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Lionel Blair

lionelLionel Blair is a British TV personality and is best known as a panellist on Give Us A Clue. When asked about his age, he says, “I say I am 59 plus VAT.”

Lionel Blair was born in Canada and came to Britain when he was two years old. His first public performances were with his sister Joyce in London Underground Stations and air raid shelters during World War II. He attended the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in 1944, followed by London’s University of East London, where he majored in Ethnography. Blair eventually rekindled his passion with musical theatre and joined the West End. He gave up acting for dancing in 1947 although he subsequently appeared in the fringe production, Out of the Blue and Who Killed Agatha Christie?’ amongst other acting credits

He soon made a name for himself in the West End and when choreography became his forte. He formed Lionel Blair and his Dancers – regulars on TV variety shows in the 1970s and 80s. “I had to grow up fast,” he says. “We had no money so I had to work.” Lionel also starred in The Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night, and worked with stars like Peter Sellers, Phil Silvers, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope, Peggy Lee and Yul Brynner. He also formed a lifetime friendship with Sammy Davis Jnr after they performed together in the 1961 Royal Variety show

To millions Lionel will always be remembered as the star of TV games shows like Name That Tune and the famous charades hit, Give Us A Clue. “We did well over 1,000 shows between 1979 and 1982,” and Lionel proudly speaks of the galaxy of stars who queued up to join him in miming all those books, films and plays

Pictures of Lionel’s time in the Big Brother house:

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