TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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DECIDEDLY DUSTY

BBC1
9th September 1969 - 28th October 1969

After the disappointing response to the ATV series she went back to the BBC for her forth and final series. This time the show was recorded at a theatre (the Golders Green Hippodrome in London) rather than a TV studio. She was given noted actor and voice-over artist Valentine Dyall as a weekly guest, there to introduce and provoke her.

The ‘Cilla’ format of songs and participation in comedy sketches wouldn’t go away, so Dusty had to make funny with noted bird caller Percy Edwards, Spike Milligan, and, in the case of Danny la Rue, resulting in truly embarrassing results.

When tackling contemporary hits like Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' she was in her element, but as before with both her BBC and ATV shows her material would be dogged by poor arrangements and musicians who sounded uncomfortable with pop music. This time the backing would be provided by a band led by Johnny Pearson, while more reliable vocal backup was provided by Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Kay Garner. Two dancers were also seen each week, choreographed by Pan's People's Ruth Pearson.

The show was produced by Mel Cornish who would go on to produce Top of the Pops the following year.

This final series would be replaced on the 4th November 1969 by a repeat of Bobbie Gentry's BBC2 series.

Dusty would continue to make appearances on various BBC TV shows until she left for the USA in the mid-seventies.