A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, August 31, 2009

Simon Dee dies at 74

How we looked in the Sixties - or wanted to look!As one gets older the people you thought of as being not much older than you start dying. As a young teenager I put my transister radio to the radiator and linked it all up with a wire coathanger aerial so I could listen to Radio Caroline. It was a very Sixties type rebellion, not listening to the BBC. Simon Dee was one of the first deejays to go aboard.

Then he got an offer that made him a landlubber and I became entranced by the way his new TV show subtley seduced the likes of me and 19 million others into seeing into a different world. Simon Dee was a genuine contributor and he showed that live TV is a great medium. I well remember him playing a trick on a guest, possibly Michael Caine, I'm not sure. Dee always had a jug of water for guests to refill their tumbler. On this particular occasion he poured out some liquid and the guest casually lent over for a sip. He got a terrible shock. It was neat vodka. The audience appreciated the joke and the guest took it in good humour. You have to have a certain arrogance to get away with such a prank.

It was that inate arrogance that made the man for such a short time and it was that arrogance that eventually took away his fame. He is hardly a household name today. Simon who? However, whilst most of us will probably only be remembered by our family and friends, Simon Dee will be remembered by a lot more. I will remember those late Sixties' shows with a smile on my face.

If you want a flavour of what his shows were like, look at this Sammy Davis piece. Live, unscripted, unrehearsed - magic!


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