Dancer and telly personality Lionel Blair fancies a new direction with telly time travel.
Lionel Blair, best known as team captain on gameshow Give Us A Clue, fancies becoming the next timelord in Doctor Who.
The dancer who makes his soap debut as Latin American dance teacher Valentine Starwood in Central Television’s Crossroads in April, told TV Plus:
“I’m desperate to be a TV actor as I’ve never really done it before. I want to be accepted by a wider public, I don’t want them to see me as just a singer and dancer. I am really counting on Crossroads to get me more serious roles in dramas such as Midsomer Murders or Murder In Mind.”
Lionel’s desire for a television acting career isn’t quite as far fetched as it sounds. Though best known for dancing, Lionel last year starred as a theatre critic in the stage play Who Killed Agatha Christie? and he was in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He also had small parts in the movies Absolute Beginners and A Hard Days Night.
“I want to play villains, people do not expect that of me. I would love to play a Bond villain and I want to be the next Dr Who – I’d play the same way that my favourite Jon Pertwee did.”
Blair, who was a regular dancer on ATV in the fifties and sixties including appearing on shows such as Saturday Variety, The Palladium Show and Lunchtime With Wogan, became best known during the 1980s and 90s as the male captain on Thames Television’s Give Us A Clue game show, which saw celebrities battling each other to win points by being the best at charades.
Crossroads, produced at the Central Studios in Nottingham, was returned to ITV screens in 2001 by Central’s owners Carlton Broadcasting. Carlton operate the Midland, London and Westcountry ITV services. The serial, set in a Birmingham motel, originally aired from 1964 to 1988. Central dropped it to further their drama commitments, including shows such as Boon and Inspector Morse.
However following the departure of Home and Away from ITV to Channel 5, a soap opera gap needed filling and Crossroads was reopened for business with actors such as Jane Gurnett, Sherrie Hewson and Kathy Staff lured to appear. Lionel will feature initially in plots for five episodes, but further appearances may be lined up. The show underwent a recent ‘camp revamp’ in January to boost ratings.
“Years ago I did a play with Maggie Smith so I do have a track record.” – Lionel Blair speaking to TV Plus
Crossroads, weekdays at 5pm on ITV1, Scottish Television, Grampian, CTV and UTV