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The Trials and Triumphs of Les Dawson by Louis Barfe – review

4 February 2012 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A new life of Les Dawson celebrates a great British comic talent too often overlooked

It's May 1967, in the days when Britain really had talent. Hughie Green is hosting yet another of his Opportunity Knocks. And here, at last, comes fame, banging on the door of a tubby, pudding-faced Manchester comedian. What – first gag – would he pick for his Desert Island Disc? "I toyed with the idea of playing Ravel's 'Pavane pour une infante defunte' but I couldn't remember if it's a tune or Latin prescription for piles. Mind you, I've always been musical… Mother used to sit me on her knee and I'd whisper, 'Mummy, Mummy, sing me a lullaby do,' and she'd say: 'Certainly my angel, my wee bundle of happiness, hold my beer while I fetch me banjo.'" Collapse of stout national TV audience. Les Dawson is on his way.

That single big break matters hugely. »

- Peter Preston

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1 item from 2012


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