Les Dawson Statue
In the centre of Ashton Gardens St Annes, lies the Les Dawson Statue, in homage to one of the UKs most loved comedians. His home town was, of course, St Annes, and he is remembered with much mirth for sayings like; “Marriage, the only union without a shop steward.”
He died in 1993, leaving behind his wife and child, to whom he was known as a devoted family man. He had a deadpan style and frequently made many jokes about his mother in law, and family life with his wife, but he must have been allowed to get away with it, due to their strong love for each other.
Les Dawson, comedian
Claiming an inauspicious start to his career in his autobiography, Les Dawson moved from a supposed start in a Parisian brothel, playing an inept piano, to the Blackpool town. Born in Manchester, he did not have far to go to get to Blackpool, so one does wonder how he managed to do this via Paris.
His big break came through the BBC when he auditioned for Opportunity Knocks in 1967, and went on to become a household name from then on. His comedy largely centred around impressions of two characters; Cissie and Ada; and just like Shakespeare’s times, a man dressed as a woman is always very funny to us all.
Cissie was the more refined of the pair, correcting the more uncouth Ada for her views on sex and body parts, her way of speaking, and her expressions and idiom. Representing characters that were authentic for the early 70s, the audience could identify with the two types of women, one worldy wise, and the other common, but innocent, and laughed along. One can only guess that Les Dawson had a real appreciation of strong female characters from his own home life.
Dawson was famous for a gross expression of pulling his lip over his jaw, which he was able to do as the result of an injury from boxing. An intelligent man, he seemed slightly embarrassed by his intellect at the time, and would use his skill as a pianist for laughs by deliberately playing the wrong notes. He wrote poetry, which he hid from his comedy fans, and novels, which remained unpublished. Occassionally the audience would get a glimpse of his genius with words, as he would speak very eloquently on some topic during his act. The Les Dawson Statue is a good way to remember this comedy genius.