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The Good Old Days was a popular BBC television light entertainment programme which ran from 1953 to 1983.

It was recorded live at the Leeds City Varietiesmarker and recreated an authentic atmosphere of the VictorianEdwardian music hall with songs and sketches of the era performed by present-day performers in the style of the original artistes.

The audience dressed in period costume and joined in the singing, especially the singing of Down at the Old Bull and Bushmarker which closed the show. The show was compered by Leonard Sachs who introduced the acts. In the course of its run it featured about 2000 artists.

History

The show was first broadcast on 20 July 1953.

The Good Old Days was inspired by the success of the "Ridgeway's Late Joys" at the Players' Theatremarker Club in London: a private members' club that ran fortnightly programmes of variety acts in London's West Endmarker.

Typical line-ups include:

The 1950s

BBC Wednesday 29 December 1954
Cast: Rex Jameson, Tod Slaughter, Bertha Wilmot, Harry Bailey with host Leonard Sachs
BBC Saturday 26 December 1959
Cast: Morecambe and Wise, Betty Jumel, Cardew Robinson, Norberti, Smoothey and Layton, Manton Brothers, Patricia Bredin with host Leonard Sachs


The 1960s

BBC Sunday 16 April 1960
Cast The Gaunt Brothers, The Falcons, June Merlin and her doves, Jimmy Gay, Harry Bailey and Nancy and Molly Munks with host Leonard Sachs


BBC1 Sunday 28 November 1966
Cast Ted Ray, Reg Varney, Barbara Law, George Chisholm, Eithne Milne, Michael Allport and Company, Ivane and Andre Astor and Les Aguanitos with host Leonard Sachs


The 1970s

BBC1 Sunday 16 April 1972 at 7.25 pm
Cast Eartha Kitt, Arthur Askey, Eira Heath, Neville King, Larry Parker, Barrie Brothers, Terry Lightfoot and His Band, Macardis with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Sunday 13 August 1972 at 7.25 pm
Cast Rod Hull, Joe Castor, Pat Mooney, Doreen Hermitage, Jan Hunt, Jimmy Webster, Tessie O'Shea, Robert Young, Patsy MacLean with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Sunday 30 March 1973 at 7.25 pm
Cast Bruce Forsyth, Georgia Brown, Charlie Williams, Julius Nehring, Gerry Atkins, Pigalle Girls with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Friday 8 February 1974 at 8.15 pm
Cast Roy Castle, Jean Bayliss, Gil Dova, Peter Wallis, Les Aguanitos with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Thursday 25 March 1976 at 9.25 pm
Cast Larry Grayson, Frank Carson, Margaret Savage, Sheila Mathews, Ted Durante, Peter Gale, Edward Woodward with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Sunday 31 December 1978 at 11.05 pm
Cast Roy Castle, Dolores Gray, Eira Heath, Michel Arene, Lido Can-Can Girls, Perkano and Christina with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Friday 20 April 1979 at 8.10 pm
Cast Eleanor McCready, Les Dawson, Sweet Substitute, Peter Hudson, Joan Merrigan, Paul Rhodes, Julia Sutton, Ralph Heid, Eve n Alan with host Leonard Sachs


The 1980s

BBC1 Wednesday 2 January 1980 at 9.25 pm
Cast John Inman, Gemma Craven, David Kernan, Bernard Spear, Gino Donati, Michel Arene, Lido Can-Can Girls with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Monday 10 May 1982 at 9.05 pm
Cast Bernard Cribbins, Lorna Dallas, Barry Cryer, Anna Dawson, Josephine Gordon, Bill Drysdale, Christine Cartwright, Inga-Lise with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Sunday 2 October 1983 at 8.55 pm
Cast John Inman, Mary O'Hara, Neville King, Jacquie Toye, Ted Durante, Vince Hill with host Leonard Sachs
BBC1 Friday 30 December 1983 at 3.50 pm
Goodbye to the Good Old Days
Documentary celebrating the longest running TV variety show in the UK, which ended its 30-year run this year. With Roy Hudd, Frankie Vaughan, Les Dawson, Larry Grayson and narrated by Barry Cryer


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