The British TV Show 1958 - 1961

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Dougie Squires c.1958

    Dougie Squires tells the story... 
     It all started with a phone call from TV producer, Joan Kemp-Welch...
       "Hello, Dougie, Joan here."
       "Hi, Joan, great to hear from you!" (All performers love phone calls...)
       "Dougie, I'm doing a new TV series of five programmes."
       "No, Dougie this time in the evenings. They have decided morning TV doesn't
       work. They've transmitted the first of this series called COOL FOR CATS and it
       was a disaster! So I'm producing the remaining five; we can do what we like
       with it... just to fill the slot. Let's just go for it. Come round to my house
       and we'll throw some ideas around, yes?"
      So here's what happened...
Dougie Squires OBE, dancer and choreographer
Pauline Innes, Mavis Traill and Angela van Breda
COOL FOR CATS dancers:
Pauline Innes, Mavis Traill and Angela van Breda

  "COOL FOR CATS for Associated Rediffusion involved miming and dancing to the latest pop records and one guest star miming to his/her own record with Kent Walton compering. It ran, ALWAYS LIVE, from 1956 - 61 and the insecurity of being a choreographer did not ease with the success of the series - although the fact that at least two thirds of the show was dance meant that I must have been doing something right.

  "Every show needed something new and every dancer I worked with was more experienced than I was. The records delivered by the record companies would be chosen and Joan and I would listen to all of them and choose the ones we felt had a chart chance.

  "Then we would decide on costumes and treatment and I would take them home and play them on my record player and write out the lyrics if we were to mime and plan the choreography.

  "The Show communicated itself to audiences young and old; Television camera tricks abounded: superimpositions, mirror shots... if it was new trickery and available, we did it. LIVE!

  "My choreographic style was a mish-mash of every type of dancing. It involved athleticism and lifts; I loved lifting my female dancers around and they would sometimes tremble when they saw my eyes light up in one of my lifting moods!

  "Kent Walton was a quiet efficient backbone and I had a great team of dancer/performers and tried to exploit their talent - the public became aware of the team of young performers. The fan mail poured in mostly for the girls but for me too!

  "Una Stubbs made her TV debut on COOL FOR CATS. After one really heavy rehearsal Una left the studio crying. 'I'm not a man, you know!' (I had observed this.) But she was gone. What had happened? Maybe I had been pushing her too far in my usual over exuberance and enthusiasm. In the evening I rang her to apologise and the telephone conversation lasted for two hours. It turned out to be an opportunity for us to really get to know each other and we become firm friends."

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