ITV have released a photo preview of the hologram version of Les Dawson who is to star finally in his ‘Audience With’ 20 years after he originally signed up to the show, just before his death.
In 1993 comedian Les Dawson was just two weeks away from recording An Audience with Les Dawson, the popular LWT series which saw personalities perform in front of an invited celebrity audience. Now 20 years on ITV are to air Les Dawson: An Audience That Never Was which will use content planned for the original production with a computer generated Dawson – as seen above in his hologram form.
Dawson was following some of the giants of British and international showbiz into the Audience with… spotlight, and be the latest name on a list that included Billy Connolly, Kenneth Williams, Dame Edna, Mel Brooks, Dudley Moore, Jackie Mason, Bruce Forsyth, Victoria Wood and Peter Ustinov.
Now, twenty years after the special almost went into the studio this ITV special tribute will tell the story of the television event that never was, revisit the original content planned for that show, and uniquely present it for a celebrity studio audience specially invited to enjoy the very best of Les Dawson.
Rain Media and Fresh One have joined forces with Musion, the world’s leaders in 3-D holographic projection, to produce a staggeringly realistic image of Les Dawson performing in his distinctive style – just as he would have done on An Audience with Les Dawson. This is the first time a television special anywhere in the world has used this technology as its centrepiece.
In addition to the performances by Les Dawson, a host of stars including Sir Bruce Forsyth, Cilla Black, Sir Terry Wogan, Jimmy Tarbuck and Ken Dodd recall their own memories of working with the late comedy legend.
“The programme has been produced with the full co-operation of Les’s widow Tracy, who has granted exclusive access to the Dawson family personal archive including video recordings made by the star for his beloved baby daughter Charlotte, who was just eight months old when Les died. This moving and emotional footage has never been seen on television before.” – ITV
The original producer of London Weekend Television’s An Audience with Les Dawson in 1993 was Claudia Rosencrantz, who now executive produces this special.
Claudia said: “It was wonderful working with Les Dawson and devastating when he died two weeks before the recording. His death was not only a shocking loss for his family, but it was also a huge loss of a uniquely brilliant comedic voice. This show has always haunted me as the show that was so nearly made. So it’s an honour to be making An Audience With That Never Was to mark the twentieth anniversary of his death. The first time I saw his hologram I had goosebumps. So it was very emotional, and very brave of Tracy and Charlotte Dawson.”
The original executive producer was John Kaye Cooper, now Controller of Entertainment at ITV and who has commissioned the programme. Les was born in Lancashire in 1931 and became a household name after winning a TV talent show. He fronted sketch shows for both the BBC and ITV in the 1970s and 80s before becoming host of long running low budget game show Blankety Blank.
The unique one-off special celebrating the life of much-loved comedy genius Les Dawson is to air for an hour this weekend. Previously ITV have aired a Chris Tarrant hosted ‘An Audience without Jeremy Beadle‘ which celebrated the life of the presenter after his death.
An Audience with that Never was airs Saturday 1st June at 8.30pm on ITV, UTV and STV