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Foreword and introduction to my Book by "Diddy" David Hamilton

I don't think there has ever been a company that had so many stars appearing in so many different venues on the same day and all arranged by the same agent. Each of us had our own card to hand out to any member of the public daft enough to want one. On one side would be our photograph with biographical details on the back. Somehow or other, no matter how big the star, Carl's name managed to appear more times than ours. These were 'Gresh' cards, everything else was done 'Gresh-style'. Every year he would send me a card wishing me a 'Merry Greshmas'.

I first met Carl Gresham in the mid Sixties. I was working as a television announcer for ABC TV. The station that provided weekend programmes in the North and Midlands.

He introduced himself via a letter, which arrived at the Didsbury studios in Manchester. The letterhead included a huge photograph of him, so you knew right away with whom you were dealing. From that first letter I knew here was a man who liked to do it BIG.

In no time at all we were off on a whirlwind tour of the North of England. We must have appeared at every bingo hall, disco or supermarket that had an occasion it wanted to celebrate, coast to coast from Liverpool to Hull. Certainly we were the Kings of the Carnivals. One afternoon I opened three carnivals in three different counties before dashing to the TV studios for an evening shift.

When ABC TV chose me to be KEN DODD's "straight man" in "Doddy's Music Box" series in 1967, I soon earned the nickname "Diddy David", we broadened our horizons and went national.

We discovered we had three things in common: an enormous zest for work, having a laugh and earning money!

Once I was involved in a court case (a story to be told at another time) in Scarborough. By one of the great travesties of British Justice, I was forced to pay the costs. Not to worry. Carl fixed up a bingo appearance in York on the way home, and the losses were recouped.

In 1971 I was booked to appear in my first pantomime, in of all places, Carl's hometown, Bradford. In fact, it was Carl who advised me what song I, as Buttons, should sing to the boys and girls in my "Song Sheet" spot before the finale at the wonderful Alhambra Theatre. Should it be the classic and much loved "There's a worm at the bottom of the garden and its name is Wiggly Woo"? Not at all, Carl recommended I do the song from the British Rail TV commercial "Travel Inter City like the boys do". Such was my faith in the man I did it twice daily from Christmas until nearly Easter. I still have the publicity shots of me posing in my stationmaster's cap, waving a green flag. Was Carl getting free rail travel between Bradford and London? I certainly wasn't.

To this day I still wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night wondering how I became the first Buttons to sing to the kids a TV commercial.

It was a girlfriend of mine who christened Carl "Mr Cash Register Eyes". She noticed that when money was mentioned, his face would go red, he'd rub his hands together and his eyes would light up like a cash register.

After me Carl conducted whistle stop tours with BILL KENWRIGHT from "Coronation Street", FRAZER HINES from "Emmerdale Farm", and HUGHIE GREEN and I mean that most sincerely. And Carl is no mean performer in his own right. He has the radio shows and the pantos to prove it. Oh! Yes he has!

Who will ever forget his dear mother, who regarded us all as a bit of a nuisance, as we phoned Carl for more ideas of how we could expand our careers. I think she regarded show business with a healthy disdain, and wished her son had got a real job with none of these "n'er do well"s. Carl went from strength to strength winning a contract with Woolworths who booked over three hundred personal appearances throughout the country by various stars.

I can't think of any big stars Carl didn't work with. He knew them all and because he handled all the personal appearances himself he knew them at very close range. With so many stories to tell, it's high time he wrote the book. Let's face it, the man is a legend. And over forty years on from when he sent me that letter with his photo on top, I'm proud to call him my friend.

Extracts from the book

Heres a selection of images which will be in my new book

Click on an image to see a bigger version.

