Norman Vaughan’s career was fairly low-key until he was given the opportunity to succeed Bruce Forsyth as compere of the hugely popular ITV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium. This brought him before an audience which regularly exceeded twenty million viewers and assisted by his “swinging….dodgy” catchphrase he achieved national fame. He had made TV appearances before this in the 1950’s but nothing with the prominence of the Palladium show which he fronted for three years. His success in the role brought him his own shows on both ITV and BBC in the mid 1960’s.
He developed a niche in the growing field of gameshows, both in compering the Golden Shot (see a clip on YouTube)and regularly guest appearances in Celebrity Squares, Give Us A Clue and Larry Grayson’s Generation Game. He also made a notable contribution to the genre in helping to devise the format for Bullseye.
He was born on 10th April 1923 at his aunt’s house, 32 Barry Street, Walton L4. The family later moved to Litherland. He began his life in showbusiness aged just 14 as a member of a boy’s theatrical troupe, the Eton Boys Choir, later forming a dance trio, the Dancing Aces. After his call-up in 1944 he appeared in Army shows, meeting up with the two future Goons Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan.
He died on 17th May 2002 following a road accident.
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