April 9th 2006Â While Iâ€™ve been away I did the television interview about my part in Les Dawsonâ€™s Cissie and Ada characters. The interview took place in the studios of Princess North in the centre of Manchester. They were interviewing different contributors all day and my slot was from 12 noon to 1 pm. I was between two women, which was the first time Iâ€™ve been between two women since Butlinâ€™s Skegness in my early twenties. Happy days.
I briefly saw both of the women in question, the first when the woman was coming out of the recording studio as I was waiting to go in, the second when I was coming out as the woman was waiting to go in. The first was Sally Lindsay, who plays Shelley in Coronation Street, who was there to talk about her friend, the comedian Peter Kay. The second wasnâ€™t a woman at all, but a man. At first I though it was Paul Oâ€™Grady in his Lily Savage persona. However it turned out to be a man who made his living as a Lily Savage look-alike. So he was a man impersonating a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman. Weird, in more ways than one. I was glad to see the back of him. (I bet heâ€™d have been glad to see the back of me too but I didnâ€™t give him the chance)
My interview went very well. I thought I might dry up but I was fine. Just before the filming started a make-up girl dashed forward to apply powder to my face and I felt quite the star.
The interviewer started by asking me questions about Cissie and Ada where the idea came from, how did I get my inspiration, what were my favourite bits etc. Later I got to talk about Les Dawson and took the opportunity to relate my favourite Les anecdote. I will remember it till my dying day and it sums up Les exactly.
We were at the bar in the BBC Club during the short period between final dress rehearsal and the recording of the show, Les, me, and the showâ€™s producer Peter Whitmore, who was hovering nervously in the background. Les had already downed three double scotches and now ordered a fourth. Peter, getting increasingly worried by his starâ€™s alcohol intake, stopped hovering, stepped forward and said: â€œLes, donâ€™t you think youâ€™ve had enough?â€ Les turned to him and, in a voice which would have done credit to a great Shakespeare tragedian, said; â€œI canâ€™t go on alone.â€ Priceless.