Adoring fan Jean Anderton meets her hero. Gresh on the right!
Adoring fan Jean Anderton meets her hero. Gresh on the right!
The Gresh with Jayne Mansfield
The Gresh with Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield
Pete Murray doing a Greshstyle
Pete Murray doing a Greshstyle
John Alderton doing a Greshstyle
John Alderton doing a Greshstyle
Fans waiting for John Alderton
Fans waiting for John Alderton
John Alderton meets and greets
John Alderton meets and greets
The Gresh & Ernie Wise
The Gresh & Ernie Wise
The-Gresh-with-Eric-Morecambe.jpg
The Gresh with Eric Morecambe
The Gresh with Alan Freeman
The Gresh with Alan Freeman
Gresh Compere's at the Dorchester
Gresh Compere's at the Dorchester
Gresh Sponsor on Opportunity Knocks
Gresh Sponsor on Opportunity Knocks
Gresh in Mother Goose 1972-3 (1)
Gresh in Mother Goose 1972-3 (1)
Gresh in Mother Goose 1972-3 (2)
Gresh in Mother Goose 1972-3 (2)
The Gresh with Steve & Helen Farrimond
The Gresh with Steve & Helen Farrimond
Letter from Tony Curtis
Letter from Tony Curtis
The Very First Batley Variety Club Souvenir Issue
The Very First Batley Variety Club Souvenir Issue
Batley Variety Club. Supporting Artiste's
Batley Variety Club. Supporting Artiste's
Gresh Show Live from Woolworths with special guests
Gresh Show Live from Woolworths with special guests
Gresh promoting Live Broadcast from Woolworths
Gresh promoting Live Broadcast from Woolworths
Gresh with Liz Allen and Tonyt Monopoly
Gresh with Liz Allen and Tonyt Monopoly
Gresh Show's Pennine Radio's Promotional Poster
Gresh Show's Pennine Radio's Promotional Poster
Gresh's Live Pennine Radio Show in full flow
Gresh's Live Pennine Radio Show in full flow
Garth Cawood Broadcasting on The Woolworth's Gresh Show
Garth Cawood Broadcasting on The Woolworth's Gresh Show
The Gresh with Tony Monopoly at Woolworth's Live Show
The Gresh with Tony Monopoly at Woolworth's Live Show
The Gresh's Live Show at Woolworth's still gooing strong
The Gresh's Live Show at Woolworth's still gooing strong
The Gresh - Early, Very Early Publicity Shots
The Gresh - Early, Very Early Publicity Shots
The Gresh. Some More Very Early Publicity Photos
The Gresh. Some More Very Early Publicity Photos
Gresh the Producer for Pennine Radio's 'Celebrity Concert'
Gresh the Producer for Pennine Radio's 'Celebrity Concert'
Gresh the Producer for Pennine Radio's 'Celebrity Concert' 1986
Gresh the Producer for Pennine Radio's 'Celebrity Concert' 1986
The Stars go to Cayton Bay Holiday Camp duing 1970
The Stars go to Cayton Bay Holiday Camp duing 1970
The Stars go to Cayton Bay Holiday Camp duing 1969
The Stars go to Cayton Bay Holiday Camp duing 1969
Hughie Green's Xmas Card to the Gresh
Hughie Green's Xmas Card to the Gresh
Hughie Green's Xmas Card - Message to the Gresh
Hughie Green's Xmas Card - Message to the Gresh
Publicity Flyer for Gresh in Mother Goose (2)
Publicity Flyer for Gresh in Mother Goose (2)
Gresh the DJ at work!
Gresh the DJ at work!
The Youngest Gresh Ever!
The Youngest Gresh Ever!
Gresh at a Royal Dinner - Queen's Hotel, Leeds. 26th Oct. 1972
Gresh at a Royal Dinner - Queen's Hotel, Leeds. 26th Oct. 1972
The Royal Dinner Menu
The Royal Dinner Menu
A Gresh Pantomime Contract for ú30.00 - Good eh!
A Gresh Pantomime Contract for ú30.00 - Good eh!
Gresh The Pop Singer turned Actor!
Gresh The Pop Singer turned Actor!
Gresh on the new BBC Radio Four programme Counterbeat
Gresh on the new BBC Radio Four programme Counterbeat
