My uncle, christened Henry, was always called Henty; my friends are the Dodds. How did they become intertwined? Well, we must look back to the 1960s when I had crushes on Illya Kuryakin (Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and Simon Dee. I gave the latter top billing a while back in a post about The Italian Job, in which he had a cameo role as a shirt maker but his real name is Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd.
Simon Dee was a mega-star. He did celebrity interviews on his early evening show, Dee Time. He epitomised Sixties super-cool. He cut his teeth at Radio Caroline but gained his poise much earlier at Shrewsbury where so many entertainers were educated.
In those days you were considered lucky to have a contract with the BBC but Simon Dee, like Oliver, asked for more. He was frozen out by the BBC and London Weekend Television (LWT). They didn’t like him and didn’t want to be held to ransom by a cocky kid like Cyril. This is rather topical today as the high earners at the BBC are named. His misfortune was to get the wrong side of Bill Cotton (BBC) and David Frost (LWT). I did hear him again on BBC Radio 2, presenting as a stand-in Sounds of the Sixties.