Announcing Ray Moore 

12 November 2021


Tomorrow is Too Late cover

From ‘Tomorrow is Too Late’ by Ray Moore, edited by Trevor Barnes, published in 1988



If broadcasting was my vocation then these stark words on a telegram sent to a small house in Waterloo constituted the call. Telegrams were unknown things in our household, as they were for everyone else we knew, and their arrival, when they were handed over in person by the postman, signified the worst. They could mean only sickness or death. They might just have been welcomed as confirmation that the lucky recipient had won £75,000 on the pools but, by and large, they were feared. When the news came through, hand delivered to me in person, it was even more seductive than any jackpot or windfall could be.

I told Mum and Dad, and even my Dad was moved grudgingly to admit I might, after all, be getting somewhere. Although we did not have a television at the time, he knew that Granada was a big organisation and what it specialised in was legitimate. None of the grease paint and fancy dress. He even offered me a few words of encouragement and chipped in to buy me a new suit. Impressing your employer was something he could understand. This was territory with which he was at last familiar.

We agreed that I would present myself at the Granada building on the following Monday where Norman Frisby was waiting for me. He told me that one of the announcers had gone sick and that there was a vacancy for a replacement in a day or so. Then he showed me round. Now, at last, I was on the inside of the business not an anonymous onlooker full of unsatisfied longings and expectation.

He showed me into what was known as the continuity suite. This was really the centre of operations. Individual programmes were made in separate studios around the building but were linked by the announcer from the continuity suite. Programmes might be recorded and feature films broadcast but the one linking phenomenon was the continuity announcer and all his work was live. If a programme ran longer than it should (or, worse still, less than it was meant to) he would have to fill in effortlessly and casually to disguise any hitches in transmission so that the viewer was confident of watching a seamless evening’s television. And, as all the various programmes in some way came to a point in the continuity studio, the announcers were responsible for giving the ensemble a feeling of unity. Stamping something of their character on it without distracting an audience; giving, in short, the multiplicity of shows, plays, films, serials, a Granada identity.

Standing in a studio that very first time was a thrill and there was no hiding it. Funnily enough the set-up seemed quite familiar. Although I had never seen microphones suspended in front of television monitors before, with faders to control the lot, it all seemed perfectly natural and undaunting. Perhaps it was the brashness of youth or, perhaps again, it was just that in some way I was destined for all this so there was no need to feel fear in the face of something preordained.

Ray Moore

Publicity photo of Ray Moore from 1962

The continuity script from the night before lay on the desk and I idly thumbed through it. In those days Granada transmissions used to close down for a couple of hours in the afternoon and we were just approaching the time when the announcer would signal the break before transmission of the legendary test card. Without warning Frisby said, ‘Would you like to try yourself out on air?’ There was a slight pause during which feelings and thoughts collided in my head. Surely it can’t be as simple as this, I thought, surely this thing I’ve waited for all my life can’t really be done so unceremoniously.

And, anyway, how come this guy is prepared to trust such a beginner with this awesome responsibility. ‘Yes please’, I said.

I sat down, cleared my throat and waited for the red light before opening the microphone and saying, ‘Granada Television is now closing down for the afternoon. We do hope you will join us again for our evening’s entertainment which starts with children’s programmes at five o’clock. So, for the moment, goodbye’. I was quivering with excitement like a little boy who has just learnt to ride a two wheeled bike. Frisby seemed quite pleased with my performance and had no idea that the thrill of doing what for him was a perfectly ordinary task was an experience more exciting than anything I could ever have imagined, and one I longed to repeat at the earliest possible moment.

Frisby suggested I might like to stay and open up the evening’s transmission, an offer which I instantly accepted, not believing my good fortune. I delivered that first announcement of the evening with a similar potent thrill. I loved the ambience of the whole thing, the tension of the red light, the timing, the rehearsal of the script, the discipline of having to get it right first time with no chance of a retake, and, most of all, the feeling of intimacy with millions of fireside viewers in the North of England. I loved to give the phrase, ‘From the North, this is Granada’, a particular flourish. It was a disappointing moment when the evening announcer took over at half past six and I was forced to drag myself away. Like an excited schoolboy (and in fact I wasn’t much past that stage) I considered this the best day of my life, capped by Frisby saying, as I left, ‘Would you like to come back tomorrow?’

