TV Pop Diaries

Popular Music on British Television

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4th April 1967 - 20th December 1969

Chat and music hosted by ex-pirate DJ Simon Dee. BBC Light Entertainment executive Bill Cotton Jnr had bumped into Dee's agent at a broadcast of the satire show BBC-3 and had told Lewis that he was getting requests for Dee to appear on children's TV. Lewis suggested that since Dee had proved himself on Top Of The Pops maybe he should be given a chance of hosting his own show. Together with Tom Sloan Cotton approached Michael Peacock, head of Light Entertainment who liked the idea of an early evening chat and music show.

Two pilots were recorded in Manchester, but the first was a disaster, so Cotton was brought in to re-organise, and the second one proved more successful and the show was commissioned. In the meantime both Dee and his manager had been sent to New York to see how things were done there and pick up any tips they might need.

Dee Time was initially broadcast from BBC's Manchester studios, but later moved to London in the hope of attracting more international stars, just as Top Of The Pops had done.

The show itself had memorable opening and closing credit sequences with BBC sports announcer Len Martin giving Dee the the introductory "It's Siiiiimon Deeee", while Dee jumped into a sports car along side a 'dolly bird' for the closing credits. It was during the filming of this sequence that he injured himself.

The twice weekly show was later condensed down to one show on a Saturday evening. However, the show's format quickly became unpopular with the music business as the show's producers decided they didn’t want artists turning up just to plug their new single and proceeded to provide alternate material for them. During one show in late 1967 British jazz trio The Peddlers and Brenda Lee both refused to perform the songs chosen for them by the producer and walked off.

The format was considered successful enough to copy and ITV fought back with Good Evening I'm Jonathan King, also on Saturday evening.

Despite the backstage problems television and movie stars were queuing up to appear on the show, but Dee's self-confidence took many of the stars by surprise. Dee didn't do deference, he knew that people were as likely to be tuning in for him as they were for the stars and his demands on the senior staff at the BBC would inevitable take their toll.

By 1969 Dee's excessive wage demands meant that an approach from ITV wouldn't be long in coming, and he quit the BBC in late 1969 having his show moved from Saturday evening to the lest prestigious Monday evening slot. The final BBC show was meant to be broadcast 27th December 1969 but the BBC decided to not bother.

His tenure at London Weekend was almost abstract in its nature.