Wartime music hall legend, Michael “Mickey” Tiddler, has passed away at home earlier today peacefully in his sleep following a short illness.
Tiddler loved throughout the country for his amazing act involving two ferrets, a length of clothes-line and a rolled-up copy of The Times is often mentioned in the same breath as Winston Churchill as having been instrumental in keeping Britain going through the war; and without his cheery indomitable never-say-die spirit it’s frequently argued we would never have defeated Hitler.
Bert Longworth who often performed as Mickey’s stooge told The Mirror, "Mick was a one-off. There was nobody like him. His act was the stuff of legend and that time he was arrested was nothing more than a silly misunderstanding.
It’s true he may have had a reputation of being a bit of a tight-wad but that was all just paper talk. He had a heart of gold and nothing was ever too much bother for him. I remember I loaned him a monkey back in 1948, and that was a lot of money then too mind, but he paid back every penny to me without me having to carry out my threat in the end. A true gent.”
Tiddler was a particular favourite of the The Queen Mother and in fact the gossip columns of the forties were full of stories suggesting that perhaps there had once been a brief affair between the pair.
In a break with protocol Buckingham Palace released the following statement today: It is with the deepest regret that Her Majesty The Queen has learnt of the sad death of Michael Tiddler. He was a regular visitor to Balmoral during the war and a particular favourite of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. He will be sadly missed.
Veteran theatre critic Jules de Vere-Carlton added his own tribute this evening; speaking on Radio 4’s arts programme Front Row he told Mark Lawson “I remember he appeared at The Royal Command show in 1943 and he almost brought the house down. I seem to recall that shortly after that it became illegal to use TNT as part of a live theatrical performance. And of course who could ever forget his catchphrase, Fack me Vicar, look at the size of them!”
Tiddler is survived by his wife Rene and his two sons Tobias and Rufus.