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May 2013 Ivor Novello Awards.
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Ivor Novello, first published in 1987, was Harding's second biography set against the backdrop of early 20th century British theatre.
Reviews of Ivor Novello
'a witty and affectionate portrait of the greatest Matinee Idol of them all' Evening Standard
'highly entertaining and anecdotal biography' Patrick Garland, Daily Telegraph
'friendly and well-researched' Financial Times

The book

Ivor Novello (1893-1951), was among the most naturally gifted figures the theatre has ever known.  He began life as a composer and wrote many songs for revues and operettas.  Almost by accident he became a leading star in silent films and was described as having "the most beautiful profile in the world".  Then he turned to the theatre and won fresh laurels as a stage actor.  A fourth career opened when he started writing plays that consolidated his already considerable West End reputation.  Eventually he combined all of his overflowing talents in a series of spectacular musical plays, from Glamorous Night to King's Rhapsody.

The man
Novello, born David Ivor Davies, was exposed to leading performers from a young age through his mother, an internationally renowned singing teacher and choral conductor.  His first song was published at the age of 15 and he would go on to be a very successful and versatile composer.  Novello suddenly died at the age of 58 from coronary thrombosis, having been on stage only a few hours before.  He was survived by his long term partner, the actor, Bobbie Andrews.