Obituary: Anona Winn

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The Independent Online
THE OBITUARY of Anona Winn (by June Averill, 18 February) was rightly enthusiastic about this diminutive star's long contribution to British radio from Savoy Hill days onwards, writes Peter Cotes. Moreover, it served to remind us of the considerable number of Australian entertainers who have enhanced BBC radio series by their presence - Anona was but one of those who made the war years brighter by their unique talents, especially to the lighter side of life, including Dick Bentley, Kitty Bluett, Wilfrid Thomas, Michael Charlton, Joy Nichols, Roger Cook and of course, not always generally remembered, Ted Kavanagh (creator of ITMA), who was one of the funniest Irish Australians of them all.

Praise for Anona's versatility, however, should not extend to crediting her name being 'up in lights' as Peter Pan at the London Palladium. In 1937 she played Peter on tour, but the role was taken over at the London Palladium by the film- star Anna Neagle.

It is also worth noting the omission of any mention of The Bungalow Club, one of Anona Winn's most popular series: she wrote, devised and compered it. I recall being the straight 'feed' who assisted the principal comedian, Morris Harvey, a renowned character actor in the Thirties and Forties.

The 'business interests' referred to in the obituary included Anona's participation in a dress-designing firm, and as a member of that company, Bernice and Partners, she attended the West End premiere of Lesley Storm's last play, Look No Hands, when I produced it with Bernice's designs at the small Fortune Theatre in the 1970s.