The Gresh is sacked as stand-in for Tom Courteney in Billy Liar!
The Gresh is sacked as stand-in for Tom Courteney in Billy Liar!
The Gresh presents Live Television programmes in Sheffield
The Gresh presents Live Television programmes in Sheffield
A Contract for RONNIE CORBETT to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for RONNIE CORBETT to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for BOB MONKHOUSE to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for BOB MONKHOUSE to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for SIMON DEE to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for SIMON DEE to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for KATIE BOYLE to appear for Woolworth's
A Contract for KATIE BOYLE to appear for Woolworth's
Panto Greetings Telegram to Gresh from David Hamilton
Panto Greetings Telegram to Gresh from David Hamilton
Gresh mention in Richard Whiteley postcard to Derek A.J.Lister
Gresh mention in Richard Whiteley postcard to Derek A.J.Lister
The Gresh with Kiki Dee at Hope Kenwrights Birthday Bash
The Gresh with Kiki Dee at Hope Kenwrights Birthday Bash
The Gresh with Frankie Vaughan & Lionel Blair
The Gresh with Frankie Vaughan & Lionel Blair
Kiki Dee entertaining at Hope Kenwrights Birthday Bash
Kiki Dee entertaining at Hope Kenwrights Birthday Bash
Bill Kenwright with his Mum Hope at her Birthday Celebrations
Bill Kenwright with his Mum Hope at her Birthday Celebrations
The Masked Singer revealed - P.J.Proby
The Masked Singer revealed - P.J.Proby
Gresh with Sandie Shaw
Gresh with Sandie Shaw
Gresh broadcasting from Pennine Radio
Gresh broadcasting from Pennine Radio
Gresh with Ernie Wise
Gresh with Ernie Wise
Gresh with Honor Blackman
Gresh with Honor Blackman
Gresh with Marianne Faithfull
Gresh with Marianne Faithfull
Wayne Sleep and Helen
Wayne Sleep and Helen
Helen and Frederick Pyne
Helen and Frederick Pyne
Petula Clark and Helen
Petula Clark and Helen
The Gresh, Ian Sharrock and Helen
The Gresh, Ian Sharrock and Helen
Martin Shaw and Helen
Martin Shaw and Helen
Martin Shaw, Helen and The Gresh
Martin Shaw, Helen and The Gresh
Helen and Larry Grayson
Helen and Larry Grayson
Helen, Ronald Magill and Sheila Mercier
Helen, Ronald Magill and Sheila Mercier
Palace Theatre  Song and Dance
Palace Theatre Song and Dance
Steve Farrimond and Derek Nimmo
Steve Farrimond and Derek Nimmo
Helen and Gemma Craven
Helen and Gemma Craven
Gresh on Bernie Winters Death
Gresh on Bernie Winters Death
Compere Garth Cawood Starts Gathering the Crowd
Compere Garth Cawood Starts Gathering the Crowd
Hey Presto It's 10-00am here's Peter Wyngarde
Hey Presto It's 10-00am here's Peter Wyngarde
Garth says He's Almost Here!......Honest!
Garth says He's Almost Here!......Honest!
One..Two...Two-and-a-half..3...Peter cuts the tape!
One..Two...Two-and-a-half..3...Peter cuts the tape!
Moira Anderson doing a Greshstyle
Moira Anderson doing a Greshstyle
Gresh's First Hi-Fi? or is it?
Gresh's First Hi-Fi?
The Gresh with Patricia Phoenix (four shots)
The Gresh with Patricia Phoenix
Patricia Phoenix
Patricia Phoenix
The Gresh as a cycling Harrier with Jerry
Booth (Graham Haberfield) in the Rovers Return Coronation Street
The Gresh as a cycling "Harrier" with Jerry Booth (Graham Haberfield) in the Rovers Return "Coronation Street"
Gresh The Actor....?
Gresh The Actor....?
Gresh's First Appearance in Corontaion Street
Gresh's First Appearance in "Corontaion Street"
