Did you know that he’s a thespian? Oh no, not that old gag, you’ll be telling us he’s bi-lingual next! Well maybe, but...
Despite being told on numerous occasions that he should be on the stage (Not sweeping it, Not the next one out of town) as an Actor, Binky resisted vehemently for several years, claiming that what he’d been doing for decades was infact ‘acting’, and why should he read other peoples words anyway. (Bigheadedpratt!)
“O.K.”, said Marc Urquhart, a fellow performer in Olde Thyme Music Hall famous for his rendition of ‘She Was Only A Bird In A Gilded Cage’ and brunt of numerous Baker-jibes, “If you think it’s that easy, there’s a piece I’d like to direct you in.” Direct? What? It wasn’t getting any better! “What’s it about then?” “There’s this bloke who runs an Elvis Lookalike Contest.” “But I don’t look like Elvis, McCartney yes, but Elvis?” “Why not just meet Steve (Devereaux, actor/writer/Elvis lookalike) and see what happens?” He, Steve, came round to The Drinking Club, successfully devoured a bottle of whiskey, Saturday night and, Monday morning, Binky Baker was in rehearsals as Shaker in ‘Love Me Tender’ at The Marlborough, Brighton! This was the first of many acclaimed productions by The Entertaining Lunchtime Company - “Where else can you have a pie and a pint and for an extra quid get to see a damn good show during your lunch hour?” - the rest, as they say, is His story!
Various Fringe including Dickens’ A Christmas Carole, Strinberg’s Dream Play, Dario Fo’s Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay with Denise Welch, tour of A Beggars Opera. Three years at Brighton Festival:
Murder At The Marlborough (2yrs) Brighton Revisited (Lunchtime) ; Aba Daba All Time Music Hall (Evening); Late Nite Cabaret, Bottome’s Dream (transferred to Canal Café) (Late Night).
Legit (Proper pay with contracts and everything) included Guys and Dolls with Barbara Windsor and Biggins at Worthing (Summer Season) then Edinburgh and Glasgow; Abanaza in Aladdin with Shirley Ann Fields at Buxton Opera House. May 1989, back to Brighton Festival and A Slice Of Saturday Night at The Nightingale (NO relation!), transferred to The Kings Head, Islington, then opened at The Arts on September 27th, for a two year run. Subsequently, Binky has revived his creation, Eric ‘Rubber Legs’ de Vene, for seasons in Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt & Berlin plus one-nighters all over Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstien, performing for The Crown Prince! He also ‘covered’ for Dennis Waterman on Matinees for a short stint at The Strand, London, Dennis preferred to play golf in the afternoons!
Well, that’s the Stage, here’s the Screen and Radio. Gangster No.1, Kiss Me Quick, In Sickness And In Health, Moon & Son, On The Up, London’s Burning, Sherlock Holmes and, um, The Bill. Several ‘Saturday Night Theatres’ and various ‘Schools’ and ‘World Service’ (BBC) Throw in a handful of corporate/training videos and playing bass for Mud in Holland, and that’s a bit of it!
Did you know that he is a Thespian!
The Binky Baker Gallery of lost images:
Photographs from the personal collection of the man himself.
From Radio Rewind's Tony Blackburn page:
Binky Baker's 'revenge!' (Anne Nightingale's husband Binky is famous for having poured a port and brandy over Tony Blackburn's head after Tony retorted 'do you mind, we're trying to have a conversation here.." to Binky during a Mallory Park fun day). Toe Knee Black Burn by Binky Baker (1978)
Binky Baker in Gangster No.1 (2002)
Recent airings on national Radio:
Steve Lemacq on Saturday 25 January 2003... playlist includes Binky Baker's Toe-Knee-Black-Burn, and Elastica's Connection.
© 2007 Binky Baker