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Les Dawson

Les Dawson (2 February 1933 (1934?) - 10 June 1993) was a popular Lancashire comedian, known for his deadpan style. Dawson was rather a curmudgeon, famous for jokes about his mother-in-law and indeed his wife.

Dawson began his entertainment career as a club pianist, but found that he got more laughs by playing wrong notes and complaining to the audience. He made his television debut in the talent show, Opportunity Knocks[?], and was seldom absent from British television screens in the years that followed. One of his best known routines featured Roy Barraclough[?] and Dawson as two elderly women, Cissie Braithwaite and Ada Sidebottom, who, having worked in a mill in their youth, spoke some words aloud and mouthed others; they also repeatedly pushed up their bosoms, in pantomime dame style. Dawson's humour, though earthy, was seldom coarse, and he was as popular with female as with male audiences.

Having broken his jaw in a boxing match, Dawson was able to pull grotesque faces by pulling his jaw over his upper lip.

Television series in which he appeared included Sez Les, The Les Dawson Show, Dawson's Weekly, and the quiz show Blankety Blank[?], which he presented for some years.


  • A Clown Too Many (autobiography, 1986)
  • No Tears for a Clown
  • Hitler Was My Mother-in-Law
  • Well Fared, My Lovely
  • Come Back with the Wind
  • The Blade and the Passion
  • Card for the Clubs
  • Malady Lingers on and Other Great Groaners
  • Les Dawson's Lancashire
  • A Time Before Genesis
  • Les Dawson Gives Up
  • Cosmo Smallpiece Guide to Male Liberation

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