'Allo 'Allo actor from Rugby launches his own French phrasebook - Good Moaning France!

Arthur Bostrom as Officer Crabtree in 'Allo 'Allo
Arthur Bostrom as Officer Crabtree in 'Allo 'Allo

Do you know your frigs logs from your criss chunnel fairy?

A new book from a local actor known around the world for his character’s mangling of the French language could help!

Based on a favourite character from BBC TV sitcom ’Allo ’Allo! In this book – Good Moaning France! Officer Crabtree’s ‘masterly’ grasp of French falls under the spotlight as never before.

Arthur Bostrom, who grew up in Rugby and still lives in the area, played Officer Crabtree on stage and screen.

From ‘Ploose may I hov a kippy of the dooly nosepooper?’ to ‘frigs logs’, ‘scrimbled oggs’ and ‘fosh and chops’ the book is a tribute to mangled words and phrases.

In the book Arthur, mixes vowels and pronunciation trying to educate those less gifted in the French ‘longwodge’.

Illustrated by John Cooper and ideal for travellers and fans of ’Allo ’Allo! alike, Good Moaning France! is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks they are competent in French (or English).

Readers’ questions are answered in Ask Crabtree, there are examples from Crabtree’s poloce newtberks and a most unhelpful Undex.

In a foreword music legend Rick Wakeman recalls how he fell off his chair laughing on seeing the character created by screenwriters David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd at the start of the second series.

Arthur Bostrom was born in Rugby in 1955, and educated at Paddox School (1960-66) and Lawrence Sheriff School (1966 -73). He was Head Boy of Lawrence Sheriff School 1972-3.

His A-level subjects were English, French and geography – he even won the Senior Alan Richards Memorial Prize for Spoken French. His name is on the Honours Boards in the school.

He worked for a gap year in the town at Rugby Joint Water Board.

He undertook statistical work and was an assistant to an engineer concerned with water treatment, working in the main offices, the water treatment plant at Avon Mill, and the reservoirs at Stanford and Draycote Water. For the summer he worked on the fishing boats at Draycote Water, preparing the boats in the morning, and cleaning them on their return at nights.

He commenced studies at the University of Durham in 1974, where he read geography.

During his gap year he joined Rugby Theatre, and appeared in “The Secretary Bird”, a well-known comedy at that time.

When he began to appear in ’Allo ’Allo!, his former school French teachers understandably were subject to much humorous criticism.

Arthur is appearing at The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering, from 13 December, in Aladdin, starring as the evil Abanazaar.