THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS
With Jim Dale, Ken Dodd, Petula Clark, Lance Percival, the Fortunes, Bo Diddley, Alan David, Jan Panter & Lionel Blair Dancers.
Director: Keith Beckett
45 Mins., Sat., 5:50 p.m.
ABC-TV from Manchester
Instead of concentrating on the juve diskbuying public, as in previous seasons, this show returns to bait an all-age family audience. Thus many of its hectic gimmicks have been dropped, and the material will not be so closely linked with the stuff that appears in the charts. In fact the opener indicated that much of its frenzied impact has been lost--though this has never been as assured as in Rediffusion's
Ready, Steady Go!" --and left a run-of-the-mill vaude show, with a motley collection of artists miming to their latest waxings.
One stroke of luck was that the current No. 1 in these parts is Ken Dodd's "Tears," a ballad in a throwback idiom and more pleasing to sentimental oldsters. Dodd was on hand to mouth it, to gag about his "diddy" people vaudeact inventions and to close the show with his swift followup waxing, "The River," which looks like it will hit the same market. Certainly, it made a change to hear an agreeable voice that could hold a note without killing it, and Dodd handled the slushy
lyrics without swamping them.
The other vocal highspot was provided by Petula Clark with an LP number, "You're the One" and her latest catchy single, "Round Every Corner" both having a beat that didn't assault the eardrums. Lance Percival, well remembered for his calypsos in "TW3," assumed a West Indian accent for "Shame and Scandal in the Family." which had a lilt, but a lyric that looked likel outstaying its intial welcome. and Bo Diddley belted out a below-par "Let the Kids Dance," somewhat mournfully repetitious for the gaiety of its invitation.
Alan David's "Walking on Air" shaped as a deft entry, and the boy sang it with relaxed ease, perched on studio clouds. Less fetching was Jan Panter's woebegone "Stand By and Cry," which might be taken seriously, and the Fortunes represented the mass of indistinguishable groups in the stereotyped "Here It Comes Again" which should nevertheless click in the shops.
Lionel Blair, inventor of the new dance, "The Kick," demonstrated it with his pert troupe, and Jim Dale hosted in affable, boy-next-door style. Keith Beckett directed safely, but without imposing much overall style on the proceedings, and the main asset of the show will probably be that it has something for all generations.