Right of Reply: Dennis Taylor

The president of the George Formby Society responds to a critical article by Robert Chalmers

YESTERDAY'S ARTICLE by Robert Chalmers about David Bret's biography of George Formby, A Troubled Genius, has achieved exactly what the writer intended, which was to show biographer David Bret at his worst; offend the whole of the George Formby Society, and upset the surviving members of the Formby family.

George Formby - a junkie? Ridiculous. He was ill at times; had a bad heart, and suffered from bouts of dysentery and malaria (contracted while entertaining troops abroad). How and with what did doctors treat patients in those days? Aspirin? Or perhaps other pain-killing medications?

George Formby - a womaniser? Ridiculous. Although surrounded by leading ladies, dancing girls and starlets, any of whom might have been attracted to his money, for most of his life Beryl, his wife, kept a beady eye on him and all the girls knew to steer clear.

His so-called "affair" with Yana is only hearsay. It's only a modern interpretation to think that anything more than platonic was going on, especially if she was, as the book suggests, a blatant lesbian.

George Formby a depressive? Ridiculous. Look at the lovely photograph you printed with the piece.

By publishing Mr Chalmers article, The Independent has tried to disgrace one of our greatest entertainers, a man who did much to boost the morale of a nation at war with German, and was rewarded with the OBE for his services to the war effort in entertaining over three million allied troops. He raised thousands for those affected by the war.

His films were a bright light helping to make those dark hours of wartime easier to bear. George Formby should have been knighted.

Mr Chalmer's article and it's revelations will soon be forgotten by the public.

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