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Page 3 Profile: Harry Enfield, comedian

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin. Classic TV show Jackanory is back – and it’s all grown-up. It has been rebranded Crackanory, and will be hosted by Harry Enfield, with help from Jack Dee, Richard Hammond and  comedy actress Sally Phillips.

And for our younger readers? Jackanory originally aired between 1965 and 1996. The tea-time favourite consisted of well-known figures – such as Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and the Prince of Wales – keeping Britain’s children entranced by reading children’s books and tales…

Hang on. That was it? People  reading books?

Things were different back then, simpler. But don’t worry, the new version from UKTV channel Dave will be more, sigh, “post-watershed”, giving “a satirical and twisted grown-up spin on story time”.

Oooh, how twisted...

Its penned by comedy writers including Jeremy Dyson, of the League of Gentlemen, and Kevin Eldon, who helped create Alan Partridge, so is sure to be outrageous.

At a showcase ahead of the November launch, Enfield treated guests to a reading of The Teacup Has Landed, written by comedy writer Nico Tatarowicz. Littered with profanites, it includes the character “f***-witted car salesmen” bringing back memories of “Tim Nice-But-Dim”.

Ah, yes, Tim Nice-But-Dim. Which reminds me, what has Enfield been up to since then?

A mixed bag of stuff. As well as  appearing in the fourth series of BBC comedy Harry & Paul with Paul Whitehouse, he popped up at the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony as a tea lady.

He starred with Simon  Callow in the film Acts of Godfrey and reportedly angered residents in the swanky London neighbourhood of Primrose Hill recently, by converting a pub into his dream house.

But, of course, for most of us, it’s his performances in the iconic 90s comedy series Harry Enfield and Chums for which he is best remembered.

Whether Crackanory’s characters can match the stature of the likes of Kevin the teenager, Tory Boy and The Scousers remains to be seen. Expectations are high.

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