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TV Pop Diaries
Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Despite the history books having Les Dawson 'discovered' on Opportunity Knocks in 1967 he had already made appearances on ABC's Comedy Bandbox four years before his talent show wins. His sheer comic invention, the hangdog expression, the mother in law jokes, the bad piano playing and the verbose approach to joke telling made him probably the most noticeable comedian of his generation.


Despite being from the Manchester side of the Pennines it was Yorkshire TV in Leeds that gave him his first series. The series was directed by David Mallet, now back from America where he had worked on Jack Good's Shindig for several years. The first series beginning in spring 1969 welcomed Roy Orbison as the first guest, followed by Georgie Fame, Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth, The Morgan-James Duo, Dakota Staton, Françoise Hardy among others. However the regulars would be The Syd Lawrence Orchestra who Dawson sponsored on Opportunity Knocks. Together with vocal group The Skylarks they would appear on many of Dawsons' shows. Future shows included Peter Noone, Johnny Nash, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Sandie Shaw, Olivia Newton-John, Linda Lewis, Labi Siffre, Neil Sedaka, The Three Degrees, Alvin Stardust etc.


The first two series were wiped but Network DVD have the remaining shows on DVD.



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Yorkshire

30th April 1969 – 30th November 1976