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Who is Mr Pastry described by Harry Redknapp on I'm A Celebrity...?

By Alan Smith

Football manager Harry Redknapp revealed on I'm A Celebrity... his wife calls him Mr Pastry after the clumsy 1950s comedian.

Yet not many people realise the former Spurs gaffer's slapstick TV forebear was a legend in his time who hailed from Kent - and is buried in the county.

Redknapp confessed to his alter ego after he managed to lose his camp's chopping board in last night's episode of I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here.

Harry Redknapp in the jungle. Picture: ITV
Harry Redknapp in the jungle. Picture: ITV

He said he earned the sobriquet because he was so clumsy "like that bloke who used to be on TV and mess everything up."

Mr Pastry was the stage name for TV actor Richard Hearne, a popular children's star of the 1950s and '60s who was once considered for the role of Doctor Who.

Born in Norfolk in 1908, Hearne lived most of his life in Kent, first at Platt Farm in St Mary's Platt, later at Abbeygate at Tovil, passing his final years at Barty House in Bearsted and Rosemary Road in Bearsted. He died in 1979.

Hearne was great chums with Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, 12-times Mayor of Maidstone, and was the regular star each year at the seasonal opening of Tyrwhitt Drake's Maidstone Zoo.

Richard Hearne as Mr Pastry in 1968
Richard Hearne as Mr Pastry in 1968
Mr Pastry, aka Richard Hearne, at the season opening of Maidstone Zoo in 1951
Mr Pastry, aka Richard Hearne, at the season opening of Maidstone Zoo in 1951
Richard Hearne visiting the Kent Messenger office in 1959
Richard Hearne visiting the Kent Messenger office in 1959

He was one of the first TV stars, donning a straggly white wig, bowler hat and ill-fitting tweed coat to play the role of the doddery Mr Pastry - even though in fact he was only 37 when he created the character.

His slapstick comedy often ended up with his getting a custard pie in the face - and he later advised the founders of the World Custard Pie Championships in Coxheath in 1967.

As well as his own show, Hearne appeared on another children's favourite, Crackerjack, and there was even a popular toy based on his Mr Pastry character.

The Mr Pastry Pop Apart Target Game involved firing a dart at a Mr Pastry figure - if you hit his moustache, his bowler hat would fly off.

Richard Hearne starts a new Roland press at Passmore's printing factory in Tovil in 1967
Richard Hearne starts a new Roland press at Passmore's printing factory in Tovil in 1967

Despite his very British style of his humour, his act travelled well to America and he was on the Ed Sullivan Show 31 times and took his act to Las Vegas.

So Harry, perhaps Mr Pastry was not quite so clumsy after all.

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