Following on from Simon Dee's recent death, NTS presents a scan of an interview with Simon Dee at the height of his fame, taken from the June 14, 1969 edition of Woman's Own. Although the day-in-the-life is something of a puff piece, it does feature the passage "Dee seems, to his fans, boyishly engaging. To his critics he is irritatingly incompetent", suggesting that opinion on him was, at the very least, divided.
Another iconic part of the Sixties passes on with Simon Dee, the host of the notorious Dee Time, a show which had 18 million viewers in 1967. It’s quite possible that most NTS readers won’t know who Simon Dee was, which is the main tragedy of his life; a man who epitomised the famed spirit of the late ’60s spent the rest of his life in obscurity. His Wikipedia entry documents his dramatic rise and fall from grace, and although there’s very little evidence of his charm and talent remaining in archives (Dee Time was mainly transmitted live and not recorded by the BBC), NTS did a review of his one celluloid appearance in the 1970 film Doctor In Trouble earlier this year, and YouTube hosts the one remaining piece of Dee Time, with part of the 2003 remake (produced by Victor Lewis Smith), along with some other interview footage.
It seems very sad that there’s so little left to remind us of a man Elizabeth Hurley cites as the inspiration for Austin Powers, but his career could be seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral medium that television was seen as in the 1960s; the ultimate Sixties icon indeed.