One And Only Phyllis Dixey, The (ITV 1978, Lesley-Anne Down, Michael Elphick)

The true-life story of aspiring dancer Phyllis Dixey who joins a theatre company in the 1930?s and soon becomes a star turn with her naughty fan dance routine which initially courted controversy. As her fame and success grew in the 1940’s she went on to form her own dance company with her American husband and they took the show on tour which featured nude tableau scenes where the dancers had to stand perfectly still; and Phyllis Dixey’s strip routines which (by today’s standard) were actually fairly coy – her company eventually failed in bankruptcy.

The drama is interspersed with occasional interview footage of people who knew the real Phyllis Dixey.

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NOTE: The opening title captions this as “Peek-A-Boo with Lesley-Anne-Down as The One and Only Phyllis Dixey” and indeed that is how it was billed in listing magazines and newspapers but it is the latter part that this production seems to be more commonly known as.

The drama was given a TV Times cover (28 Oct 1978 edition) complete with three page feature.

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production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×95 minute episode / Broadcast 1 November 1978

Writer: Philip Purser / Production design: Harry Clarke / Director: Michael Tuchner

cast
LESLEY-ANNE DOWN as Phyllis Dixey
CHRIS MURNEY as Jack Tracy
MICHAEL ELPHICK as Wallace Parnell
JAQUELINE TONG as Judy
ELAINE PAIGE as Kim
PATRICIA HODGE as Maisie
ROSALIND WILSON as Penny
GILLIAN HAYES as Jane
JOANNE WHALLEY as Doris
JOHN BOWE as Court Detective
HILARY MASON as Medium
GRETCHEN FRANKLIN as Dresser
SUE HOLDERNESS as Mildred Challenger
GILLIAN TAYLFORTH as Girl in Cafe
SHANE RIMMER as US Colonel

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.