There seemed to be two main announcers at the time. One was an urbane fellow called Norman Somers, who sported suede shoes and a velvet jacket. He seemed to ooze an easy sophistication and had the habit of sleeping soundly with his feet on the desk during the long lull in the afternoons. The other, in complete contrast, was Bernard Youens, later to become Coronation Street’s Stan Ogden. He was an irascible man in his forties with, let us say, a rather full figure. He would come flapping up the corridor in his blue gaberdine mac, huffing and puffing and in a permanent sweat.



Bernard had been an actor who had served his time at the Rusholme Empress, the Ardwick Empire and other outposts of Northern culture. He had learnt his trade thoroughly but, unlike me, had stuck to it for rather longer. In the late 1950’s he began picking up the odd television part, and when ‘Coronation Street’ was booked for an initial six week run, Bernard was offered the part of the landlord of the Rover’s Return. At the time, with the chronic insecurity that only actors will ever know, he turned it down in preference to the security of a staff announcer’s job. Money was a perpetual worry to him as it is to many in that risky and honourable profession.

TVTimes magazine cover

Bernard Youens as Stan Ogden on the cover of the TVTimes in 1965

Like a lot of old actors, Bernard had often dreamed of giving up his life on the road and settling down into a stable life for once. For him that dream meant calling a halt to his constant moves from theatre to theatre and digging himself into the cosy snug of a little pub somewhere in the sticks. He could, when the mood took him, be amply suited to the life, a beaming publican dispensing mugs of foaming ale beneath oak beams and by a blazing log fire. Towards the end of the 50’s he tried to turn this dream into a reality and, as so often happens, the fragility of those dreams was ill suited to the hard knocks it received. He and his family sank their savings into what sounded like a hopeless, old, broken down gin palace in Preston. The place did not seem to attract the locals and any passing trade simply passed. So much so that Bernard decided that the only way to keep the stock moving was to shift it himself and doubtless Bernard’s stature owed something to the constant pressure on him to keep the brewers happy with his turnover.

The set up could not last and, after a while, his dream became his personal nightmare and his short association with the licensed victualling trade came to an ignominious end, surrounded as he now was by creditors and debts. A regular income had by this time become an urgent priority, so he took the staff job at Granada to feed the kids.

But even that was not enough to keep assorted wolves from the door so he took on an extra job delivering bread in the daytime. His training as an actor had taught him to be in all things resourceful and anyone who has worked in that world is well schooled in ingenuity to get by. Bernard would rise at the crack of dawn and be on the road all day. By late afternoon he would park his bread van out of sight, a few streets away from the Granada building, and come to the studio to do the evening shift. Frequently he could barely keep his eyes open.

The routine was punishment for Bernard but offered a real opportunity for me – and one from which both of us stood to benefit. I got experience and he got some shut-eye. When Bernard staggered in to relieve me, who had been on the air all day, I could then say, ‘God, you look tired, Bunny. Why don’t you go home? I’ll carry on. I don’t mind at all’. He would then toddle off for a couple of liveners at the Victoria and I would carry on in the studio until closedown. It was a form of voluntary, unpaid overtime for which I got nothing but experience and deep personal satisfaction. Nobody at Granada minded as long as the job was done. At the age of twenty I was the youngest announcer on the ITV network.

I still had no clear idea of how long this would all last but, on the Friday of that first week, Frisby asked me if I would like to come back next week. The very question was academic and, as the weekend dragged by, every moment away from the studio seemed wasted. This gloriously nonchalant arrangement eventually lasted two and a half years.

Looked at from the outside the job I was doing could seem rather slight and one which it is hard to see justifying the inordinate enthusiasm I felt. I have often tried to rationalise my feelings towards it and never with complete success. It defied rational analysis in the end because it amounted to an obsession. It owes a lot to a feeling of egocentricity, the notion of ‘when I speak, millions listen’. As an actor, of course, I was communicating to an audience, but the theatre lacked a dimension which I needed – the formal discipline of it all perhaps. The radio and, for the time being at Granada, the television, gave the spoken word a quiet authority which I felt was absent in the theatre and bestowed on the announcers a certain gravitas which I could never hope to aspire to in the wings of the Oldham Rep. or the Manor Pavillion. Perhaps I was more like my father than I dared admit and shared his longing for the stable life with just a touch of the exotic to taste. But there was more to it than that. Certainly the BBC men were forever associated with the events they described and that, to my mind, lent them an enviable stature. At Granada I was still a very long way from acquiring that stature.

