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Ernest Dudley, “the Armchair Detective” was a fictional character based on real life crime writer, radio, film and television dramatist, and actor Ernest Dudley (Vivian Ernest Coltman-Allen at birth) July 23, 1908 to Feb. 1, 2006.

The Armchair Detective, started in 1942 as a radio program made up of both dramatized crime stories written by Dudley, and `non-fiction’ bits with Dudley talking to crime-writers about there work, as well as about current and historical crimes.

Extremely popular the series ran for over 10 years and was estimated to have over 10 million listeners each week.

Dudley also visited music halls in towns and villages across England as "The Armchair Detective" solving 10-minute problems between jugglers, dog acts, singers and dancers.

In 1949 the Armchair Detective was a short lived TV series on the BBC, and a film in 1951 staring Dudley as the A.D.

The last hurray for the Armchair Detective started in 1953 with a more dynamic version of Dudley as the Armchair Detective in the Super Detective Library, a 188 page digest sized comic book illustrated by the
ex-Rolls-Royce draughtsman Reg Bunn and Bryce Hamilton.

After that Dudley turned to other things and never appeared as, or wrote another Armchair Detective story.

In the comics stories the fictional Dudley stayed mostly on the sidelines while the story concentrated on telling the stories of those involved with him coming in at the end with the solution.

While his comic book career was brief it is doubtful any other writer put himself more into his stories.


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