Born in Portsmouth in a family of builders, Bendell-Bayly showed artistic talent at a young age. Supported by his family to go to art school, rather than joining the family business, he caused much consternation when at the end of his course he ‘ran away to join the circus’ becoming an acrobat. With two other acrobats he set up a group called The Three Knaves whose performance was recorded by British Pathé in 1937 and may be seen by clicking here. Bendell-Bayly is the one who is always at the top of the pile of three.
Tiring of acrobatics he had various jobs in photography studios before setting up the Bendell-Souster advertising agency with Eric Souster. During the war a major client was the Ministry of Aircraft Production, and afterwards National Savings.