The routine in Manchester was offering the prospect of permanence now, so I decided to settle in the city and rented a flat in Lapwing Lane in Didsbury. The word ‘flat’ creates an unjustifiably grand impression because this was no more than a cubby hole under the roof of a large Victorian pile which housed dozens of other disparate characters. The garret contained a single bed, a sink, a gas cooker, a table and a wardrobe and, as I bent low to enter the room, the furniture looked like the contents of a dolls house which I, Gulliver-like, had wandered into by accident. Merely trying to move from the bed to the door without falling over something was a taxing logistical exercise.


Ray Moore

Ray Moore in 1967


Bernard Youens liked our one-sided working arrangement and we became good friends. Together we used to pop into favourite bars dotted around Quay Street: the New Theatre Bar, scene of my great cinematic moment, the Victoria frequented by actors on tour and one tiny ale house known by the name of the landlady, a Mrs Moore. She, a tiny dot, barely drawing level with the mahogany counter, peered birdlike over the bar and smiled as she pulled pints of Robinsons. We used to go in there from time to time with Peter Adamson, Coronation Street’s Len Fairclough, and Bernard would regale me with his wonderful old theatrical tales of hair-raising productions he had taken part in, as a member of Harry Hanson’s Court Players and the legendary Frank Fortesque Company. It was a matter of great professional pride that I could match a few of his stories with my own from Sidmouth and Oldham. I felt on a par with him despite the gap in age, and the experiences we shared corroborated the feeling I had always had: that nothing is wasted and all one’s past can be brought into the service of the present to enrich one’s life and give it meaning.

In the confines of Mrs Moore’s tiny bar it was often impossible to sit down. Every available inch was being used – and not just for social drinking. Frequently Tony Warren, the creator of Coronation Street, could be seen furiously scribbling away on scraps of paper, surrounded by pint mugs, at next week’s episode of The Street. On every other flat surface around him there seemed to be more sheets of text, the whole thing representing a marvellously casual way of creating one of television’s most popular programmes.

The atmosphere at the time, both in the pubs and the studios, was that of a very large and contented family. Actors, journalists, announcers, producers, writers, secretaries, all mixed easily with no sense of demarcation. The company was young and so were the people working for it – or if they weren’t they were young enough at heart to lend the enterprise a freshness and a cohesion that generated a great sense of belonging. And if Granada was a happy fraternity, then the presiding genius and embodiment of benevolent paternalism was Sydney Bernstein, the founder of this burgeoning empire. He was very much the shirt-sleeves boss, always around the studio, popping his head round the continuity suite to see that all was well and taking seriously our humdrum moans about the air conditioning and the canteen food.

On Friday nights he would often host dinner parties in his penthouse suite on the roof of the building and after closedown I would pass him in the foyer and then see him standing on the steps waving farewell to his guests. On occasions like these his tall, dignified frame would be clothed in full evening dress with tails. As he stood there silhouetted against the lights of the building that housed his creation he reminded me for all the world of Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Last Tycoon’.

Towards the end of 1962 the revolution which had been brewing in Liverpool was beginning to explode onto the rest of the world. One evening, with no fanfare of advance publicity, the Beatles, then little known by more than a handful of fans from the Cavern days, turned up at the studios for an appearance on Scene at Six Thirty. There was no fuss and no call to recruit extra security men at the door. They created little interest other than by their startling hair cuts and high fashion ‘gear’. To me it seemed reassuring that the rest of the country, ‘Granadaland’ at least, was taking notice of what Liverpool had to offer. One of the producers at Granada seemed alarmed that the Beatles were intent on performing one of their own songs. ‘Isn’t Rogers and Hammerstein good enough for you?’


Courtesy of Mark Graves


It was beginning to strike me as more and more ironic that I had spent so long trying to cover the traces of my Scouse accent only to see it attaining the status of high fashion. Over the following months that Scouse revolution became a stampede and each time the Beatles were due to make an appearance at the studios a large army of young kids would besiege that building. Screaming teenagers would rattle on the railings and chant slogans outside the building as traffic came to virtual standstill in the street below.

