Born in Greenwich, south-east London, Ray Alan entered show business as a teenager. Although starting as a magician, he tried his hand at ventriloquism and went on to create his most successful character, "Lord Charles". He holds the record for the greatest number of appearances of any guest artistes on BBC TV's The Good Old Days. He has written situation comedy for television and two radio series, as well as sketches for Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies. He passed away in May 2010.