ComedianDaveAllen proved a hot favourite with these Glasgow firemen when he popped into John Smith & Son, in St Vincent Street, in 1974, to sign copies of his new book. And it was no joke book, but a compendium featuring 20 tales of horror and the supernatural.
Allen, real name David Tynan O'Mahony, began life as a journalist (his dad was the managing editor of the Irish Times). He soon jacked that in to become a Butlin's Redcoat. He made his first TV appearance in 1959, on the BBC's New Faces, before going on to front and host TV and touring pop shows. He even compered a Beatles tour in 1963.
As a boy, it was a treat to be allowed to stay up late to watch his TV show - even if half the jokes went completely over my head. I liked him, his silly faces and voices, and the fact that he drank and smoked on TV. I was also fascinated by his missing finger.
Offstage he was a talented writer and painter, and spent much of his money collecting art.
He died, aged 68, in 2005.
As the man himself used to say: "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you..."
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