Sydney Piddington, 73, mental telepathist, died Jan. 29 in Sydney of cancer. I
With his wife, Lesley, and partner, author Russell Braddon, the Australian-born Piddington parlayed his thought-reading routines into a hit BBC radio series in the late 1940s, claiming at one point 22 million listeners. The Piddingtons were the first Australians to top the bill at the London Palladium.
During World War II, Braddon and Sydney Piddington were prisoners of the Japanese at the notorious Changi jail, where they worked on an ESP show as entertainment for the incarcerated. Using this as a base, they went to England where Braddon wrote scripts and managed the husband-and-wife team.
In 1954, Piddington returned to Australia and worked in advertising and for a stint as general manager of sales for Channel Seven, Sydney.
A brief comeback in 1974 with his second wife, Ron, was launched at the Sydney Opera House. The revived career saw Piddington on local radio and doing the club circuit before he went into public relations.
Survived by his wife and son, plus two sons and a daughter from his first marriage.