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Sunday Night at the London Palladium (1955-74)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Edition originally transmitted ITV, 17 April 1960

Part 1. The Tiller Girls, with giant easter egg and floral 'bonnets', swiftly begin a high-kicking routine which presages the entrance of Bruce Forsyth, who sings and jokes with the audience. He introduces the first act, the Dior Dancers, who perform a routine based loosely on the modern dance style known as 'apache dancing', to a medley of edgy show and TV theme tunes. The act over, Forsyth challenges them to manhandle him the way they did their female colleague (which they do), giving him the chance to crack a couple of jokes at their expense.

Beryl Reid performs as one of her staple characters, Birmingham-accented Marlene, here with a mock-oriental take. She and Forsyth share some cross-talk at the start and he re-appears dressed as a stage mandarin for a duet. Mezzo-soprano Rise Stevens, from the Metropolitan Opera, New York, sings Dalila's aria from Saint-Saen's Samson and Dalila and the song One Night of Love.

Part 2. The Beat the Clock: two sets of contestants play. Forsyth and his assistants conspire to help them, and the use of easter eggs continues the Easter theme.

Part 3. Forsyth introduces the John Barry Seven, who play 'Hit and Miss', in the record charts since March and better known as the theme tune of the rival channel's Juke Box Jury. Forsyth introduces pop star Adam Faith who, backed by the JB7, performs an earlier hit, 'What Do You Want ?', followed by 'Someone Else's Baby', released that week, followed by 'Big Time'. He exits front of curtain, and appears to return, but it is Forsyth, dressed as a look-alike with blonde wig. Faith re-appears and they duet on 'Poor Me'. As they bow, Forsyth can be heard comically encouraging Faith to enjoy the moment, before they step onto the revolving stage at the end of the show.