Of course, the current ITV Sunday Night at the Palladium isn’t the first time the commercial network has staged a big weekly show from the most famous variety theatre in the world. Or even the second. Or the third, if you count the 1970s ATV revival as a separate show, which I do. Sadly, the current show, while a very creditable effort, isn’t live, and lacks the oomph of a real living orchestra in the pit. LWT’s Live from the Palladium had one of the best bands in the business, led by Alyn Ainsworth.
Have you ever watched a live television show and wondered what went on in the commercial breaks? Well, one of the things that can be achieved in the two or three minutes is to record a couple of theme tune stings for flying into the show later. On 9 October 1988, the top of the bill on LWT’s Live from the Palladium was singer Dionne Warwick. For her spot, Ainsworth’s chaps (with a couple of exceptions, including the great Harold Fisher on drums, Dionne having brought her own drummer and pianist) had to decamp from their position in the orchestra pit to the Palladium stage, and had only two and a half minutes to get there. To buy them a little time, the end of part two and part three stings were pre-recorded during the first break, and here, courtesy of a studio tape, is what happened.