Kenneth Horne

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Kenneth Horne (27 February 1907 – 14 February 1969) was an English comedian and businessman.


Early life

Born Charles Kenneth Horne,[3] he was the son of Charles Silvester Horne (1865–1914), a Congregationalist minister, Liberal MP for Ipswich, and powerful orator who built the White House in Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton as the family home, and is commemorated by the 'Silvester Horne Institute' in Church Stretton, Shropshire. His maternal grandfather was Herbert Cozens-Hardy, the Liberal MP for North Norfolk who became both the Master of the Rolls and Baron Cozens-Hardy on 1 July 1914.

He was educated at St George's School, Harpenden and at Magdalene College, Cambridge, from where he was sent down for neglecting his studies. He found a job with the Triplex Safety Glass Company.[4]

During World War II, Horne served in the RAF, reaching the rank of Wing Commander. As part of BBC Radio's support of the war effort, entertainment programmes were devised to target each wing of the armed forces, which led to Horne's involvement in initially, Ack-Ack, Beer-Beer - the title taken from the then-current phonetic alphabet - which he presented, aimed at the Home Defence Systems personnel, and which ran to 324 episodes, and later Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh, set initially at the titular fictitious Royal Air Force station.


Horne was the star of three of the BBC's most popular postwar radio comedies - Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh (with Richard Murdoch, from 1944 to 1954), Beyond Our Ken (1958–64) and Round the Horne (1965–68).

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