2016 has been a funny old year, but it is also the year that we turned 70!
That’s right, for the last 70 years CSE have taken hundreds, maybe even thousands of performers, technical crew, tour mangers, costumes and production equipment to entertain the British military all over the world! From shows on ships, to the middle of the desert in hostile environments, and a few 5* hotels in-between. We have been lucky enough to visit some amazing places and meet some amazing people.
To celebrate this 70-year milestone, BFBS Radio’s Adam Gilchrist has produced a special, exclusive programme for BFSB Radio looking back at the evolution of CSE, from Dame Vera Lynn and Bob Hope and the entertainers of the second world war right up to stars of the present day such as David Beckham, who all supported the cause to bring morale to the military!
When asked how is was to make the programme, Adam said: “Such was the wealth of material & the obscurity of finding recordings of older acts that the sifting process has taken 3 months. I wanted archive material to reflect all 70 years of CSE from Frankie Howerd to Jason Manford, Larry Adler to Geri Halliwell. Archivist Alan Grace even found some posters advertising the first CSE shows in Germany in 1946. At the time circuses were big news with 8 on the go in BFG! Those interviewed for the programme were effusive in their praise for CSE & fun - CSE dancers Leanne & Charlotte spoke so well (and so much) they probably deserve half an hour to themselves. I asked former CSE tour manager Richard Astbury for a roll call of destinations, but it took too long. In 70 years of a changing British forces world, there are hardly any places entertainers haven't been. CSE stalwarts Angie & Sakina have been unbelievably helpful and patient with all my information requests"
It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the forces community and we applaud all who have taken part in a CSE show, whether on stage or in the audience!
LISTEN TO ‘CSE AT 70 – THE FORCES ENTERTAINERS’ on BFBS Radio:
3rd December 1330 UKT
4th December 1900 UKT
11th December 1300 UKT