THE story of the stonemason’s son from Eltham, who was born poor, endured a number of rough years but slogged his way to stardom to become the richest and arguably the greatest comedian in the history of Hollywood, is one which has spawned books, TV documentaries, radio plays and newspaper stories.

But it’s worth telling again because we have just passed the 110th anniversary of his birth.

His name, as older readers will know, is Leslie Townes Hope, better known as Bob.

He lived to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Bob Hope was the second youngest of five brothers and the road from his tough neighbourhood of Eltham was paved in gold.

His series of films with Bing Crosby grossed the most money in movie history until James Bond.

And his six decades with NBC hold the record for the longest contract in showbiz history.

Over the years he enjoyed the status as number one star in radio, TV and film.

He travelled some 10 million miles, performed more than 200 a year until he was 94 and was the first comedian to run himself as a business.

As long ago as 1967, Time Magazine reported he was worth half a billion dollars.

Bob Hope died 10 years ago and there is a blue heritage plaque on the wall of his old home at 44 Craigton Road, Eltham, which he often visited on his return trips to England.