alt=Isn’t it funny how we remember summers gone by as filled with endless sunshine on days that seemed to last forever? In #MondayMemories this week we look all the way back to 1981 and a particularly stellar summer season... 

Summer Star Time ’81 was Poole’s answer to the traditional seaside town summer season variety bill that graced the stages of theatres and concert halls in the nation’s ‘bucket-and-spade' resorts – and it’s fair to say the stars were definitely out in Poole that year. 

The season got off to a rocket start on 27 July with the one and only Bruce Forsyth in concert every night from Monday to Saturday. Tickets started at just £2, which was not bad considering Brucie was pulling in millions of TV viewers for ITV’s Play Your Cards Right. 


The opening week was followed by Cilla Black with special guest comedian Don McClean as well as Opportunity Kicks record holder Bernie Flint, vocal harmony trio Fresh Aire and the John Hawkins Orchestra. This was a couple of years before Cilla’s second coming hosting shows like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise, but she was still a popular concert draw based on her 60s hits including Anyone Who Had a Heart, Step Inside Love, Alfie and You’re My World. 

The week after saw three nights headlined by pop-comedy band The Barron Knights with Opportunity Knocks winner Katie Budd and comedian Tony Dowling followed another three night stand, this time starring Marti Caine promoting the now highly prized (yes, really!) Point of View album of slo-mo funk and dark disco. Her support card included showband Turnstyle, variety singer Al (Harpo) James and club star Peter Firmani. 

Bringing the curtain down on summer 1981 in Poole was the immortal Dick Emery whose catchphrase ‘Ooh, you are awful... but I like you’ was a staple comedy impression for years. Dick, who called time on his long running self-titled TV show that year, did a full week with former New Seekers singer Lyn Paul and Australian vocal duo Terry Turner & Nicky Benton. 

Were you there? We'd love to hear your rmemories of these shows - or any others that you've seen at Poole Arts Centre/Lighthouse - over the years.

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Published 1 February 2021