HE WAS a bona fide star who shared a stage with Sammy Davis Jr and appeared on screen with The Beatles.

But twinkly-toed entertainer Lionel Blair learned from the best right here in Glasgow.

Glasgow Times: Lionel Blair in 2003

Before his TV fame, Lionel had played juvenile lead in The Five Past Eight Show at the Alhambra Theatre, where, as he told our sister newspaper The Herald in 2009, he played straight man to every comic turn in Scotland, from Jimmy Logan to Rikki Fulton.

“They were very funny,” he said, “but they were also brilliant actors, and I learnt everything I needed to from them.”

By the mid-50s, Lionel was choreographing the hugely popular Five Past Eight Shows, which were renowned for their sophisticated, stylish staging and lavish routines led by the likes of Logan, Stanely Baxter and Eve Boswell.

It was that experience which led, in part, to his pre-eminence on BBC television in the 1960s, choreographing and dancing with his own troupe on a host of primetime shows which included vehicles for the likes of Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Tarbuck and Marty Feldman.

In 1961, he danced with Sammy Davis Junior at the 1961 Royal Variety Performance.

He also choreographed several movies and appeared in Michael Winner’s The Cool Mikado with Frankie Howerd and Stubby Kaye in 1963, and in Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night with The Beatles the following year.

Lionel was a regular in the biggest London pantomimes, commanding a fee of £15,000 a week as Buttons, Dick Whittington or Aladdin.

He returned to Glasgow many times over the decades, most memorably as the fishnet stocking-clad narrator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the King’s in 2003, part of the famous musical’s 30th anniversary tour.

Glasgow Times: Lionel Blair 2003

Our sister newspaper’s review declared Lionel’s performance as ‘best thing’ in the show.

Two years later, as part of Strictly Ballroom Dancing with Jane Macdonald, Lionel was back at the King’s in Glasgow, quick-stepping and fox-trotting his way through the show with Loose Women star and a host of local dancers.

Glasgow Times: Strictly Ballroom Dancing, starring Lionel Blair and Jane Macdonald 2005

For most people in Glasgow and around the country, however, Lionel will always be remembered for his TV role as team captain of the on long-running celebrity charades show, Give Us A Clue which was on our screens from 1979 until 1991.

He appeared alongside Una Stubbs, who died just a few months ago, and this was the show which made both entertainers household names.

Lionel was born Henry Lionel Ogus in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the son of a barber, and his first experience of performing was in a double act with his sister Joyce after the family had moved to London.

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Lionel and Joyce became regulars at the local Regent Cinema, where they loved to watch the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

During air raids, inspired by Fred and Ginger, the youngsters sang and danced for those sheltering at Manor Park underground station.

After his father died suddenly when Blair was 13, he became a boy actor, later touring with the Savoy Players and performing with Joyce.

He died last week, on November 4, survived by his wife Susan, their three children, Daniel, Lucy and Matt, and three grandchildren.