FOR a generation of schoolkids, it was the reason they rushed home at lunchtime.

To their parents and grandparents it was THE show to watch, and hundreds of people regularly queued around the block for seats.

The One O’Clock Gang, broadcast on Scottish Television from its base at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, was a madcap sketch and song show which made stars of performers Larry Marshall, Dorothy Paul, Jimmy Nairn – father of chef Nick – and Charlie Sim.

Radio Scotland hosted the Obe O'Clock Gang after the STV show came to an end. AF2606faces one o'clock gang. Pictured are Davie Kinnaird, Moyra Briody, Larry Marshall and Tommy Maxwell. Pic: Herald and Times

Long before Catherine Tate’s bolshie Lauren (‘am I bovvered?’) or Harry Enfield’s miserable teenager Kevin, the presenters were dressing up in school uniform and acting like kids, including Dorothy as pigtailed and bespectacled Deborah, for a regular Friday sketch set in a school.

The show was also famous for its infuriatingly catchy catchphrases, such as Charlie Sim’s banan-loving schoolboy character’s ‘I want my ‘nana’.

Charlie Sim Pic: Herald and Times

Charlie Sim Pic: Herald and Times

In an interview with our sister newspaper The Herald, following Charlie’s death in 2007, senior producer Sandy Ross said: “Teachers across the country were annoyed because kids everywhere were going about saying ‘I want my ‘nana’.”

Charlie was an accomplished actor, who began his career as a feed to the legendary comedian Tommy Morgan, often appearing with him at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow.

He regularly appeared in pantomime and his later roles included the barman in the BBC Scotland comedy Rab C Nesbitt.

Times Past reader Sandra Gray, from Balornock, has many fond memories of The One O’Clock Gang.

Scottish Televisions One OClock Gang, Charlie Sim, Dorothy Paul, Jimmy Nairn, Larry Marshall and Wally Butler Pic: Herald and Times

Scottish Television's One O'Clock Gang, Charlie Sim, Dorothy Paul, Jimmy Nairn, Larry Marshall and Wally Butler Pic: Herald and Times

She wrote to tell us: “I remember the start up of Scottish television, channel 10. A popular programme was the One O’Clock Gang, with actors, singers and a band.

“I remember Larry Marshall and Jimmy Nairn, and Dorothy Paul – our dog used to put her head back and howl when she sang – and Moyra Briody.

“They would sing, do wee sketches -people would queue outside the studios at the Theatre Royal.

Sandra also remembers one of the newsreaders, who would pass the queue and ‘lift his bowler hat in a gentlemanly way to greet the ladies’; the Jimmy Maxwell Quartet, who provided the live music; and sports reporter Arthur Montford.

She adds: “It was a good, cheery atmosphere and a well-liked programme.”

STV studios at the Theatre Royal. Pic: Herald and Times

STV studios at the Theatre Royal. Pic: Herald and Times

Does anyone else remember The One O’Clock Gang? Get in touch to share your stories and photos.

The show made household names of its stars. Larry Marshall was the ‘headliner’ – in fact, the show was originally called Larry Marshall’s One O’Clock Gang. He had joined STV as a scriptwriter but was given his big break in front of the camera soon after. He had appeared on stage, principally in Rutherglen Rep and summer shows and pantomimes.

Straight man in the Gang was Jimmy Nairn, who once said in a BBC interview that he was ‘technically’ the first voice on Scottish Television when it began in 1957.

Born on a council estate in Kirkintilloch, he left school at 15 to work in a shipping office in Glasgow. At 25, he changed direction entirely, going to drama school and working at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.

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He told the BBC: “Arthur Montford and I were hired on the same day. I was taken to London with Geraldo’s orchestra and they recorded these station idents and they went out before anything else. So technically I was first.”

Jimmy also ran a shipping business, which he later sold to P&O, concentrating on running a holiday chalet business in Stirlingshire.

Since leaving the One O’Clock Gang, Dorothy Paul has become one of Scotland’s most successful character actors and singers, most famous for her role in the 1988 TV version of Tony Roper’s The Steamie. The Dennistoun-born comedian and performer stopped touring her live shows six years ago.

Irish cabaret star Moyra Briody joined the cast already well established as a singer and performer, and she and Dorothy became known as Dot and Moe. Moyra went on to tour with Harry Secombe and record albums. She died in April, 1989 in Australia.

The One O’Clock Gang had an extended life in theatres and concert halls throughout the 60s, and it moved to radio when the new BBC Radio Scotland channel first broadcast.

Making a daily sketch show was a huge challenge, but if the quality ever faltered, its huge audiences – both live in the theatre and watching at home on TV – did not mind.

Larry once declared: “If you don’t like 28 minutes of it, but enjoy two minutes of it, then I’ve done a good job."