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Not the strongest material...
on 12 April 2010
Les Dawson was without doubt a master of words. I wonder then what he may have said about this collation of, arguably, some of his weaker moments.
The three discs mainly serve up the material from the early/mid seventies from his time at ITV. There are laughs here but it has to be said that Les enjoyed a far more fruitful period at the BBC some years after these shows were made. This is definitely not the Golden Era of Les that many may remember.
This will be of interest to collectors, vintage TV fans and die-hard Dawson supporters. Other less committed souls could may find themselves enduring long pauses between laughs.
It's not that I want to be unkind to the great man, it's just that it's difficult to be positive as he's not delivering here. Most of the sketches are luke warm at best and end without proper comic conclusions: They seem to have to fade out in the absense of a real punchline sucker-punch ending.
The characters are here - in one form or another - We see early glimpses of Cissy and Aida, the partnership which was later to propel Les to superstardom. They are nonetheless early glimpses and not the well trodden, slick performances that we are to later remember from Dawson and Barraclough. There are other characters: Dawsons impersonation of WC Fields, his take on a drunk (A La Frank Randle) and a bit of Rob Wilton thrown in for good measure - All of which don't mean much these days I suppose.
The monologues are here too, but they're not the classics. These were to come later.
All-in-all a portrait of Les' early television career but this really can't be described as 24 carat Les.