The Good Old Days Classic TV Show
Egregiously entertaining, fantastically funny. If you needed to reach for the dictionary in the 1970's and wondered why an entire audience were dressed in costumes then it had to be the unique Good Old Days. The first show with mass audience participation.
The Good Old Days Fan Tributes56 Faith Simpson Ratnayake from England, settled in Sri Lanka: The programme loomed large in my childhood from 1953 until I left UK. Innocent enjoyment, laughter and period ambience. Where the 'stars were twinkling twice a night'. Wonderful memories!
55 Gail May from France: Hi Dee, yes I did get the words, did perform it, and am due to repeat it again next month. I had to get an arranger friend of mine to write and record the piano music for me, as could not find this anywhere.
54 Dick Drake from Glasgow: In answer to the queries re the huntsmen spoof the comedian who performed this was Denny Willis, now sadly no longer with us. A very slick routine as he got more and more out of time with the huntsmen quartet. I think the song was "The red fox he has left his lair" or something like that and I believe it's on You Tube.
53 Ernie b from Tyne & Wear: To (47) Julie, I think the huntsmen could have had a name like the "Folle de Rolles" or similar. It's 40 plus years ago so I could be wrong. Searched You Tube with no luck. Loved them
52 ronald palmer from Essex: The BBC never kept most of the tapes of the programs.
I am really sorry about this because in 1973 and again in 1975 my 2 sons "The james Boys" appeared. Both times being the youngest act ever to appear on the show.
If anyone has a recording I would be very gratefull to hear from them, especially the first mentioned shown on Boxing Day 1973, starring Frankie Vaughn.
51 trace from london: I hated this show almost as much as I hated the Royal Variety Performances, and the Black and White Minstrels - argh!!!
But, as a nostalgic 50-something, I wouldn't mind seeing it again, but only a couple of minutes worth, mind you...
50 Jim Walker from Preston, Lancashire: When you compare the various types of entertainment in a standard Good Old Days programme, you saw great variety and skill. Nowadays a `Variety` show on the television seems to be confined solely to a selection of musical shriekers, smarmy and unfunny comedians and not much else. If you want to go and see a speciality act, you have to go to a circus except there is very little tented entertainment these days.
49 SSgt. Kevin campbell from Wells,Maine.U.S.A.: Would love it if the BBC would release this on dvd! If the show ran so long seems they would have plenty of material.
48 tom brosnan from ireland: highly entertaining show .should be reshown.anybody know the lyrics of song"I had to come down for nails" performed by Leonard Sachs.Hilarious.
47 Julie from Maidstone: I loved the songs with actions... the brilliant six by four and the one about hunting a fox with a line of men nearly hitting each other as they sang "Tally ho tally ho, tally ho" wish I could remember what it was called as I would love to see it again! perhaps someone out there can help refresh my memoryI was only a little girl, I dreamed that one day I would be able to go too... too late now unfortunately. Such innocent times... and no foul language, proper entertainment... sadly missed.
46 Dee from Ashford Kent: I wonder if Gail May from France managed to find all the words of Popsie Wopsie and whether she ever got to perform it?
45 John Riding from Eastbourne: March 17th 1968 my wife to be and I went to The Good Old Days dressed in Victorian costume. We had waited 4 years to get seats for a church party. Is it possible to have a recording of this? There was a close up of my wife - filled up the screen! I hve tried before -could you help?
John Hanson was the star on the programme
44 ron owen from birmingham: why not rerun the series, great entertainment and a viewer catcher, I am now 77 saw every show and loved every minute.
43 ronald Palmer from essex: I saw the youngest act ever to appear on the good old days they were The James Boys on boxing day Dec 26th 1973 one was 11 years and the other was 13 years they were fantastic Frankie Vaughn topped the bill.