On one memorable evening in the studio I was the newsreader on Scene at Six Thirty, Michael Parkinson and Mike Scott were the presenters and the Beatles were the guests. It did not feel like a historic moment at the time but it was marvellous to hear those rough, anarchic Liverpool voices. Their accents were those I knew and loved and it felt as if the new generation, of which I was a member, had reached the battlements and was taking the citadel by sheer force of presence. We were here to be noticed.

A group of us formed up into a little gang and lived the life of O’Riley. Today we would have been known as the ‘Brat Pack’ but in those more innocent days we called ourselves the ‘Young Tigers’. It sounds very quaint now, especially as we are in middle age and our roar has grown rather hoarse over the years. Many of us are still in the ‘media’ – in TVS, Granada, or ATV and elsewhere – so the experience was a grounding for professional life not just a flash in the pan. And whatever else it was, it was exciting. I adored the announcing work and outside the studio I was spending wild nights in Manchester clubs and lost weekends in big houses in Cheshire. At the time I was sure our generation could change the world. I seemed to be having too good a time, though, to know quite how.

Many of the classic shows were in their infancy then and I was there, usually out of vision, where I was content to be, providing commentary and voice-over. ‘All our Yesterdays’ with Brian Inglis was a long running, modern history documentary series which had a loyal following and established a wide reputation for itself and its presenter. ‘What the Papers Say’, an irreverent look at stories as reported in the press, was able to blend humour, social comment, and hard-edged critical opinion in a programme which attracted something of a cult following.

I particularly enjoyed the voice work on ‘What the Papers Say’ because it had to be fast, crisp and precise. When it went well – which it almost always did – the announcers working on it got a real kick. The broadcast was live, of course, and demanded split second timing plus a certain intonation and delivery which could inject just the right amount of brio into an apparently neutral script. I could never fathom out why they put a producer with a dreadful stutter in charge of such a tight show.



The readers, Peter Wheeler, Brian Trueman and I, received our cues down headphones. The presenter, always an established journalist, would introduce the programme and then up came the caption, a blown up copy of the newsprint itself in a very distinctive style. The voice down the headphones would crackle, ‘C … C … C … C … Cue Ray!’ and off I would go with the result that a couple of seconds could go by before any voice accompanied the text. It became something of an unwritten rule that we bypassed the formal instruction and played the whole show by ear.

And when the day comes for reviewing the early shows of the classic ‘University Challenge’ it will be my voice that future generations will hear. I remember the routine so well. When one of the clever dicks, some of whom were older than me, pressed his buzzer I would scream out ‘Quartbottle – Sheffield!’ and the camera would zoom in to pick up quite impressive displays of erudition. For some reason they placed me at the back of the studio, perched high on a rostrum in what looked like a canvas tent. This may have had something to do with sound balance but it made me look as if I had contracted some terrible disease or had gone into purdah. I had no objection to staying out of sight on TV but it was surely taking things a bit far to screen me off from the real world when we were all together in the studio!

The company owned a little aircraft, a De Haviland Dove, which would often commute to London ferrying VIP’s to meetings and shows. I managed to get a flight on it once when I was chosen to be the voice introducing a musical special called ‘An Evening with Jacques Brel’ which we were to record in Granada’s London base, the Chelsea Palace in the King’s Road. This was the first time I had worked on such a prestigious programme and the first time, too, I had worked as a broadcaster in London. Such a combination of circumstance made for a large degree of nervous anticipation. It was also the occasion I learnt what was to be my single most important lesson in this game.


Courtesy of Kaleidoscope’s Presentation Vault


Part of my role was to read out the opening titles. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, from the Chelsea Palace, Granada salutes the talents of one of France’s greatest men of music, in an evening with Jacques Brel.’ Simple enough. But, perhaps because I was overawed by the size of the theatre or the grandeur of the occasion, my delivery at rehearsal was judged to be grossly sub-standard, sounding more like a whispered apology for an event which we at Granada were trying to keep quiet and wanted no-one really to be listening to. The director ran up to me screaming. His words have echoed round my head ever since and his advice (to put it courteously) has been my watchword ever since. ‘That was bloody awful’, he bellowed, ‘You sound like you’re ashamed of the show. For God’s sake give the thing some balls. Believe every word as if you’d learnt it at your grandma’s knee and announce it as if you’re giving advance warning of the Second Coming!’

Whenever I have been voicing some tedious award ceremony or beauty contest I have been conscious that I had to invest them with a sort of frantic enthusiasm, no matter how trivial the subject. It may sound over the top when used as part of normal conversation but on television it is essential to play it up in proportion to the medium itself. This was especially true of the Miss World Contest when for years I used to open the show by booming, ‘The lure of the crown! Sixty nine of the world’s most beautiful girls competing in London at the Royal Albert Hall for the coveted title, Miss World 1976!’ The crown always had a lure, the title was always coveted, and the girls were, invariably, the most beautiful. Whether any of this was true was neither here nor there.

I thought of myself as the cover of a book. Slick and attractive to make you want to read the text and, on certain shows which I shall not name, providing a tough and professional enough binding to ensure all the pages did not fall out.

The process is also rather like selling. No matter how rough he feels, the guy who has the job of saying, ‘Tonight, live from London …’ has to make it sound as if it is the most exciting thing he has ever done in his life. It seems simple but it has a subtlety I was still learning when my career ended. There is scope for some personality but only so much. Too little and your blandness is a switch-off, too much and they start asking, ‘Who’s more important? Ray Moore or Jacques Brel?’ When you get it right you frame the programme and enhance it without drawing attention to yourself. And only when you are not there or when you do it badly does the audience realise how important your job really is.

Such a realisation was now beginning to dawn on my father who bought a television set simply because I was on it, installed it in a prominent spot in the living room, and never tired of mentioning in ‘casual’ conversation at the pub that this was his son, ‘He’s on the television, you know’.



At the time Granada was on the air only from Monday to Fridays. A long gone company called ABC took over at the weekends. Even so the Granada region, or Granadaland as it was called then, was vast compared to regional networks today. It covered the whole of Lancashire, Yorkshire, bits of Lincolnshire and the Lake District and a strip along the coast of North Wales to Anglesey. It was an enormous empire which they occasionally split for transmission purposes, so that different commercials could go out in Lancashire and Yorkshire at the same time.

The arrangement was particularly useful to me. If I had an appointment I needed (or wanted) to break I simply said I was working. When, on more than one occasion, a current girlfriend challenged this by claiming that I could not have been working because she had been watching television all night and had not seen or heard any trace of me, I simply claimed territorial immunity, ‘I was doing the commercials for the Yorkshire region’, I would lie, ‘that’s why I wasn’t on’. It was a perfect excuse I used to get me away from many a nasty hole.

The addiction to the medium induced a craving which could not be satisfied. I dreaded the weekends when the studios went dark and looked for extra work which would tide me over until Monday when my routine would begin again. I managed to get a relief announcer’s job on Saturday and Sunday with Tyne Tees Television, so now my working week became a continuous loop. On Fridays I finished early at Granada, caught the train to Newcastle and spent the weekend in in-vision continuity, linking the programmes. Tyne Tees seemed to attract very few commercials in those days and so, unlike today when advertising space is snapped up, there were whole minutes to fill between each network show. The arrangement led to some very odd bits of broadcasting along the lines of, ‘And now a look ahead to our programmes three weeks on Thursday’.

On Sunday afternoons matters would get so desperate that I started doing birthday requests for children to fill up the time and would sit there grinning as I said, ‘Happy Birthday, Jimmy, in Newton-Aycliffe. Happy Birthday, Joan, in Seahouses’. It was an embarrassing ordeal even for me to perform. I cannot imagine what the viewers made of it. Strangely enough I saw something very similar on BBC Children’s TV, the other day.


Courtesy of Tây Bắc Channel


The weekend over, I caught the Monday morning train to Manchester for another five days with Granada. The arrangement meant that I was now on the air for seven days every week. And I loved it. I was greedy for experience, trying to pack into my working week more than the normal shift system would allow and searching out new duties to satisfy this craving.

It was during this period, in the autumn of 1964, that my announcing partner, Bernard Youens, left the continuity suite for the studio floor and our inventive system came to an end. Coronation Street was expanding and creating new characters to people that ever popular series. The latest was a rough, but likeable, layabout called Stan Ogden. When it was suggested Bernard should audition he surprised himself by landing the part. The Street was by now established enough to offer the prospect of long term employment and gave Bernard the opportunity to develop his talents as a character actor in a part he was to invest with personal warmth and humour and make his own. He kept the part for twenty years, until his death in 1984.

