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TV: P is for...

PS, it’s Paul Squire

ERSTWHILE SEARCH FOR A STAR starlet searches for star quality with less than star-studded sketch shambles. Eponymous LES DENNIS prototype, previously of THE PAUL SQUIRE SHOW, essays a hopelessly optimistic theme song: “PS, it’s Paul Squire – and I’m trying to make yer happy”, before employing Madhouse-style ensemble peopled by the likes of JOHN SHARP, ELI WOODS and other forgotten stooges in a smorgasbord of shit skits. Used prop doors to exit one sketch and enter the next. Career high point was being mocked by Rick on THE YOUNG ONES.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Droogie

    February 15, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Paul Squire’s short-lived high profile TV career makes Simon Dee’s look lengthy by comparison. From his own show on ITV to one on the BBC and then back to ITV again before total obscurity. If you watch his 1980 Royal Command performance that gave him his big break, he’s obviously very talented. The jokes and Frank Spencer impressions are stale, but he’s a charismatic performer and can hold a tune. You do wonder why he never became a successful quiz show host or comedy actor rather than ending on the inevitable panto / cruise entertainer/after dinner speaker downward spiral.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    February 15, 2021 at 9:03 am

    A perusal of the internet doesn’t seem to elicit any firm reason for why Paul Squire vanished so suddenly. Although he appeared just at the point when television comedy became quite a crowded field of extremely middling talent as well documented on these pages. Even some quite distinctive comic talents didn’t manage long TV careers – Billy Dainty only had a single series I think (although with Rod and Emu for a long time). One of my proudest boasts is that I once met Billy Dainty backstage in Eastbourne when I was a boy. I tell people that now and they say ‘Who’s Billy Dainty?’

  3. Glenn Aylett

    February 16, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    He probably should have stuck to playing the holiday resorts and club circuit for a few years, then gone into television, as on stage he was quite a good comedian and impressionist. Instead Squire was given a television contract before he was ready, all his shows bombed and it was all over after 3 years and he had to go back to the club circuit. Probably best known for being namechecked on The Young Ones than anything else he did on his own.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    February 17, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    He seems to be virtually forgotten with the only Youtube clips being his appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in 1980 and a trailer for his first series on ITV, which has few mentions on the internet( it was a cross between a sitcom and a sketch show and featured another half forgotten comedian, Bobby Knutt). Nothing seems to exist about his BBC1 show or his final series on ITV, wonder if they’ve been wiped as they weren’t very memorable and were never repeated. A shame as Paul Squire had the potential to be a middle of the road comedian who could have done well with the right material, but seemed to crash and burn and was rarely heard of again after 1983.

    • Droogie

      February 18, 2021 at 2:22 am

      @Glenn Aylett I thought Squire might have a 2nd chance later on as a northern character actor on something like Corrie or even Phoenix Nights. I recall another comedian from then in Roy “Spook!” Jay who also was briefly everywhere for a short time but who quickly outstayed his welcome with his limited act .Squire seemed to have more going for him at least. ( I give this stuff too much thought!)

      • George White

        February 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

        RE:Northern character actor, that was the route Bobby Knutt took, and he ended up having a long and successful career with stints in Coro and Emmerdale

        I remember reading an interview where Squire admitted that he never wanted to be top of the bill. He always wanted to be third or fourth on the bill, as that was an easier life. I sense that he didn’t quite want to be famous.

        RE:Roy JAy, it was indeed Vehicle, which he covered in a record that was released at the brief height of his fame.

  5. THX 1139

    February 17, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    “No, not ‘Women’, ‘wimmin’!

  6. Richardpd

    February 17, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    It’s a shame he didn’t spend a bit of time as a sidekick for an established star before going solo, Jasper Carrott often had some rising stars on his shows like Phil Cool, Chris Barrie and Punt & Dennis before going onto bigger things.

  7. Sidney Balmoral James

    February 18, 2021 at 9:05 am

    For my sins, I do actually remember one of Paul Squire’s shows, although I can only have been about five or six at the time: he used to leave each sketch through a door, and then enter the next one through a different door. In one sketch, he ran a record shop, and people would ask to listen to records in a booth (which dates it for a start!) and something silly would happen to them based on the record they chose – e.g. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, the booth filled with smoke. At the end of the sketch, he got so frustrated that no one had asked for Hot Chocolate, he asked for them, went in the booth himself and was drenched in hot chocolate. I was obsessed with Roy Jay – who was so so utterly bizarre he recalled perhaps the days of music hall when you might have such surreal acts. I believe his career was killed stone dead when he exposed himself during a cabaret appearance. It was a wonderfully odd act ‘though. A man in white face make-up, pudding basic hair-cut and a convicts uniform, puts on an American accent and does a comic walk on the spot, to background music which sounded like Vehicle by The Ides of March – occasionally breaking off from his patter to jump back and say ‘Spook!’ Why the American accent – he wasn’t even American, although everyone thought he was? The patter I seem to recall was unremarkable, so perhaps he wasn’t that different from Tommy Cooper or Max Miller.

    • Droogie

      February 18, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      You can see Roy Jay’s appearance on the Bob Monkhouse show on YouTube. He definitely seemed original when he first appeared, but once you saw his act a few times you realised he was just telling old pub jokes VERY slowly, be it with a funky musical background and with his 2 catchphrases quoted to death throughout. Obscurity performing in a bar in Portugal for the rest of his life seemed to beckon.

  8. Glenn Aylett

    February 19, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    It seemed the early eighties saw many older style comedians try their luck on the television and often fail. A couple did well like Jethro due to his exposure on The Des O Connor Show, but you had people like Kate and Ted Robbins who had a similar apathetic reaction to Paul Squire. Problem was many weren’t very funny and the alternative movement was on the march.

  9. Richardpd

    February 19, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    I’ve mentioned before about the middle ground of comedy around this time, people not young or radical enough to be alternative, but smarter & quirkier than the mother in law joke crowd.

    Quite a few have been mentioned above.

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