World War Two saw the emergency of a number of entertainers in Britain, including Max Miller. Miller was known for his risque jokes, which earned him the title ‘The Cheeky Chappie’, as well as a few bans by the BBC.
Born in Brighton on 21 November 1894, Miller left school at the age of 12 and did a number of casual jobs. His parents were poor and often unable to pay rent so were forced to move to other parts of the town. During his time in the trenches in World War One, Miller entertained other troops in an attempt to boost morale.
When the war ended he travelled between theatres in Brighton and London as an entertainer. Miller was original - he wrote his own material and came up with his own routine. He was most known for his willingness to challenge the limits of acceptable comedy. He achieved fame for his generous use of innuendo, which gained him popularity with many but a reputation with a few.
Known for dressing in a flower-patterned suit and shoes, even Miller’s appearance sparked controversy. His garish outfits and lewd jokes resulted in him being banned from the BBC - one ban lasted as long as five years.
Miller's recording career spanned over thirty years until his death in 1963. Until the end, Miller stayed down to earth and loyal to his beloved home city of Brighton.
See also: Tommy Trinder
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