Thanks to Debra for these pictures. You can visit her excellent Lena Zavaroni site here.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays
Thursdays and Saturdays
When Lena Zavaroni rocketed to fame with her recording of ‘Ma He’s Making Eyes At Me”, back in January 1974, which reached the number eight slot in the British chart, she was the youngest-ever artist to appear on BBC Television’s Top Of The Pops’ show.
Since then, she has become a worldwide star. In America she pulled off a show-stopping performance in a Hollywood charity show, starring Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, where Lucille Ball said: “You’re special – very special and very, very very good.” Lena followed that appearance by guest-starring with outstanding success on US Television’s ‘Carol Burnett Show’.
But that’s not all! She also appeared, needless to say with great success, in Japan, Finland, Germany, Holland, South Africa and Austria, where her single ‘Ma He’s Making Eyes At Me’ entered the chart at the number seven spot, only one week after release!
Lena Zavaroni’s unique talent was introduced to the unsuspecting British public on Thames Television’s ‘Opportunity Knocks’ at the end of 1973. For five weeks running, she topped the viewers’ voting polls. Easter 1974 saw her first performance before a major audience at the Opera House, Blackpool … where she played to capacity business!
Lena Zavaroni hails from the tiny town of Rothesay, on the island of Bute, off the West coast of Scotland. The surname is straight Italian … handed down from her immigrant grandfather. Lena, herself, talks with a rich, irresistable Scottish brogue. Her parents – Victor and Hilda – are also talented performers in their own right, Victor on guitar, Hilda singing.
During the summer of 1973, the Lena Zavaroni success stoiy really started.
Record producer Tommy Scott happened to be on vacation in Rothesay and heard Lena singing in the Athletic Bar with the Zavaroni Family Band. Tommy’s old buddy Phil Solomon, takes up the story:
“I was looking for a girl singer at the time. Tommy rang me up and said he’d found a sensational girl up in Scotland. So we flew up to Glasgow and took a ferry boat to the Isle of Bute. On the boat, Tommy suddenly turned to me and said, ‘Oh, incidentally, this girl’s only nine!’ I could have killed him. He knew I’d dealt with kids in the past and had vowed never to touch ’em again because they are too much trouble. Anyway, Tommy kept insisting this child was different, but I was in a dark mood by the time we got to Rothesay.
“We picked this little girl up and went to a deserted dance hall called the Pavilion to see her act. Her uncle and Dad accompanied her and suddenly I heard this incredible voice singing the theme from the ‘Godfather’. It took only eight bars, and I knew this was a fantastic talent.”
Since then, under the management of Phil Solomon’s wife Dorothy, Lena has enjoyed outstanding success. 1975 proved to he an excellent year; two sell-out concert and the London Palladium, extensive television appearances in The United States and Finland, and a theatre tour of South Africa. Other landmarks in her career to date include a memorable appearance on BBC Television’s “Morecambe and Wise Show”, appearances at two Royal Charity Galas and – in 1976 an appearance in the Royal Variety Show. Also in 1976, a new chapter in Lena’s life began when she started school at the Italia Conti Stage School in the London Borough of Stockwell.
Lena has made extensive stage and television appearances in Britain, and was the youngest star ever to headline her own summer show – at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, for the 1977 season. Fresh in everyone’s minds will be her recent appearance in her own TV series – Lena Zavaroni and Music – the first of which was screened on BBC Television in May 1979.
One of Lena’s previous BBC TV shows, “‘Lena Zavaroni on Broadway”, was chosen as the BBC entry for the 1978 “Golden Sea Swallow” festival in Knokke, Belgium, where it won the Silver Award.
Cannon and Ball
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball are two likable Lancashire lads, who in the last six years, have risen from comparative obscurity to become one of the top comedy double acts in the country.
They continue to ‘top the bill’ in the leading nightclubs in the country, having been voted the ‘Top Comedy Duo’ by the readers of the newspaper ‘Club Mirror’ in 1975.
