The London Palladium celebrates its 100th anniversary this December, so what better way to celebrate the iconic theatre than a DVD celebrating the long running ATV series which aired live from the stage on Sunday nights for over a decade.
Peaking at 28 million viewers this was weekly event television that transcended all classes, denominations and age groups – an unquestionable success that still provides a high benchmark that today’s variety shows can only aspire to.
Lasting twelve years until 1967, the show was hosted by a number of performers, including Tommy Trinder, Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Tarbuck – establishing and making stars of the latter two in no uncertain terms.
Bruce Forsyth once commented that the London Palladium was the most famous theatre in the world. “Stars worldwide want to perform there. If you did a show at the Palladium then you knew you had made it.”
Some of the biggest names in show business appeared on the ATV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium over the years including Judy Garland, The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Arthur Askey, Diana Dors, Shirley Bassey and even Violet Carson – as ‘Ena Sharples’ in character – from Coronation Street.
The show at its 1960s peak cost £8,000 – £150 per minute – and used mainly crews from the ATV Midlands franchise utilizing over 200 staff. The DVD release, from Network, includes the 1961 special episode with only Bruce Forsyth and Norman Wisdom featuring
The show had a couple of spin-off’s and revivals, in the 1970s, 80s and 2000s, however none managed to recapture the magic of the original series.