42 Theo from Sheffield: Does anyone have the edition featuring JESSIE MATTHEWS? If so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
41 Dee from Ashford: Popsie-Wopsie.
Sing to me my little Popsie Wopsie,
Turn the limelight right on me - oh my Popsie Wopsie.
When on that stage you come,
my little heart beats just like a dru-u-um.
I should dream about you all night - to-night,
You're the cutest thing I've seen.
I could kiss you my Popsie but there's one thing stops me -
It's the footlights in-between!
In this is not enough - why not try writing to Ms Steafel? You never know - she might help.
Also - contact nostalgiatv. for a dvd of several Good Old Days shows.
40 Gail May from France: The wonderful Sheila Stefal and Popsie Wopsie - does anyone know the lyrics please? Am hoping to perform this at a charity Music Hall event and cannot make out all of the words - in particular the last line - sounds like FALSE EYES IN BETWEEN!
Hope someone can help.
39 margaret McGregor from West Dunbartonshire: The series brought back memories of my father who was a singer who sang many of the old songs sadly he is dead for many years. one song in particular I would love to hear again is My little wicker wacker in my hand. can anyone one direct me to where I might purchase this song.
38 Ken Long from Newcastle, UK: Does anyone have the dvd or vhs of the Donovan & Byl or Donovan & Hayes act? Please contact me as I am trying to locate it as Donovan was my father.
37 Julie from Preston: I loved this programme as a young child and was allowed to stay up later to watch it. I don't recall the names of the dancers who performed my favourite act but I particularly liked the act that involved a couple dancing who clearly weren't getting along, expressing fact this through the medium of dance to tango type music. Probably not pc enough for today's viewer but great fun to watch. Does anyone know what this type of dance act was called?
36 McCrae from Hamburg: hello! my parents worked in the show in 16/04/1972. They were the acrobatic duo the Macardis. I remember them telling me about it. And I would love a copy of that show. Does anyone have a copy or know where I get one? I would also like to hear from anyone who knew them as it is their golden wedding anniversary next year and I am looking for old friends of theirs! contact me heather(at)mccrae(dot)de
35 Paul A Williams-Petersen from Sweden: I have two VHS videos of 'THe Good Old Days' but I would love to try and get some more. I will then transfer to DVD.
Is there anybody who can help me obtain further programmes of this wonderful series?
34 Roger Hall from Australia: I saw Arthur Askey whilst living in the UK, he sang Busy Bee, funniest thing I ever saw.
33 Philip from Bexhill on Sea: There were some super clips on u tube of Hinge and Bracket, on the show, incidentally , their fan club has one whole edition of the programme on which they appeared, which included Larry Grayson and Fenella Fielding, also Billy Dainty and the super singer Teresa Cahill showed up on clips only. Lets all get on at the BBC for some reissues!
32 Philip from Bexhill on Sea: Denny Willis is the name of the performer with the troop of huntsmen, loved The Good Old Days was my favourite programme
31 Dee from Ashford Kent: With regard to the message from Stephen Bennett - I can only say how extremely jealous I am! WHEN will the tv companies realise what a captive audience they have just waiting to view these gems again?
30 Stephen Bennett from Buxton derbyshire uk: well I am lucky to say that I have about 12 episodes of the good old days on video and transfed to dvd! I used to think "Do i go down to the pub or buy a video tape for Ģ15.00" I think I did the wise choice! .. dont you!! they great to watch even some of the "unknown" spec acts
29 Dee from Ashford Kent: In response to John Smith - I have never seen her perform but Doreen Hermitage is now the 'Chairman' of The British Music Hall Society. Anybody who loves the Good Old Days and Old Time Music Hall should take a look at the British Music Hall Society website and maybe join the society which aims to keep Music Hall alive. Strength in numbers!
28 dee from ashford kent: Sheila Steafel singing 'Popsy-Wopsy' is hilarious. Everything about 'The Good Old Days' was just brilliant. Real entertainment - wonderful costumes (for the audience too!).
Todays rubbish tv? Give me the Good Old Days every time.
