Kenny Everett, or ‘Cuddly Ken’ as he liked to be known, was one of Britain’s most talented and popular Deejays. From very early on, his talents were evident. His fist broadcasting job was on the offshore ‘Pirate station’ , Radio London in the mid-1960s. He was a master of the tape machine, making jingles and promos. Creatively, using the multi-layering of his voice and sound effects to make fresh and innovative material.
2-10 Kenny _Moving The Fab 40_ Promo.mp3
When the British government outlawed the ship stations in August 1967 he was snapped up by the BBC to work on their fledgling new service ‘Radio one’, a replacement to the ‘Light Programme ‘which would end up being a clone of the offshore broadcasters. There he had a free-rein to further expand his skills and produce exciting new content. Fresh and original to the listening audience.
Kenny Everett- BBC Radio 247 promo.mp3
He had a turbulent relationship with Auntie Beeb, being sacked from Radio One in 1970 for suggesting on air that Mary Peyton, the British Transport Minister's wife, had bribed her driving test examiner. For the next few years he popped up on various BBC local Radio stations namely. Bristol, Solent, Medway, Merseyside, Brighton and Nottingham. He returned fleetingly to Radio 1 in 1973 with a series of shows recorded weekly at his cottage in North Wales, they could be vetted before transmission! During this time he was also in demand for his voice over work, in particular, 'Charley' in the Charley Says animated series of public information films as well as the resident announcer on the ATV quiz show ‘Celebrity Squares’ hosted by Bob Monkhouse.
In October 1973 ‘Capital Radio’ was launched, it was Britain’s first legal pop commercial station. Kenny was quick to join. Bringing his unique style to London and the surrounding areas. Taking with him, his Zany and anarchic presentation style including a new creation, ‘Captain Kremmen’ a character who was a cross between Dan Dare and the Goons, Kenny. as the skinny hero who encountered the Enemies of the Universe, the ‘Krells’, a species of man-eating blancmange.
In 1978 Kenny took a short walk down the Euston Road to ‘Thames Television’ where he was signed up to bring his radio show the screen. The Kenny Everett Video show was born. Witten by Ray Cameron (father of comedian Michael McIntyre) Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh. It comprised of Kenny’s characters and sketches segued with the latest pop hits, performed by the artists themselves, or as backing tracks to dance routines by Arlene Phillips' new naughty dance troupe Hot Gossip (which featured Sarah Brightman). The new characters for the series included, an ageing rock-and-roller called ‘Sid Snot’, Marcel Wave, a lecherous Frenchman played by Kenny wearing a caricature false latex chin; the giant handed evangelist, Brother Lee Love! and "Angry of Mayfair", an upper middle class City gent. Also included was ‘Captain Kremmen’. In the first three series these sections were animations made by the Cosgrove-Hall partnership the same team (responsible for the Thames TV children's cartoon series Danger Mouse. In the last series, the video cassette, ‘Kremmen’ was featured as live action, with Anna Dawson playing Carla
The series was recorded without a studio audience; all the laughter heard was that of the studio crew. The Kenny Everett Video show ran for 4 seasons, comprising of 35 episodes from 3rd July 1978 to 21st May 1981. Now in television Kenny had more ‘toys’ to play with, the advent of the DVE (Digital Video effects} box, images would fly all over the screen and there was much use of CSO (Colour separation overlay) or blue screen, to create a multitude of camera effects, remember ‘The Do It Yourself Bee Gees Kit’? The final series in 1981 was renamed ‘The Kenny Everett Video Cassette’ and was moved from Mondays at 6.45/7pm to Thursdays at 7.30pm to compete directly with BBC 1’s Top of the Pops.
For its day the show was creative, imaginative, and fresh and it has stood the test of time. Albeit with today’s Political correctness set aside. Notable guests included; David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Kiki Dee, Bryan Ferry, Bonnie Tyler, David Essex and Cliff Richard.
Network DVD have released all 4 series in a box set.
On the next page, Music Video Archivist, Dave Clark, has made a comprehensive list of all performances across all 4 series.