Dee Time

1967 | United Kingdom

Billed as an "early evening scene" Dee Time starred charismatic former BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Dee in a series of hip talk shows in which he interviewed the big names in the TV and film showbiz-set as well as stars of the world of popular music. 

On the opening night of his thirty-minute programme he played host to Libby Morris, Lance Percival, Cat Stevens, Kiki Dee and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

Born Nicholas Henty-Dodd in Ottawa, Canada, on 28 July 1935, Dee came to Britain at the age of 11 and in his teenage years became the first voice on British offshore 'pirate radio' station Radio Caroline when it made its first broadcast during the Easter of 1964. His popularity grew steadily over the next twelve months and he was the first pirate broadcaster offered a BBC contract to do a show on the Light Programme. At the BBC Dee's career flourished and he was soon groomed for a twice-weekly TV series (Tuesday's and Thursday's) before being moved to the coveted early evening slot on Saturday night. 

The show opened with Dee arriving at Television Centre in a sports car and accompanied by a 'dishy' blonde passenger. For a time it seemed as though Dee could do no wrong. He made several bit-part appearances in a number of British films (including the cult Michael Caine/Noel Coward classic The Italian Job) and seemed to be heading for a long and lucrative career. However, problems behind the scenes (including excessive wage demands) led the BBC to reconsider a renewal of his contract in 1969. 

In 1970 London Weekend Television made him an offer to present a late night, 50 minute, Sunday chat show (The Simon Dee Show). But by this time Simon Dee's star as media golden boy was beginning to dim and, amid further controversy, his contract was prematurely terminated after a few months. Following that little was heard of Dee, although he did turn up in the early 2000's on a retrospective 'best of' series that looked back on classic television shows, in which he reflected on what was -and what might have been. He died of bone cancer in 2009.

Published on December 7th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.