published the first full-length biography of the Lancashire entertainer known simply as "Our George", a man whose personal life could not have been further from his happy-go-lucky persona. In this much-revised and extended
edition of the book which topped the UK best-sellers, Bret draws on exclusive interviews with those who knew him, incorporating a wealth of formerly unobtainable material to tell the real story of the troubled genius whose every move was monitored and directed
by his domineering wife, Beryl, a fearsome entrepreneur without whose Svengali ppresence Formby would have never made it to the top. Bret discusses the secret love affairs of both George and Beryl, their stance against apartheid which saw them kicked out of
South Africa, the collapse of their marriage which much of the time had been in name only, and the squabble over their fortune by his rapacious mother and siblings. Bret also examines the Formbys' courage and dedication to charity work, particularly during
World War II and its aftermath. With a detailed analysis of Formby's films, stage plays and recording work, this book reveals the complex, frequently difficult man who was and remains one of Britain's best-loved entertainers.