27 John Smith from Cheshire: Hi,
The finest singer ever to grace the stage of ' The Good Old Days' was Doreen Hermitage.
Does anyone know where she is now?
Sincerely yours... john
26 jane from: what happened to singer anne morgan
25 Dave Parkin from Barnsley: I was lucky to attend a Christmas show recording in the late 1970's which featured the late John Inman. The Producer, Barney Colehan came out on stage before Johns spot and asked the audience to make an extra special effort to support John in the song - Have You Ever Seen a Straight Banana? apparently he was incredibly nervous, it was his first time at the City Varieties. We did and it was hilarious! I have very fond memories of 'The Good Old Days' and would love to be able to see the shows again on DVD.
24 Creek from Tasmania: We're trying to find episodes (any/all) of The Good Old Days on DVD to help out a local rep theatre; can anyone help?
23 Doris Hicks from Perth Western Australia: I hoped the BBC would bring out The Good Old Days on DVD. I've recently managed to get Hinge and Bracket Gala Evenings and Dear Ladies and what a feast of entertainment. They are not available in Australia but Amazon has them. Sheila Steafle, Tulips from Amsterdam that filled the stage with flowers, real nostalgia from The Good Old Days. Jan of Great Bowden (No. 17) is that near Market Harborough?
22 Jim Walker from Preston Lancashire: In answer to Paul Goring who wanted to know about the comedy act, it was Denny Willis and the Quorn Quartet. It was the only act they did and they toured the halls with it for many years. The full act can be seen on the internet by using the words Denny Willis.
21 baz toon from doset: denny willis and the quorn quartet did the fox has left its lair i loved watching it great old days not like today tv is full of nasty things now
20 Jean Brand from Australia: In answer to Jan from Great Bowden I do have the sheet music for some of the songs - such as "Give me a ticket to Heaven" but am in Australia
19 Rudolf Mantke from germany/ottersberg: Hello. I have the same questions as Paul Goring had before. I saw Denny Willis in an old video.
I'm trying to find information about a comedy act which appeared occasionally on 'The Good Old Days': it consisted of a line of men in red hunting jackets, lead by an elderly man, who tried but failed to sing a song whose chorus began 'The fox, the fox has left its lair: the red fox, the red fox'. I cannot recall the name of the act, but am considering reproducing the act as part of an amateur music-hall night. Any information (especially the lyrics/music of the song!) would be gratefully received!
18 Carol from Essex: In answer to Barbro from Stockholm, the song the Good Old Days finished with every week was 'Down at the Old Bull and Bush'. By the way does anyone know if any episodes are available on VHS or DVD, I would love to see them again.
17 jan from great bowden: I am trying to organise a local good old days production in 2008 for charity. I can't find ANY videos of the TV series so was particularly interested to now Alan from Perth had some - thought Australia is a long way to go and collect them!! I am also looking for sheet music. If anyone can help please get in touch.
16 Robert Dekker from Delft, Holland: I'm also looking for the act Paul Goring from Hasting describes. The theme of the song has been haunting me for ages and I would very much like to see the act again. Does anybody have the act either on video or DVD, or does anybody know of a site where I can find it? Help would be much appreciated.
15 george stewart from edinburgh: leonard sachs was the ultimate host. can you get any of these shows on dvd? id love to get a copy for my auntie margaret 75 years young! that would make her smile .
14 marie from lancaster: I am trying to recreate for a class of primary children the music and atmosphere similar to the show the good old days and need tapes to show them. although i dont remember it mucn myself, i felt that what i need remember was sometimes corny but mostly good
13 graham laws from lincolnshire: Do you remember the old lady who filled the stage with flags, or the lady who tore newspaper into ladders etc. Everyone who appeared did a great job.
12 Jackie Carol from Leeds: I work as a volunteer at the City Varieties and we have a good old days season twice a year. Wish it could be brought back to tv. My favourite was when Vince Hill was on and in the audience were the Gilbert and Sulivan socirty, except nobody told him, and was surprised when the audience joined in.
