Thursday, 11 December 2014
34 Little Big Time
First watched : Uncertain
As with Ken Dodd and the Diddymen there seems to be no surviving footage of this, perhaps surprising for a show that ran for five years ( 1968-1973 ).
My recollections of this ITV show are fragmentary. I seem to recall it was a bit similar to Crackerjack, a comic variety show with audience participation and musical interludes.
It's perhaps best remembered for extending the career of faded beat star Freddie Garrity. Freddie and the Dreamers are not very well documented and some sites suggest that the band split up in 1968 and that only Garrity and bass man Pete Birrell were involved in the show. TV Times ( March 1970 ) however bills the band and a comment on manchesterbeat.com asserts that they stayed together until 1972.
I vaguely remember Oliver, the talking grandfather clock and hero of the running serial insert Oliver in the Overworld and the haunted house set with the laughing cavalier picture and the Python-esque bust of Queen Victoria that said "We Are Not Amused ".
When the series ended Freddie wasn't able to extend his TV career beyond a few ironic guest appearances which usually emphasised his has-been status. For the next quarter of a century he trod the boards on the nostalgia circuit until retiring on medical advice in 2001 due to pulmonary hypertension. He lived another 5 years in precarious health until dying in Bangor in May 2006.