Programme 1988 -Germany-

Today a German concert programme from 1988. With very special thanks to Mark and Ian!

Tribute to Doug Darnell

This year in May it will be exactly 10 years ago that Doug Darnell passed away.  As fans of the Dame are aware Doug made many of Dame Shirley’s stage gowns throughout her long career. Some of them were even given names by the fans such as the ‘Mermaid’ gown and ‘Tassel’ gown as well as the gown worn by Shirley on the cover of the ‘Something’ album. He also designed a gown that started life in the 1950’s and was still being worn by Dame Shirley in the 1980’s although much altered from its original conception by then. It was the ‘Diamond Gown’. One of his most famous creations was of course the Catsuit.

Doug was also responsible for the ‘Catsuit’ which Dame Shirley wore a number of times. Another creation was what became known as the ‘Gownless Evening Strap’ which was held together by one hook.

As well as Dame Shirley, Doug also designed stage gowns for Dorothy Squires and his partner designed the gowns for Dusty Springfield. The label of their fashion house was ‘Darnell of London’.

Today’s Video Show Case is a tribute to Dame Shirley’s dear friend and stage dress designer. Below an interview with Doug and the Dame from 2003 when Dame Shirley auctioned 50 of her stage gowns for charity at Christie’s in London. Also a video from 1994 from Dame Shirley’s documentary Have Voice Will Travel where Doug speaks about her and the dresses. CLICK HERE for 18 of Dame Shirley’s most fabulous looks. (From Vogue)

Doug Darnell & Dame Shirley Bassey


Doug Darnell presenting Dame Shirley a bouquet of flowers at her 1973 Royal Albert Hall concert


Today some newspaper articles from 1983. According to them the year did not start very well for Shirley Bassey.
But it was the year of the duet with Alain Delon. Thought I’d Ring You. A hit in many countries. I still remember hearing the song for the first time on the radio. I remember being told by a friend that he heard Shirley Bassey on the radio in a duet. It took me a few days of listening to the radio before I heard it myself and I had goosebumps right away.

2.4 Children (I’m in my warehouse)

On today’s Video Showcase a clip of a British TV-series from the 90’s called ‘2.4 Children’. In this hilarious episode two women are looking for a warehouse to start their own business and they end up in Dame Shirley’s warehouse. I have edited it down to the warehouse scenes. This episode is from October 1995. Also a video of the real warehouse from the 1994 BBC documentary ‘The Slate’. (Special thanks to Susan for the video)

Description of the program: The Porter family at first seem normal enough. Bill is the sensible level-headed mother who does the cooking and housework, whilst running a catering business with sex-crazed friend Rona. Ben is the father, who is often equally as immature as the kids. He runs a heating repair business with his slightly sarcastic assistant Christine.
Jenny is the typical teenage daughter, keen on boys, music and vegetarianism, and David is the mischievous younger brother, who enjoys horror films, aliens and annoying his older sister.
However the Porter’s world is frequently turned upside down due to bizarre occurrences and bad luck. Whether its dealing with flatulent dogs, having frozen men in freezers in the front room, or even stumbling across Shirley Bassey’s warehouse, it seems like anything is possible in the Porter’s world.

Excerpt from the preview: “Meanwhile, Bill and Rona are out looking for premises. They find themselves in a warehouse full of Shirley Bassey’s dresses. They start trying them on and lose track of time. After wandering around the Village all afternoon, Ben finds Jake Klinger’s van. He outwits Jake, takes his van and drives back to London. Bill and Ben both miss David’s performance at the drama contest. He tells them that he managed to win first prize. Bill gets a phone call from Shirley Bassey.”

From the Christies catalogue