I, too, was considering change. Not only was the routine I had established a tiring one but it was beginning to offer no new challenge. It was something I could do in my sleep and, given my long hours, sometimes did. I asked myself seriously what my ambition was and realised that it had not changed. The BBC was still the aim so perhaps I should consider moving further south to achieve it. Perhaps because I was still bruised from my last experience of metropolitan life I opted for a compromise and moved half way, to Birmingham, where I was given an in-vision announcing and newsreading job with ATV. The studios were at Aston, a wonderfully glamorous location, surrounded on one side by the HP Sauce factory, on the other by Ansell’s Brewery and, on the third, by a gas works. The great attraction of working here was that you always knew from which direction the wind was blowing.



The job was, however, a disappointment. It involved sitting in front of the camera, like a well-groomed tailor’s dummy, grinning without reason and mouthing cliches; parroting someone else’s was a double indignity. Appearing nightly on the programme, young and not bad looking, also had a dreadful effect on my personality. I began to believe my publicity and foolishly thought I was someone extremely important. I became vain and self-centred, but had at least the intuition to realise it and to want to change it. Soon after I arrived in Birmingham I began looking for ways to leave. In the summer of 1965 the opportunity arose.

That year BBC2 had opened in London and the Midlands and was due to be launched in the north of England in the late autumn. I saw a job advertised by the BBC in Manchester, for a person to write and shoot short promotional films to publicise the arrival of the new channel. In addition, the job would entail what were described as ‘a certain number of announcing duties’. It seemed tailor made for me. OK, it wasn’t London but it was the BBC, and if the Corporation would not let me in through the front door, then why not creep in through the tradesmen’s entrance in Manchester, while nobody was looking? There was only one drawback to this plan. I had never written or shot a promotional film in my life. Untroubled by this apparent disqualification, I applied self-confidently for the job.

When the day of the interview arrived Mum and Dad had decided to come along as well to offer me support. By now, of course, Dad was completely won over to my way of life and was giving me tips on how best to impress the interviewers. This was it. The big moment, the culmination of twenty years of hoping and longing. As the three of us sat in the sunshine in Piccadilly Gardens, half an hour before the appointment no-one spoke. I think Mum and Dad knew the importance of the event for me and it needed no elaboration. My nerves were infectious and the tension that hung over our part of the garden was almost palpable. Mum and Dad wished me luck and I set off.



Broadcasting House in Manchester was then a tall, grey stone building, standing right on Piccadilly, the letters BBC emblazoned on the top floor facade. I looked up at the letters in awe and made my way through the door – through the door, at last – to a room on the fourth floor where a large, balding man sat smiling behind a large desk. This was David Willmott, Presentation Organiser. I told him what I had done and he seemed impressed. I was honest about my lack of experience filming but he surprised me by seeming to take little notice of my weaknesses and concentrating on my strength, which was announcing, about which we talked at length. The interview drew to a familiar close as he thanked me and promised to get in touch. All I really wanted to ask was, ‘When do I start?’, but I thanked him and joined my parents outside.

A week later confirmation of what I had quietly suspected, arrived at our house. I had felt that the interview had gone well and the letter from Manchester proved it. I was in. It was only a three month contract but three months with the BBC had to be better than three years as the Cheshire Cat on ATV.


You Say

3 responses to this article

Alan George Keeling 12 November 2021 at 4:04 pm

I well remember seeing (and hearing) Ray Moore on ATV around 1965, then some years later hearing Ray on Radio 2, I thought, could this be the same chap I used to see on ATV?

Paul Mason 20 November 2021 at 8:13 am

The poignant title of Ray ,Moore’s biography indicates his suffering from terminal cancer and he died early in 1989.
I remember his 1970s and 80s broadcasts on BBC Radio 2. He did a book signing in Liverpool a few months before
his death with his face bàndaged..A happier memory is a spoken monologue for BBC Children in Need called Father Had A Rabbit. This single reached the Top 50.
Ray Moores theme tune for
his show was an instrumental version of the Beatles Here There And Everywhere. He died too young.RIP.

Paul Mason 20 November 2021 at 8:22 am

One forgivable mistake was that Jacques Brel was Belgian but recorded in French.

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