Geoffrey Ogden-Browne: conductor, entertainer, Blackheath trivia master | Obituary

Geoffrey Ogden-Browne.
Geoffrey Ogden-Browne.

Geoffrey Ogden-Browne

9.6.1951 – 13.7.2018

Music was the great love of the celebrated Blackheath quiz master, Geoffrey Embleton, who died in Sydney on July 13, aged 67.

“An entertainer first and foremost, he lived a full life, always characterised by a loveable quirkiness which endeared him to so many,” said his sister, Maureen.

Deeply interested in general knowledge, Mr Ogden-Browne became a renowned and successful participant in quiz shows such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (which he came close to winning) and Hard Quiz. His naturally outgoing personality and fascination with the unusual made him an acclaimed trivia host in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, where he recently celebrated 10 continuous years of Tuesday evening Blackheath appearances.

Born in Battersea in south-west London, Geoffrey moved to Australia in 1957, adopting the professional name ‘Ogden-Browne’ in his performing life.

“The best story really,” said Maureen, “is that on his resume he would put ‘conductor’. No-one ever questioned it. In fact, in his younger days he’d been a London bus conductor on the No. 22 route.”

Mr Ogden-Browne later became an accomplished band conductor and musician, performing with Razzamajazz, Casablanca Roof Orchestra and Cafe Society Orchestra and specialising in cheerful eccentricities such as the songs of George Formby.

His sharp, retentive mind also acquired a formidable knowledge of history, much of it inspired by the World War II experiences of his father, Alf, which included a week on the beach at Dunkirk. At the end of his life Mr Ogden-Browne expressed a wish to produce a memorial video detailing Alf’s courageous leadership in the May 1940 BEF evacuation. This will shortly be posted on Youtube.

Mr Ogden-Browne’s many Blue Mountains friends have paid generous tributes to him in recent days as a man of humour, knowledge, style and great generosity. “He enriched our lives. Simple as that,” said one. “I’ll never forget his sign-off,” said another: ‘You’ve all done very well! So it’s goodnight, good quizzing … and I hope you learnt something!’.”