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royal variety performance

Lionel Blair RIP: He lit up every room he entered 150 150 mhamer

Lionel Blair RIP: He lit up every room he entered

Lionel had a shining personality that lit up every room he entered, he had both talent and enthusiasm, catch his remarkable duet tap dance routine with Sammy Davis Junior on the YouTube Channel, the world is a sadder place without him! Performing arts R.I.P.old friend.

Lionel Blair had “a shining personality that lit up every room he entered”, says Jimmy Cricket.

Veteran entertainer, TV presenter and dancer Lionel died aged 92 on Thursday.

His amazing stage and screen career spanned eight decades.

Northern Irish comedian Jimmy has shared on social media the photo above of him with Lionel.

Lionel had both talent and enthusiasm,” recalled Jimmy fondly.

“Catch his remarkable duet tap dance routine with Sammy Davis Jr on YouTube.

“The world is a sadder place without him.

“R.I.P. old friend.”

Lionel Blair's 'dance-off' with Sammy Davis Jr

Watch here Lionel’s duet tap dance routine with Sammy Davis Jr at the Royal Variety Performance in 1961 (which he said was the highlight of his career).

Lionel was best known as a team captain on game show Give Us A Clue.

In recent years, he acted in Ricky Gervais’s Extras and also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

Born in Canada in 1928, he had moved to the UK as a young boy.

Henry Lionel Ogus, as he was known before his showbusiness career, began performing in air raid shelters during World War Two.

He grew up in north London and was evacuated to Oxford when the war broke out.

His father died when he was 13 and the following year he began working as an actor.

He performed in musical productions alongside his elder sister Joyce.

But it was his self-taught dancing skills for which he was best known.

He became a household name as team captain on ITV’s long-running Give Us A Clue opposite Una Stubbs, who died earlier this year.

Also read on this website: Tom O’Connor ‘had the gift of seeing the funny side to everything’

Journey into the archives 150 150 mhamer

Journey into the archives

Jimmy Cricket performs in the 1985 Royal Variety Performance show

Jimmy Cricket in 1985

Got any old videos or photos of your favourite entertainer?

If you have still pictures or moving footage from down the years of famous Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket – like the Royal Variety Performance clip on the homepage of this website – then we would love to hear from you.

This video from 1985 was sent in by one of Jimmy’s fans and if anybody out there wants to send anything from the archives, then it will also be put online.

The Royal Variety Performance – also known as the Royal Command Performance – is a gala evening held annually in the UK and attended by senior members of the Royal Family, usually the reigning monarch.

Performances showcase a variety of family entertainment, including comedy, dance, singing, magic and other acts, with many of the performers and hosts being popular celebrities.

It is organised on behalf of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, of which Elizabeth II is patron, with all proceeds donated to the fund.

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