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chorus boy

Julian and Sandy

Julian and Sandy were characters on the BBC radio programme Round the Horne, played respectively by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, with scripts written by Barry Took and Marty Feldman. According to a BBC Radio 4 programme on the characters they were named after the writers Sandy Wilson and Julian Slade.

The characters were originally conceived as two ageing Shakespearean "old luvvie" actors who were doing domestic work (in Kenneth Horne's flat) while waiting for the next acting job. The producer thought the characters were too sad and suggested making them younger "chorus boy" types.

As well as being highly amusing, Julian and Sandy were notable for being two camp homosexual characters in mass entertainment at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK, and for the use of Polari or palare in the sketches. The writers and cast thought the characters worked very well as they were not being held up to ridicule or simply there to be the target of a joke, in fact most of the sketches revolved around Kenneth Horne's presumed ignorance being the target of their jokes.

Kenneth Horne would find these two characters usually by looking in a rather risque magazine (which he would insist he bought for innocent reasons). This would lead him, more often than not, to a business in Chelsea starting with the word "Bona" (palare for "good"). He would enter by saying, "Hello, anyone there?", and Julian (Hugh Paddick) would answer, "Ooh hello! I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy!"

Here is a quote illustrating the use of double entendre from the sketch "Bona Law", featuring Julian and Sandy as lawyers:

HORNE: Will you take my case?
JULIAN: Well, it depends on what it is. We've got a criminal practice that takes up most of our time.
HORNE: Yes, but apart from that — I need legal advice.
SANDY: Ooh, isn't he bold?

At other times, Horne's character would pretend not to understand the more risqué meanings in Julian and Sandy's dialogue, although it was always hinted that he was secretly in on the joke.

The sketches also often had Horne drawing out of Julian and Sandy more about their personal lives than Horne was seeking, as the two would misunderstand his meaning. In one sketch, discussing Julian and Sandy's time out travelling the world aboard ship, Sandy reveals Julian was swept overboard in a storm:

HORNE: But did you manage to drag yourself up on deck?
JULIAN: Ooh, no, we dressed quite casual...

Another catch phrase often used by Sandy was "That's your actual French", although Barry Took acknowledged that Peter Cook had claimed to be the first to use "your actual ...." as a format phrase.

In the last episode of Series 4 (which later turned out to be the last ever episode, due to Horne's untimely death) Julian and Sandy are revealed to be "married" — to a pair of "dolly palones" named Julia and Sandra.

Other appearances of the characters

In 1987, a special edition of Wogan called Radio Fun (broadcast December 30th) was made as a tribute to BBC radio comedy. Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams appeared as Julian and Sandy, with Terry Wogan doing Kenneth Horne's lines.

In the 2003 stage show Round the Horne Revisited (later filmed for BBC Four), Paddick and Williams (and therefore Julian and Sandy) were played by Nigel Harrison and Robin Sebastian .

The fiftieth Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures novel Happy Endings by Paul Cornell features a polari-speaking Silurian musical duo from the 30th century called Jacquilian and Sanki.

See also

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