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Buster's stars of stage, screen and radio. 
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I don't know why but I've always had a fondness for AP/Fleetway comic strips that featured real-life stars of 'stage, screen and radio'. As I was too young to have bought the papers that owed their whole ethos to this type of strip Film Fun, Radio Fun and TV Fun my main source of pleasure in this regard was Buster, the young tyro who hoovered up much of the AP's personality dominated comic output.
Below is the cast list of all (I think) Busters forays into this field.
1) Whacko (Jimmy Edwards) 25/2/61-13/1/68 carried over from Radio Fun on amalgamation where he'd appeared since 1959. Originally drawn by James Malcolm but from 14/5/66 a series of Reg Parlett reprints began to appear which had first been published in TV Fun.
2) Charlie Drake 25/2/61-24/6/67 another carry over from Radio Fun where he'd appeared since 1958. Artist- Arthur Martin.
3) Bruce Forsyth 15/9/62-17/8/63 carried over from Film Fun and drawn by Roy Wilson.
4) Morecambe and Wise 24/10/64-20/2/65 the last strip created by the great Roy Wilson.
5) The Valiant Varneys (Reg Varney) 17/7/65-12/2/66 For this series Fleetway were fortunate that in the late 1950's Roy Wilson had drawn a series of strips in Film Fun featuring Terry-Thomas in which the gap-toothed comic actor had related stories of his noble and not so noble ancestors. So when a TV series featuring Reg Varney turned up in the mid 1960's covering the same ground all Fleetway did was to reprint the Terry Thomas strip with Terry-Thomas erased and replaced by Reg Varney.
6) Have Guitar Will Travel 8/1/66-7/5/66 An obscure one this as, in this reprint from Radio Fun, all mention of the original star has been edited out.
Radio Fun title 'Round the World with Stan Stennett'. Artist Albert Pease.
7) Benny Hill 8/1/66-13/1/68 reprints from Radio Fun where Benny appeared between 1954-1959. Artist Reg Parlett.
8) Harry Secombe 1/7/67-13/1/68 Roy Wilson reprints from Film Fun.
9) Freddy 'Parrot-Face' Davies 20/1/68-25/9/71 Artist Reg Parlett
10) Big Daddy 13/2/82-26/5/84 the comic antics of all-in wrestler Shirley 'Big Daddy' Crabtree. Artist Mike Lacey.
11) Also back-tracking a little I feel I must include 'The Astounding Adventures of Charlie Peace 27/6/64-15/6/74 as Victorian cat-burglar Charlie Peace did exist. The strip just never got round to the bit where he killed a policeman and ended up on the gallows.


Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:27 am
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Interesting that Charlie Peace was based on a real-life villain, and am I right in remembering that when Buster merged with Giggle the strip was revamped a little, actually a lot, with Charlie finding a time machine and finding himself in present-day London? With hilarious consequences...


Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:40 am
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Just remembered something else. In one episode Charlie showed how quickly he could adapt to his new surroundings. He got into a film studio and got his revenge on someone who'd crossed him by messing about with the soundtracks of some unedited adverts that had been filmed. The end results were that the adverts had completely the wrong soundtracks and the bloke in charge got the sack! As a nine-year-old reading this, I was a bit surprised at Charlie talking about splicing film together! :D


Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:13 am
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As you correctly remembered Charlie Peace was transported to the present day i.e 1968, via breaking into a time machine he took to be a safe, in the first combined issue of 'Buster & Giggle' dated 20/1/68. He remained in the present until 3/11/73 when he again stumbled on the same machine which transported him once again back to Victorian times.


Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:49 am
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Wasn't a Charlie Peace strip retitled Toby Jugg and reprinted in the Valiant Book of TV's Sexton Blake? I had that item a lifetime ago and remember thinking that TJ looked a lot like CP.


Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:32 pm
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There was a Charlie peace strip published under the title 'Toby Jugg' on pages 114-117 of 'The Valiant Book of TV's Sexton Blake' and it was indeed a reprint, but not from Buster. It was a strip reprinted from Valiant itself which had run a Charlie peace preview strip within its pages on 20th June 1964 a week before the strip began its long run in Buster.


Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:33 am
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Ahhh... I didn't know that ole Charlie had been in Valiant before Buster. I was also surprised that the Reg Varney strip I vaguely remembered was actually a redrawn Terry-Thomas strip. You live and learn.


Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:03 pm
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