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Good Old Days, The

MOCK MUSIC HALL marathon “From the Stage of the City Varieties Theatre, Leeds” with LEONARD SACHS dressed up like a Edwardian fop wielding a gavel and lots of long words to introduce the likes of KEN DODD, DANNY LA RUE, RAY ALAN and co all in period costume before a similarly attired over-excited audience waving parasols, cravats and false sideburns in rapture. Always ended with deafening singalong, usually ‘Down At The Old Bull And Bush’.



  1. Lee James Turnock

    May 1, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Arthur Askey’s ‘foreign legion’ poem…
    “It’s a terrible life in the legion,
    When you’re out in the desert, I mean.
    This story I’ll tell you is clever,
    It’s not only funny, it’s clean.
    Our captain we hated like poison.
    He had a moustache like a bedsock.
    And what the men called him led us to believe
    He was probably born out of wedlock!
    He took us on a route march and lost us,
    An obsolete map they had sold him.
    He said “Listen men, I don’t know where to go!”,
    And every last one of us told him!”

  2. THX 1139

    December 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Watching the repeat on BBC Four, I’m reminded I used to approach this in the same way as I approached Billy Smart’s Circus, I could see it was supposed to be fun but couldn’t work out why. Another thing I couldn’t work out was how the audience knew all the words to the songs they sang, there were no cue cards I could see, were they made to memorise them before the cameras rolled? Oh well, Les Dawson was funny.

  3. THX 1139

    February 14, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Pretty sure Daniel Radcliffe is one of the singers in certain episodes of this.

  4. David Smith

    February 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I doubt it somehow, he wasn’t born till six years after the show finished…

  5. THX 1139

    February 15, 2016 at 12:20 am

    It’s either him using his magic powers or his dad.

  6. Philip Barrie

    July 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    There were song sheets but the audience were asked not to make them ‘obvious’ where possible. You will notice though, in the older shows more people really did remember the words to the old songs and sang even more spontaneously

  7. Scott McPhee

    April 28, 2018 at 5:54 am

    I remember watching this programme as a young boy. Shows like The Good Old Days were a staple on Saturday night television.

    The cynic in me wonders what was so ‘good’ about the Edwardian era? The advancements of the Victorian era had improved the lives of many. Although sanitation had helped to eliminate diseases like cholera, in the early 20th century, influenza could kill people.

    Perhaps shows like The Good Old Days illustrate how we have a habit of romanticizing the past.

  8. Glenn Aylett

    April 28, 2018 at 10:24 am

    @ Scott, compared with 1802, or even 1852, the advances in living standards by 1902 were immense. Cholera and typhoid had largely been eliminated due to a massive improvement in sanitation and housing standards, living standards were vastly higher, and the railways had made days out and holidays far easier and cheaper than the stagecoach era. It was a golden era and one people from that period tended to enjoy before the horrors of the First World War were unleashed and the turbulence of the post war era.

  9. Richard16378

    April 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Until the 1970s Radio 2 had a programme about Edwardian music, which was presumably axed when the amount of people who remembered the period first hand had dwindled away.

  10. Glenn Aylett

    April 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    @ Richard 16378, it was hosted by Alan Keith and went in the late seventies as hardly anyone was alive who could remember this music. In the same way, Radio 2 has almost completely culled shows with music from before 1950, as the audience has largely died out.

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