Skip to main content

Formby, George

Formby, George (1904–61). Comedian. Born in Wigan (Lancs.), Formby followed his father in the old music-hall tradition. His stage character was that of a gormless but good-natured Lancashire lad, with a squeaky voice, toothy grin, and a talent for playing the ukelele. He soon became an established success in provincial theatres and in 1929 began recording his cheerful, cheeky songs such as ‘When I'm Cleaning Windows’ and ‘Chinese Laundry Blues’. He made his first film, No Limit, in 1935 and then made an average of two films a year until 1946. He retained the persona of his stage character who, with a mixture of luck and innocent guile, triumphed in the end with his catch-phrase: ‘Turned out nice again!’ These well-made pictures made Formby the highest-paid entertainer and the top box-office attraction in Britain. He was awarded the OBE in 1946 for entertaining the troops during the Second World War and his films were so popular in Russia he was awarded the Order of Lenin.

Richard A. Smith

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Formby, George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Formby, George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (January 21, 2019).

"Formby, George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.