1 9 7 5 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
Rubber-faced comedian Les Dawson tried his hand at sitcom in June and July of 1975 with a little help from legendary comedy writing duo Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and co-star Roy Barraclough.
The main titles opened with Les – wearing a leather Hell’s Angels-style biker jacket with ‘Darby & Joan Club, Leeds’ written on the back and a long white scarf – riding his motorbike which he called ‘Gladys’.
Les ranged from being a resting actor (“Stage-Struck”) to a childminder (“The Clerical Error”) and found himself on a sleeper train to Scotland (“Strangers in the Night”), looking to inherit on a will (“Where There’s a Will”) and waiting to see if he had won the pools (“All Pools Day”).
The series was not as successful as his sketch show Sez Les (1969 – 1976)and Dawson did not look comfortable in a sitcom. He would return to sketch show format for his future television forays.
Also in 1975, Dawson starred in the one-hour ITV special Dawson’s Electric Cinema, set in a 1920s flea-pit, and in The Loner, an ITV series of three plays written by Alan Plater.
Switching to the BBC, he produced the successful Les Dawson Show (1978 – 1989) and The Dawson Watch (1979 – 1980). In 1984 he took over Terry Wogan’s ‘wand’ to present the game show Blankety Blank.
Les Dawson died on 10 June 1993, aged 60.
Les Miserables | Where There’s a Will | Stage-Struck | Accident Prone | All Pools Day | The Clerical Error | Strangers in the Night