The Gresh On Pennine Radio At The Weekend....Programme listings!
"The Gresh On Pennine Radio At The Weekend"....Programme listings!
Gresh's Friend BILL KENWRIGHT and Ann Sidney visit him in Pantomime in Scunthorpe.
Gresh's Friend BILL KENWRIGHT and Ann Sidney visit him in Pantomime in Scunthorpe.
Gresh The Compere for the Northern Song Contest
Gresh The Compere for the "Northern Song Contest"
Stanley Unwin liked to be paid in CASH After his Cabaret pot
Stanley Unwin liked to be paid in CASH After his Cabaret spot
Gresh The Royal Guest
Gresh The Royal Guest at the Royal Gala Thursday 26th October 1972
Royal Gala Dinner Menu
Royal Gala Dinner Menu
The Royal couple
The Royal couple
Elaine Stritch and Gresh Hotel Bookings
Elaine Stritch and Gresh Hotel Bookings
Gareth Hunt and Gresh Hotel Bookings
Gareth Hunt and Gresh Hotel Bookings
Hand Written Confirmation for a Greshstyle from Henry Cooper
Hand Written Confirmation for a Greshstyle from Henry Cooper
Hand Written letter from Doris Speed (Annie-Walker-in-Cori)
Hand Written letter from Doris Speed (Annie-Walker-in-Cori)
Hand Written letter from Margot Bryant (Minnie-in-Cori)
Hand Written letter from Margot Bryant (Minnie-in-Cori)
Hand Written letter from Noele Gordon
Hand Written letter from Noele Gordon
Hand Written No from Jimmy Saville
Hand Written No from Jimmy Saville
Hotel Bookings for John Noakes Greshstyle
Hotel Bookings for John Noakes Greshstyle
Hughie Green Letter (1)
Hughie Green Letter (1)
Hughie Green Letter (2)
Hughie Green Letter (2)
Hughie Green Letter (3)
Hughie Green Letter (3)
Hughie Green Letter (4)
Hughie Green Letter (4)
Hughie Green Letter (5)
Hughie Green Letter (5)
Hughie Green Letter (6)
Hughie Green Letter (6)
Hughie Green Letter (7)
Hughie Green Letter (7)
Hughie Green's Telegram about David Whitfield Contract
Hughie Green's Telegram about David Whitfield Contract
Letter-from-Larry-Grayson
Letter from Larry Grayson
Letter from my Woolworth's Mentor Wonderful Gentleman!
Letter from my Woolworth's Mentor Wonderful Gentleman!
Letter from Reginald Marsh (1)
Letter from Reginald Marsh (1)
Letter from Reginald Marsh (2)
Letter from Reginald Marsh (2)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (1)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (1)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (2)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (2)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (3)
Letter from The Duke Of Bedford (3)
Richard Whiteley Letter to Gresh when Gresh's Mum Died
Richard Whiteley Letter to Gresh when Gresh's Mum Died
Ronnie Corbett Letter from the London Palladium
Ronnie Corbett Letter from the London Palladium
Terry Wogan Greshstyle Confirmation
Terry Wogan Greshstyle Confirmation
Tony Blackburn Greshstyle Confirmations
Tony Blackburn Greshstyle Confirmations
Tony Curtis Letter March 1973
Tony Curtis Letter March 1973
Tony Curtis Letter May 1973
Tony Curtis Letter May 1973
Tony Curtis Letter November 1972
Tony Curtis Letter November 1972
Woolworth's In their Golden Greshstyle Days
Woolworth's In their Golden Greshstyle Days
Yootha Joyce Postcard to Gresh from New Zealand
Yootha Joyce Postcard to Gresh from New Zealand
Gresh-Meets-Royalty-with-the-Stars
Gresh Meets Royalty with the Stars
Spot-the-Gresh-on-a-panel-with-Hughie-Green.jpg
Spot the Gresh on a panel with Hughie Green
Brian-Dixon-Foam-Hands
"Gresh known as "Mr Foam" supplies to Brian Dixon for his Butlins and Theatre "Superslam Wrestling Promotions"