Humphrey Lyttelton

At Eton : 1934-1940

Drama, Film, Radio and Television

Known for: Jazz musician and broadcaster

School days: Lyttelton was at Eton 1934-1940. He was born at Eton College, his father George having been a house master.

Humphrey Lyttelton started playing trumpet and harmonica whilst at Eton, and formed his own jazz band after the end of WW2. His band played dixie, traditional jazz and mainstream swing, whilst steering clear of ‘bop’ modern jazz. During the 1950s Lyttelton’s band was one of the most successful in London, and was often the support act for American jazz stars on tour, including Louis Armstrong, Buck Clayton, and the blues singer Jimmy Rushing. Over the course of the sixties and seventies he moved into broadcasting, gaining a national audience for his BBC Radio 2 programme The Best of Jazz. From 1972 he was the chairman of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, a long-running and particularly silly radio quiz game on BBC Radio 4.