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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Bain ...
Himself - Scottish Variety Archivist
Johnny Beattie ...
Himself - Comedian / Shipyard Worker 1945-1952
Nicholas Parsons ...
Himself - Actor / Shipyard Worker 1939-1944
Vivien Devlin ...
Herself - Writer, History of Scottish Variety
Anne Fields ...
Herself - Comedian
Beryl Beattie ...
Herself - Dancer
Stanley Baxter ...
Iain Gordon ...
Himself - Manager, Pavilion Theatre, 1978-Present
Himself - Comedian
Ian Tough ...
Himself - The Krankies
Janette Krankie ...
Herself - The Krankies (as Janette Tough)
Tony Roper ...
Himself - Actor
Peter Prichard ...
Himself - Agent
Dabber Davis ...
Himself - Agent & Former Comedian


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Release Date:

1 January 2014 (UK)  »

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| (archive footage)
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A tough crowd
27 October 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This programmes examines Glasgow's entertainment history and its notoriety with interviews from performers who got plaudits and rivets in equal measures.

The Glasgow Empire had a reputation for being a graveyard for English comedians. Morecambe & Wise died an early death in their younger days by a vociferous crowd and it took time for Ken Dodd to win the audience around.

The best story was Des O'Connor although not completely told in this programme as the one I heard on a previous occasion. Des pretended to have a heart attack and fell on the floor. An audience member shouted at him, 'get up, you are not going to get off so lightly!'

However there was more to Glasgow's entertainment circuit than the Empire and as the years rolled by and audience for variety declined there is very little left in terms of theatres but Pantomime is still a big part of the entertainment scene.

The programme also shows how International stars came across the pond to entertain the crowd. Bob Hope, Liberace, Laurel & Hardy and Danny Kaye to name a few. Even the The Beatles popped by.

Liberace was mean, Kaye charmed the audience and it seems the American based entertainers (Bob Hope and Stan Laurel were British born) were let off lightly after all they were performers who the crowd had seen in the cinema.

It was a decent enough jaunt, not too much depth. I would had liked to hear more from local entertainers. The biggest surprise was to discover that Nicholas Parsons had worked in shipbuilding in Glasgow.

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