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Les Dawson ITV Legendary comic life from playing piano in a

Les Dawson ITV  Legendary comic  life from playing piano in a


Les Dawson's wife Tracy Dawson movingly recalled day comedian … Wed, 21 Jul 2021 22:00:00 +0100-The legendary stand-up comic Les Dawson is to be the subject of a revealing documentary on ITV titled 'Les Dawson: The Lost Tapes', which airs 9pm on June …

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Les Dawson’s life from playing piano in brothel to famous TV star daughter

July 21, 2021

The legendary stand-up comic Les Dawson is to be the subject of a revealing documentary on ITV titled 'Les Dawson: The Lost Tapes', which airs 9pm on June 21.

The show will pay tribute to the late star on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Never-before-seen archive footage will chronicle the Manchester-born comedian's life, revealing a more private side to the larger-than-life public persona he was famed for.

READ MORE: ITV Long Lost Family: Nicky Campbell’s painful past and how birth mum's 'inspiring' act gave him peace

Dawson, who died of a heart attack in 1993, aged 62, was famous for his trademark gurn and array of different characters and personalities, often drawn from his own northern upbringing.

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Comedian Les Dawson on the set of the television quiz show 'Blankety Blank', February 21st 1989. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images) (Image: Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

It was a long journey to stardom. Before finding fame, he was in the army, after which he moved to Paris to become a writer.

After failing to find work as a writer amid financial struggles, he got a job as a pianist in a brothel in the French capital.

He also worked as a plastics sales rep and a journalist before catapulting to fame on the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967.

He got the highest number of votes from the studio audience on the show, and his career as a comic flourished.

One of his most beloved routines featured himself and Roy Barraclough as elderly women Cissie Braithwaite and Ada Shufflebotham, the characters mouthed rude jokes and were based on people Dawson knew back in Manchester.

He eventually fulfilled his ambitions as a writer once his life was more financially stable, penning 13 books in total.

His first novel, A Card For The Clubs, was about a comic trying to make his way in northern working men's clubs.

He was known for being a heavy smoker and drinker – puffing on around 50 cigarettes and putting away a bottle of whisky a day.

Dawson was a regular at the Royal Variety Performance.

According to the Daily Star, Prince Philip “adored” the comic, and the pair even once had a jokey argument about whether you should fry or boil black pudding – Lancashire-born Dawson preferred it boiled.

Dawson's last TV appearance was on Surprise, Surprise in 1993, when he sang a comic version of Sonny and Cher's song I Got You, Babe with female audience member Penny Morgan, who wanted to perform with hi.

He almost died in 1985 after his prostate gland failed, and he developed blood poisoning.

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We've created a Facebook group for people who want to share their memories of London.

Whether it's old schools, sorely missed shops or nightclubs you wish you could have one last drink in, you can post your nostalgic pictures in this group to see who else can remember.

You can also share your anecdotes from north, south, east, west and central London and connect with other people.

Join the My Olde London Facebook group here.

Dawson passed away from a heart attack on June 10, 1993, aged 62, while attending a medical check-up with his second wife Tracy, now 70.

The pair’s daughter Charlotte, 28, is a reality TV star.

Les Dawson: The Lost Tapes airs on ITV at 9pm June 21.


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ITV Les Dawson: Legendary comic's life from playing piano in a … Wed, 21 Jul 2021 22:00:00 +0100-LES DAWSON'S wife will be among those paying tribute to him as he is the subject of a new ITV documentary.

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Les Dawson’s wife Tracy Dawson movingly recalled day comedian died ‘I lost half my body’

July 21, 2021

Les Dawson will be returning to screens tonight as a new ITV documentary airs some previously unseen footage of the comedian. Compiled to mark what would have been his 90th birthday, the tribute will feature his second wife Tracy Dawson and their daughter Charlotte looking back at his life.

Tracy and her daughter Charlotte Dawson will be sharing previously unseen family footage to mark the occasion.

The documentary aims to highlight another side to the comedic talent viewers know well.

Les sadly died suddenly back in 1993 at the age of 62.

He was attending a routine health appointment at Greater Manchester hospital when he suffered a heart attack.

READ MORE: Les Dawson’s daughter reveals how show made her feel ‘closer to him'

Les Dawson’s wife Tracy Dawson said of day comedic icon died ‘I lost half my body’ (Image: ITV/GETTY)

Les Dawson will be returning to screens tonight as a new ITV documentary airs some previously unseen footage of the comedian. (Image: ITV)

Compiled to mark what would have been his 90th birthday, the tribute will feature his second wife Tracy Dawson and their daughter Charlotte looking back at his life. (Image: ITV)

Tracy and her daughter Charlotte Dawson will be sharing previously unseen family footage to mark the occasion. (Image: ITV)

“I've always kept her aware of who her father was, and she has started to read his books and watch his performances on television.

“When he died it was like I had lost half of my body.

“It hasn't been easy, but I've had a lot of support from our friends, and have worked for the many charities, such as Cancer Research, that Les was involved in.”

Tracy was Les’ second wife after his marriage to Margaret Dawson from 1960 until her death in 1986.

Together, they had three children, Julie, Pamela and Stuart.

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Biggest TV audiences since 2000 (Image: EXPRESS)

Tracy also recently opened up to the Daily Star on Sunday ahead of the new documentary.

She shared how she is still grief-stricken from his passing 28 years later.

She told the publication: “After I met Les, life was fabulous but then he died very suddenly.

“I still haven’t got over it. It was a huge shock. Time heals but the grief is still there at anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas.”


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– July 22, 2021
Les Dawson ITV Legendary comic life from playing piano in a

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