Denis Norden: the king of the blooper who always delivered

The host of It’ll Be Alright on the Night also had a celebrated career with his writing partner Frank Muir, and understood the art of television like few of his peers

Although his most popular venture – ITV’s It’ll Be Alright on the Night – featured examples of television going embarrassingly wrong, Denis Norden, who has died aged 96, was himself such a skilled writer and performer that he sustained a 60-year career in the medium: from co-writing Gerry’s Inn, a 1947 BBC drama, to All The Best From Denis Norden, an ITV tribute on his retirement in 2006.

It’ll Be Alright on the Night was inspired by the so-called “blooper reels”, featuring fluffs and trips by actors, or misbehaving props, which had previously been played at industry Christmas parties. In the early years of the medium – when most shows were broadcast live – mistakes caused a brief blush; increased pre-recording,
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