Les Dawson. Copyright: ITV Studios.

Les Dawson Forever

ITV3 documentary about comedian Les Dawson. 2 episodes (1 series) in 2016. Features Roy Barraclough, Ted Robbins, Johnny Vegas, Barry Cryer and others.

Series 1, Episode 1

Charlotte Dawson learns about the early part of her father's career, whilst Roy Barraclough reminisces about working with Les Dawson and the creation of Cissie and Ada. Barry Cyer meets former colleagues from sketch show Sez Les.

Further details

Les's youngest daughter, Charlotte Dawson, who was only 18 months old when her dad passed away in 1993, meets up with Opportunity Knocks director Royston Mayoh to hear how an audition for the talent contest would change her father's life forever.

Charlotte listens to a recently discovered tape recording of her father taken from The Blackpool Show in 1967 and believed to be the oldest surviving audio of his act.

The programme also features Les's comedy partner Roy Barraclough reminiscing about how the pair's famous characters Cissie and Ada came to life after a producer overheard them mucking about on the studio floor between takes in recording. Although Les was keen to try out the characters on television, Roy was not so sure, saying "I don't think the public are ready to watch two fat men in frocks"!

Roy confides how he and Les would try their utmost to make each other laugh during the Cissie and Ada sketches. Les would often throw in ad-libbed funny names while Roy would try and crack up his comedy partner with imaginatively named confectionery.

Meanwhile comedian and writer Barry Cryer returns to Yorkshire Television, the home of filming for Sez Les - Les Dawson's first TV series - where he reunites with Don Clayton and John Heaton, who worked alongside Les on the studio floor. The memories from over 40 years ago come flooding back as the former team look through personal memorabilia that Les kept from his time fronting the show.

The show also pays homage to a familiar and well-loved part of Les's routine - off-key piano playing. Rick Wakeman, a friend of Les, reveals the complexities of playing the piano off-key for laughs and demonstrates why Les was such a genius.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 21st December 2016
60 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Roy Barraclough Self
Ted Robbins Self
Johnny Vegas Self
Barry Cryer Self
Les Dawson Self (Archive Material)
Martin Clunes Narrator
Guest cast
Johnny Ball Self
Royston Mayoh Self
Charlotte Dawson Self
Tracy Dawson Self
Rick Wakeman Self
David Mallett Self
Don Clayton Self
John Heaton Self
Andy Hamilton Self
Ken Dodd Self
Peter Pilbeam Self
Production team
Ruth Binsley Director
Patrick Talbot Director
Ruth Binsley Producer
Patrick Talbot Producer
Mark Robinson Executive Producer



Trailer for Les Dawson Forever.

Featuring: Les Dawson, Roy Barraclough, Ted Robbins, Johnny Vegas, Barry Cryer.


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