Nat Temple Page
Published Tuesday 17 June 2008 at 13:00 by Patrick Newley
by Patrick Newley
Showman and bandleader Nat Temple became a national figure during the fifties when he appeared and provided the music for Breakfast with Braden, the long-running radio show hosted by Bernard Braden and his wife Barbara Kelly.
He appeared on several other shows with the Bradens including Bedlam with Braden, Between Time with Braden, and Barbara With Braden. Temple was an integral part of the shows and was famous for his self-deprecating portrayal as the comic, bumbling bandleader.
Temple’s musician was picked up by other radio and TV producers who used him in a similar vein.
Other radio series to feature Temple’s band were The Peter Ustinov Show, Michael Bentine’s Round the Bend, Good Evening starring Beryl Reid and Ken Platt and Emery at Large with Dick Emery.
On television, Temple worked on the children’s series Jack in the Box, supplying not only the music, but the script as well. Other TV included Richard Afton’s Beauty Box, Frankie Howerd’s Nuts in May, Tune Times with Temple, Dance Music Through the Ages and Starstruck.
Temple was born on July 18, 1913, in Stepney, east London, the son of a tailor. When he was 18, he joined the RKOlians formed by Syd Roy, the older brother of Harry, for the opening of the RKO cinema in Leicester Square.
He went on to play clarinet and saxophone for Harry Roy, Geraldo, Ambrose and Lew Stone and in 1944 formed his own broadcasting band. He appeared on the BBC Home Service in the series It’s a Pleasure in 1946.
He formed a new band in 1947 and was booked by Billy Butlin for a summer season at Skegness. Among the 14-piece line-up were Roland Shaw, Syd Lawrence Helen Mack and Dave Kidd.
The band toured all over the UK and made extensive radio and TV appearances. Temple was also the resident house band for Decca Records and was often found playing at university halls and many London hotels. He also played many Christmas parties at Windsor Castle.
In 1993, aged 80, he was awarded the Gold Badge of Merit for services to music by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
In the nineties he semi-retired and lived quietly at his home in Woking, Surrey. His wife Freda died in 2006, after 62 years of marriage. They had four daughters.
Temple died on May 30.