John Styles MBE
- Based: London/Kent
- Website: www.johnstylesentertainer.co.uk
“TREAT MR PUNCH RIGHT - AND YOU'LL NEVER BE LEFT!” was the advice given to me by my mentor, the late Oscar Oswald - a celebrated Punch 'Professor' back in the 1950's. Wise words indeed for Punch has been my 'right-hand' partner in crime ever since, accompanying me on an amazing range of engagements, not only in this country but around the world - from pubs to palaces, beaches to Broadway, and from Holland Park to Hollywood. As a young man my influences included Percy Press Senior and Frank Edmonds plus the great comedians of the Music Hall and Variety Theatre. I owe a lot to their style and comic timing in the way I continue to present my show today. All the traditional elements are there and included are all the favourite characters.
I've always had respect for the lovable rogue who guarantees fun at any event. His irreverent sense of humour, particularly lampooning anyone in authority, strikes a chord with both young and old alike”
In 1968 I was invited to appear on The Avengers television series and embarked on a career that was to include Mr Punch in over 40 film & TV productions, plus numerous news items and radio interviews. I am still asked to hire and advise to film, stage & TV companies today. Apart from performing Punch & Judy, I have collected an important archive of related objects and memorabilia: – puppets – booths – toys – children's books – paintings – prints - ornaments, etc., which featured on the Antiques Roadshow. I have been asked to give talks to various clubs, schools and societies including the Royal Society of Arts in London and The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. I was a founder member of both the Punch & Judy Fellowship in 1980 and the Punch & Judy College of Professors in 1985.
I've always had respect for the lovable rogue who guarantees fun at any event. His irreverent sense of humour, particularly lampooning anyone in authority, strikes a chord with both young and old alike. For over three-and-a-half centuries he has been the most vigorous puppet character this country has ever known and along with Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes shares the Department of Culture's distinction of being regarded as a figure of iconic status in the realms of British culture. Not bad, eh?
I consider it a privilege to be part of the UK's most popular puppet tradition and that my son, Robert has chosen to follow in my footsteps.