Remembering Lionel Blair

We were so sad to hear the veteran entertainer had passed away aged 92.

Lionel Blair

by Lorna White |

With a career spanning eight decades, entertainer, dancer and TV presenter Lionel Blair became a household name during the 60s and 70s, after a comedic dance off with Sammy Davis Jr in the 1961 Royal Variety Performance became the highlight of his career as he once said.

Since then, he was a team captain on popular game show Give Us A Clue, he acted in Ricky Gervais's Extras and also appeared on the reality shows, Celebrity Big Brother and The Real Marigold Hotel.

His need to entertain was apparent from a very young age. Born in Canada in 1928, Lionel and his family moved to the UK when he was a young boy. When the Second World War struck, he would perform in the air raid shelters.

He also appeared as a choreographer in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night, and Lionel went on to be a very successful choreographer in real life too, with his work including the Tommy Cooper Hour and the Jimmy Tarbuck Show. He also became a judge on the popular 70s talent show, New Faces.

Remembering Lionel, his close friend Christopher Biggins, called him "the most wonderful (man), kind, funny, a real giver of life. His energy was extraordinary."

He also commented that he was "very competitive" and "loved to win" on the game show. "He's up there now entertaining with Una (Stubbs), I'm sure," he said.

Lionel leaves behind his beloved wife Susan, whom he married in 1967. The pair enjoyed a long and happy marriage, having three children and three grandchildren.

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