Andrew Dipper

Ray Peacock’s tribute to Les Dawson

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Ray Peacock is to host a three-hour radio show dedicated to comedy icon Les Dawson.

Airing on Radio 4 Extra this Saturday, Listening To Les will feature rare BBC footage of Dawson’s career, including the comedian’s final ever interview a week before his death in 1993.

The show also includes a recording of Dawson reading his own novel, Come Back With The Wind, an episode of his Radio 2 sketch show Listen to Les and tributes from celebrity fans.

Comedians Ken Dodd, Neil Innes, Robin Ince and Lee Mack have helped with the project, speaking to Peacock about their love of Dawson.

Peacock is a huge fan of the comedian himself, and has contributed to a number of biopics about the comedy legend.

He said: ‘It’s been a proper surreal project to be involved in.

“From finding myself sat with Ken Dodd for two hours chatting about Les to sitting next to Neil Innes as he riffed Dawsonesque melodies on a piano, the whole thing has been rather dreamlike.

“I never got to work with Les Dawson, so projects like this one are the closest I’m gonna get and I’m ridiculously grateful to BBC Radio 4 Extra for entrusting me with such an ambitious project.

“Les Dawson was such a massive influence on me from a very young age.

“He inspired me with silliness wrapped up in sulking, provoked a love of literature in me, and taught me that it is quite all right to undercut and undermine rules and regulations with mischief.”

Listening to Les airs on Saturday 14 September at 9am, then at 7pm.

  • Les Dawson speaks to Dr. Anthony Clare in a 1993 edition of In The Psychiatrist’s Chair. Listen.
  • Neil Innes and Ray Peacock discuss Les Dawson’s musical talents. Listen.