11 Ken Harrison from Christchurch Dorset: The Good Old Days is just about the only Variety show on Tv now. The "turns" were mostly very good but I would like to put in a word for The Players Theatre who so ably recreated the songs of the great Music Hall days. I hope more of those shows have been preserved for our delectation.
10 melanie walker from Tipton West Midlands: I have always loved watching the Good Olde Days and think it should be returned to our screens as it brings back memories for many of us and interest for the future people of entertainment.
9 clive bradley from ipswich: The BBC is renowned for showing repeats yet this show is never repeated. Sadly only sex, violence and screaming pop idols are favoured. This show was great and the entire stock should be shown for the over 50s enjoyment.
8 Alan Beckwith from Perth, West Australia: My location is Perth, W.Australia, but my origins are in Cumbria, having been hrer since 1969. I was specially please to stumble upon the site concerning The Good Old Days, for I have preserved on several VHS tapes the broadcasts from the City Varities theatre in Leeds and derive much pleasure from them, recently burning to CD some of the vocalists and achieving excellent results. I would like to hear from other devotees of the programmes as I have some gaps in my collection
7 WAYNE from KENT: I am trying to trace an old song that my Grandad used to sing.
Some of the lyrics went:-
I WENT DOWN THE STREET TO BUY A PENNY-WHISTLE,
A COPPER COME ALONG AND TOOK MY PENNY-WHISTLE,
I ASKED HIM FOR IT BACK,
HE SAID HE HADN'T GOT IT,
AYE, AYE, AYE YOU'VE GOT IT IN YOUR POCKET.....
Does anybody recognise it?
It sounded that it might be Victorian or Music Hall but I am not certain of that.
6 Barbro from Stockholm, Sweden: Today at work we were talking about childhood memories, and what we used to watch on TV in the late 60īs, early 70īs. At that time we only had one channel here in Sweden, so we didnīt have much to choose between, but one of the favourites was definitely "The Good Old Days"! We were also trying to recall which song every show ended with, but none of us managed to do that - can anybody help us?
5 Bobby Thompson from Wolverhampton: In answer to Paul Goring: The leader of the hunt was Denny Willis. You can find out more at http://www.geocities.com/comedy_tributes_uk
Hope this will help you.
4 roger lever from hertfordshire: My fondest memories are of the appearances of the delightful Valerie Masterson, principle soprano (at that time) with the D'Oyly Carte and then ENO. Like many people, I would love to see these shows again but I fear that the new wave at 'Auntie' will not have kept the recordings.
3 Johnny McDowell from Hillsborough: I am trying to establish a potfolio of all of Leonard Sachs television career, and any information, particular anything to do with 'The Good Old Days' would be greatful. Great memories have been served up by Leonard over the years and a tribute to the 'booming brigadier' would be a fitting send off.
2 Liz Gonzalez from Gibraltar: I have very fond memoriws of these variety shows on the BBC. We are haosting an amateur evening and would like to see some of the videos of the shows. Are they available from the BBC? How did Leonard Sachs manage to have such a fabulous script? Did he write it himself. The words are incredible.
1 Paul Goring from Hastings: I'm trying to find information about a comedy act which appeared occasionally on 'The Good Old Days': it consisted of a line of men in red hunting jackets, lead by an elderly man, who tried but failed to sing a song whose chorus began 'The fox, the fox has left its lair: the red fox, the red fox'. I cannot recall the name of the act, but am considering reproducing the act as part of an amateur music-hall night. Any information (especially the lyrics/music of the song!) would be gratefully received!
The Good Old Days
Leonard Sachs as The Chairman
Roy Castle, Las Dawson, Danny La Rue, The Krankies, Keith Harris, Roy Hudd, Ken Dodd, Arthur Askey, Hilda Baker and many more...
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