They have toured Australia and South Africa and their Summer Seasons have included Bournemouth Winter Gardens wifh Rolf Harris and Jersey’s West Park Pavilion. They have appeared with Tony Christie in Cleethorpes and with Larry Grayson in Great Yarmouth. Panto seasons have included the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford with Charlie Drake and Jack Smethurst, the Grand Theatre in Leeds with Harry Worth and the Daventree Theatre, Stockport. They have also made extensive television appearances.
Cannon and Ball are probably the most original comedy partnership this country has produced since Morecambe and Wise. Their particular brand of humour has a certain affinity with Laurel and Hardy in as much as Mr Tommy Cannon is definitely Top Dog while Mr Bobby Ball is very definitely Underdog. However, that is where the resemblance ends as Tommy Cannon is tall and suave with a great deal of sex appeal. He is good-looking, dresses with style and puts the ladies in the audience under his spell when he sings. Bobby Ball, on the other hand, is not suave and will never be rated as one of “the best dressed men”. It is this inequality that makes them ihe perfect duo and adds up to a most hilarious act.
They have learned in great detail what their business is all about, and all the homework and research they have obviously put in together with their use of every modern technique, pays off and the reward is a star quality act. Timing, personality, natural humour and a complete understanding of what it takes to make people laugh has rapidly brought them into line with the greats of the comedy business. They are great friends off stage too which probably accounts for the terrific rapport which comes through in their act.
Thirteen is a very lucky number for Berni Flint! For that’s the number of appearances he made on Thames Television’s top-rating programme “Opportunity Knocks” – twelve of them as winner! Indeed, he became so popular with viewers all over Britain who kept on voting for him, that eventually he retired from the show … undefeated! And he has since gone on to greater success.
But amazingly, Berni nearly didn’t appear on the show at all!
After he auditioned for “Opportunity Knocks”, the organisers actually lost Berni’s address and couidn’t contact him to arrange an appearance on the programme. So an advertisement was duly placed in the Daily Mirror, followed by an appeal on National television requesting him to contact Thames Television. Luckily Berni saw the advertisement … but only just in time for him to appear on the show!
He was born in Southport in 1952 and left school at fifteen, to take up a trade as a French Polisher.
“I wanted to be a joiner,” he says, “but when I went to the Local Employment Exchange after a job, and enquired about the carpentry trade, I was told there was nothing available. So I took what I thought was the nearest job to carpentry – French Polishing! Actually it is a very skilled profession and youngsters are put through a very stiff apprenticeship. However, after two years, I quit the job – the cellulose paint they use in spraying was a health hazard to me. It kept putting me to sleep … so I decided to take a job in the open air, and ended up as a television aerial rigger.”
Then, inspired by his elder brother who was a sailor, with exotic tales of foreign travel, Berni joined The Royal Navy as an Able Seamen … and it was here that music first became a major influence on his life. He was eighteen.
“I enjoyed my four years stint in the Royal Navy immensely,” he says. “I served on three separate ships and travelled extensively, to places like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, America, Barbados – it was great.
“Still, being at sea on such long voyages tended to leave me with a great deal of spare time on my hands. So to relieve some of the boredom, I determined to take up a hobby. One of my friends on board ship sang and played guitar. And, after buying my own guitar in Singapore, I asked him to teach me a few chords.
“It was an ideal hobby – great relaxation, and as I mastered the instrument and became more proficient, my friend and I teamed-up to form a duo. We were soon entertaining our ship-mates at impromptu onboard concerts.”
When he left the Navy in 1974 and went back to live in Southport, Berni Flint decided that his career lay in the music industry. At first, he joined a local semi-pro pop group, and later formed his own singing duo. But in the end, it was inevitable that he should go out on his own as a solo singer.
For the next two years, Berni worked steadily in and around the Merseryside area, playing pub and club engagements. Then he landed a residency at Liverpool’s Sands Club where the manager was so impressed with his talent, that he arranged an audition for “Opportunity Knocks”. And the Thames Television programme did the rest…
Since then, Berni has enjoyed much success in showbusiness. His first record for EMI – “I Don’t Want To Put A Hold On You”, which he co-wrote with his brother Mike – went to number 3 in the British singles chart, while his debut album was another big Hit Parade success. On television he has subsequently appeared on such shows as ‘Seaside Special’, ‘London Night Out’, ‘The Little And Large Show’, ‘Get It Together’ and ‘Night Out From The London Casino’. In February 1979, he hosted his own Granada Television series – “Pop Gospel”. Berni has also appeared in all major British cabaret clubs and in theatres throughout the country.
