The Day Dee Died

The Arts

Simon Dee, Britain’s first pop culture TV presenter, has died of bone cancer. More arrogant than Jonathan Ross, smarmier than Alan Partridge, the sixties chat show host ruled with his TV show Dee Time, which attracted 18 million viewers per show. His already massive ego grew bigger still, and after pushing for an ever-higher salary he was dumped to a late-night slot on ITV. Dee’s profile plummeted, and he signed on for unemployment benefit at the Fulham labour exchange. He took a job as a bus driver and was jailed in 1974 for non-payment of rates on his former Chelsea home. Now he’s brown bread – a lesson there, I think, for today’s chat show hosts.