Sunday, October 4, 2009

So why did I start this tribute page?

I knew Frank Muir as the author of the What-a-Mess books, about the fat, scruffy Afghan hound whose real name was Prince Amir of Kinjan. Most know him as the other half of Denis Norden, from the radio days of My Word! and My Music.
Frank & Ebony pic
In the early 1980s my father bought me the What-a-Mess book as a present. He had an asthma attack while he tried to read it to me because he laughed so hard. So, after dad recovered, we wrote to Mr Muir, who was kind enough to write back. Little did he realise what he was getting himself into, because I kept writing to Frank, and he kept writing back. Finally, in Christmas 1994, my husband Stephen and I flew to the UK from Australia and met Frank for a gorgeous lunch at the Groucho Club, in London. He was a tall, healthy avuncular type and we got on like a house on fire. He had given up wearing his bow ties at that stage. Apart from being witty and charming, he paid for lunch.

In October 1997, Frank sent me a copy of his autobiography, A Kentish Lad. On the inscription he wrote: "To Ebony, my very favourite piece of Australia, with simply bucketfuls of love, Frank." The book got rave reviews in all the UK papers, which was a fitting tribute. If you'd like to know more about Frank, then get a copy of his book and enjoy. You probably need somewhere quiet, or you'll draw a few strange looks as you smirk, snigger and snuffle. On the other hand, read it on public transport and share the love.

Lastly I would like to thank the Muir family. In April 1999, Frank's wife Polly opened up his collection for us help make this tribute as comprehensive as possible. It was with deep sorrow that we learned from Sally Muir that Polly died in October, 2004.


  1. Just read A Kentish Lad for the first time. A fantastic book so "typically" Frank. Not that I ever knew him but I always loved his humour and that of his contemporaries.The whole world is a lesser place without the likes of Frank Muir and his debonair dislike of ceremony.I wish I could have met him.
    Roy Phillips ---Australia

  2. I discovered and photographed the Frank Muir Memoral Field and childrens skateboarding and adventure play park in the village of Thorpe, Surrey, UK yesterday. Id be delighted to share some pictures with this blog and readers and will do so when I work out how to link to the page.