Dave Allen - Goodnight And May Your God Go With You
Ed Byrne celebrates Dave Allen, the sit-down, stand-up comedian
- BBC Radio 2
- Ed Byrne, Val Doonican, Peter Vincent, Michael Sharvell-Martin, Ed Allen, Jimmy Tarbuck, Helen Shapiro, Stephen Frears and others
- Richard Ward and Colin Birch
To some, Dave Allen was an alternative comedian before the phrase was even coined; never afraid to tackle previously taboo subjects, such as sex, death or, with the routines for which he was most famous, religion. Acclaim and controversy followed him in equal measure, and his work has inspired many modern comedians such as Jack Dee, Dylan Moran and Eddie Izzard.
In this hour-long documentary, Ed examines Dave's life, career and comic legacy, remembering the impression his TV shows left on him as a small child growing up in Ireland. Ed also explores how Dave's prowess as a storyteller came from the rich oral traditions of their shared Irish heritage.
Dave first found fame in the UK thanks to his appearances on The Val Doonican Show in the mid-Sixties, and Val talks about how he first came to work with Dave. But before the BBC television series, Dave had already toured much of the world and enjoyed his own massively successful TV show in Australia. In 1971, Dave Allen At Large arrived on BBC TV with its mixture of sketches and Dave's unique sit-down stand-up, musing on life from his iconic stool with a glass of whiskey in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He was a star in a golden era that included The Two Ronnies and Morecambe And Wise.
Writer Peter Vincent and actor Michael Sharvell-Martin share their personal recollections of working with Dave through the Seventies and Eighties. The programme also features a rare interview with Dave Allen's son, Ed Allen, who recalls a father who loved his work, but treasured his private time with family and friends even more.
Other contributors include Jimmy Tarbuck (who, like Dave, began his career as a Butlin's Redcoat); Helen Shapiro (who Dave toured with, alongside The Beatles, in the early Sixties); Hollywood director Stephen Frears (who cast Dave in a 1979 Alan Bennett play); and comedians Mark Thomas and Jo Caulfield.