In 1977 he appeared in summer season in Great Yarmouth, follwed a year later by another successful summer engagement at the Winter Gardens Theatre, Margate.
This young man from the heart of Lancashire, England, good looking and well groomed, has a rare talent for comedy, but what’s more, he has what every entertainer is looking for – style.
Whilst still in his teens, Stu started as a comedian in the holiday camps and soon progressed to the clubs, cabaret, theatres and finally T.V.
His appearances include Batley Variety Club (6 times), Blighty’s Club, Farnworth (6 times), and the Goiden Garter, Manchester (3 times) where he returned the last time to top the bill. Theatre appearances include A.B.C. Blackpool, Southport New Theatre, the Winter Gardens Bournemouth, the Winter Gardens Margate, the A.B.C. Gt. Yarmouth, the A.B.C. Torquay, the Lido at Douglas Isle of Man and the Congress Eastbourne.
Stu has made great in-roads into television with appearances on ‘The Comedians’ for Granada, ‘Hey Brian’ for Yorkshire, the ‘Jokers Wild’ for Trident, the ‘Golden Shot’ for A.T.V. and in 1974 he appeared in B.B.C.’s screening of the Stage and T.V. Awards as Comedian of the Year. In subsequent years, Stu has worked in South Africa and Canada and has made summer appearances at Great Yarmouth, Southport and Bournemouth.
Stu appeared at the Spa Theatre Bridlington last year in the Les Dawson Show, and has made a television series for Granada Television in which he appeared with Berni Flint, his present co-star in the Lena Zavaroni Show.
Dougie Squires Second Generation
The Second Generation is without doubt Europe’s premier song and dance team. They have appeared in four Royal Variety Shows at the famous London Palladium, as well as appearing at the Palladium itself too many times to mention.
The Second Generation must be one of the only dance groups who have appeared all over the Western world. They have appeared in the USA, in Canada, Berlin, Holland, France, Belgium, Italy, and have been in Hong Kong for two years.
They have had their own television shows at London Weekend Television and have been guests on many other commercial television series.
They have had their own television series for KRO Television in Holland, and were invited by the Dutch Television Company to appear in their 50 years anniversary show over there.
The Second Generation is the most sought after Group in Great Britain. They have appeared in all the top venues in Cabaret. So popular are they that they were asked to go to Antibes for just one Cabaret performance.
They have also been an incredible success in their own Pantomimes – “Cinderella”, “Aladdin”, “Mother Goose”, and “Dick Whittington” – when they played to a full house from start to finish.
They are asked to do numerous Fashion Shows, and many commercials and to top it all they were asked to appear in New York for ABC TV in “A Salute to Sir Lew Grade” which was shown all over the world.
One of the most sought after choreographers and directors in the world today, Dougie Squires’ first choreographic job was on the pop programme ‘Cool for Cats’, after which he created the original Young Generation. He then formed his own group the Dougie Squires Second Generation who are famous for their television appearances and stage shows all over the world. Dougie has won numerous awards for his television commercials and he won the Royal Television Society’s Award for the most outstanding Light Entertainment Work of the year in 1971.
He has staged and choreographed over 2,500 television shows, working with all the top names, such as Lulu, Vera Lynn, Bruce Forsythe, Shirley Bassey, Katrina Valenti, Leo Sayer, Lena Zavaroni, Cliff Richards, Mike Yarwood, Little and Large.
During the past two years he has produced three live revues in Hong Kong and two in Cannes. This June his show will be opening the new club – Galas in Salou, Spain.
Dougie’s choreography ranges from classical ballet to modern jazz, and as well as staging acts for many of the top celebrities, he has staged and choreographed groups for many fashion shows. One of his latest was at Studio 54 in New York.
He directed and choreographed numerous pantomimes and musicals such as ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘irma La Douce’ and the nation wide tour of ‘Stop The World I Want To Get Off.
His latest pantomime was with Danny La Rue at the London Palladium. Dougie has choreographed five Royal Command Performances.