Billy Dainty ( yes, that was his real name ) won this show on the strength of a show stopping appearance at the previous year's Royal Variety Performance, whereby he reduced The Queen Mother to tears of laughter. Famed for his 'eccentric dancing', he was a marvellous physical comedian, vocalist, not to mention outstanding pantomime Dame.
'Esq.' combined sketches with music, and occupied the 'Opportunity Knocks' slot on Monday evenings. It gave him full rein to display his numerous talents, particularly a sketch entitled 'The Eurovision Dance Contest'. I can recall falling about at an item in which he played a man in a library who annoys the staff with his squeaky shoes.
He was ably supported by Graham Crowden ( often cast as authority figures ), Derek Deadman, and of course the lovely and talented Sheila White, at that time appearing in the hit 'Confessions' movies ( in which she was one of the few females not to take off her clothes ). 'Esq.' afforded Sheila the opportunity to do some amazing impersonations of Suzi Quatro, Cher and Nina ( of 'Nina & Frederick' fame ). In addition, she and Billy played a warring middle-aged couple who conducted a fierce row in the manner of a televised boxing match.
Despite having many excellent qualities, the show was surprisingly not recommissioned, although it was repeated in full a year or so later. Billy went on to become a regular in the B.B.C. children's show 'Emu's Broadcasting Company' ( E.B.C. ).
He died in 1986, and an edited episode of 'Esq.' was shown on I.T.V. by way of a tribute. Sadly only two editions are known to have survived.
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