Searle and his first wife, Kaye Webb, met famous French vaudevillian Fernandel on their first trip to Paris. A portait dated 29th May 1950 appeared in their 'Paris Sketchbook'.
Punch theatre critic, Eric Keown, wrote 'Fernandel is fifty, his real name Fernand Desire Constandin. He was born in Marseilles, where his father sang in cafes. . . At twenty he went to Paris to appear at a music-hall, and was discovered overnight. Now he is the idol of France, and his vast, friendly smile warms the armies of his fans throughout Europe and America . . . His enormous brown eyes, of surpassing honesty, look right into you while he is talking. He thinks before he speaks, and then speech is reinforced by a running commentary of natural mime. He has beautiful hands.'