Superb dancer and choreographer who became a star of 1980s TV gameshows such as Give Us a Clue and Blankety Blank

Although his star status was rooted in talent and solid achievement, on the musical stage, in revue and in television light entertainment, Lionel Blair, who has died aged 92, was one of the first media celebrities famous for being sort of famous. He played up roguishly to his image of a bouffant-haired, perma-tanned dancer, impossible to send up in any meaningful way because he was sending himself up, on gameshows in the 1980s (Give Us a Clue, Blankety Blank) and reality shows in the new century (Celebrity Big Brother).

Blair was a genuine hoofer and a superb choreographer, who performed a scintillating dance routine with his friend and idol Sammy Davis Jr at the 1961 Royal Variety show and directed one of Danny La Rue’s most lavish spectaculars at the Palace theatre in 1970. He was quick on his feet and witty in speech, and audiences loved his unique brand of extravagant ingratiation, even if the critics sometimes squirmed.

Continue reading…

Categories: Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *