1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 4 (UK)
144 x episodes
Ayshea was born Ayshea Hague on 12 November 1948 in Highgate, London, and made her film debut at the age of 9. By the age of 17 she had a record deal with Philips Fontana and made a number of appearances on TV shows such as Thank Your Lucky Stars and Discotheque.
It was Granada TV producer Muriel Young who hired Ayshea to present and star in her own pop show, Lift Off With Ayshea, in 1969. Originally simply titled Lift Off – the “With Ayshea” was added in April 1972 – the series ran for 144 episodes.
Ayshea was joined by dance troupe The Feet (originally The Ken Martyne Dancers), resident band The Pattern, and initially Graham Bonney as co-presenter. She was also joined by Ollie Beak until 1973. Sadly, only two complete episodes of Lift Off remain in the ITN archive.
Ayshea was quoted in Look In during the 1970s as saying “I’m positive that the Americans will land on Mars in 1972”. Fortunately, she knew a lot more about pop music . . .
After starring in pantomimes and summer shows all over the UK, Ayshea built up a large following for her live cabaret performances.
She and Chris Brough were divorced in the 1970s.
It was at this time that she represented Great Britain at the World Song Festival (in Tokyo) with a song written for her by Elton John entitled The Flowers Will Never Die.
Following an engagement to Roy Wood – who produced her single Farewell – she later married Steve Alder who was starring as Jesus Christ in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Ayshea moved to Los Angeles and appeared in the movies Demolition Man and Gotcha.
Married to CBS president Michael I Levy, Beverly Hills became her permanent home. For many years she was a well-known Beverly Hills socialite and ran a property development and interior design business.