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 2

Sez Les director David Mallett explores never-broadcast footage from tapes untouched for 50 years, and the Roly Polys talk about working with Les Dawson. Lorraine Chase looks back on Blankety Blank and Les's wife meets with the fan who appeared alongside Les in his final TV appearance.

Further details

In this second show, former Sez Les director David Mallett watches footage from tapes, recorded at Yorkshire Television's studios in Leeds, that have lain untouched for nearly 50 years. The tapes feature clips that have never been seen before on television and give a rare insight into Les Dawson the man, as well as the performer, showing the comedian relaxing in between takes on the Sez Les studio floor.

Elsewhere in the documentary members of the dance troupe the Roly Polys reunite on stage to reminisce about working alongside Les. They watch back performances from their shows together and fondly remember Les's warmth, kindness and good humour. Before they part company the girls can't resist one final song and dance on stage...

The show also tells the story of how Les Dawson reinvented himself in the eyes of the public by becoming the new presenter of Blankety Blank, taking on the baton from Terry Wogan. Although at the time it was a surprising choice by the BBC, Johnny Vegas calls it "a landmark television moment".

Actress Lorraine Chase, a regular on Blankety Blank, meets up with the show's producer Stanley Appel and props buyer Bobby Warans for the first time in 20 years to remember the laughs they shared with Les on the show.

The documentary also features Les's wife Tracy reuniting with karaoke superfan Penny Morgan who in 1993 was given the opportunity to perform the duet of a lifetime on Cilla Black's Surprise Surprise. Their performance of Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe was Les's last TV appearance, shown after his death, and left Cilla and the studio audience in tears of laughter. Tracy says that from all her husband's hilarious comedy career, it's this clip of Les and Penny's performance together that is her favourite.

Broadcast details

Thursday 22nd 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
Charlotte Dawson Self
Tracy Dawson Self
David Mallett Self
Andy Hamilton Self
Ken Dodd Self
Vicki Michelle Self
Lorraine Chase Self
Stanley Appel Self
Bobby Warans Self
Jack Diamond Self
Michael Aspel Self
Penny Morgan Self
Production team
Ruth Binsley Director
Patrick Talbot Director
Ruth Binsley Producer
Patrick Talbot Producer
Mark Robinson Executive Producer

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