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Simon Dee
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TV Personality
    (July 28, 1935-August 29, 2009)
    Born in Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd
    Disc jockey and TV chat show host
    Disc jockey for the pirate station Radio Caroline (1964-65), the BBC (1965-67) and BBC1 (1967)
    Presenter on Top of the Pops (1966-67)
    Hosted the talk shows 'Dee Time' (1967-69) and 'The Simon Dee Show' (1970)
    Cameo appearances in the films 'The Italian Job' (1969) and 'Doctor in Trouble' (1970)
    As 'Dee Time' became more popular, he became more of a prima donna: throwing tantrums, berating staffers and demanding the right to pick the show's guests.
    He left the BBC in a salary dispute and joined rival ITV, where his new show drew less than 1/15th the audience of his old one and lasted less than a year.
    In moments of paranoia, he blamed his downfall on rival talk show host David Frost sabotaging him.
    In his really paranoid moments, he made comments like, 'It was perfectly obvious that the CIA, who controlled our media and still do, would be on my case.'
    He launched a number of abortive comebacks that usually ended quickly when he either walked out or pissed off the boss.
    He made multiple court appearances for assaulting a baliff (1971), nonpayment of parking tickets (1973), destroying a toilet seat in a store (1974) and shoplifting a potato peeler from Woolworth's (1979).
    He spent 28 days in jail for failure to pay the council tax on his home (1974).
    He inspired the phrase Simon Dee Syndrome to refer to 'someone famous for being forgotten.'
    He was wounded by a sniper in Cyprus while serving in the RAF.
    He was a change from the usual staid BBC show host.
    He told Zsa Zsa Gabor to get lost when she demanded that he fire his long-time assistant, Patricia Holihan (for informing Zsa Zsa that BBC policy would not let her use her appearance on 'Dee Time' to plug cosmetics by brand name).
    Proving that even paranoids have enemies, government files showed that MI5 began monitoring him after historian A.J.P. Taylor appeared on 'Dee Time' and expressed his opposition to Britain joining the European Community.
    According to Elizabeth Hurley, his 'sixties grooviness' was a major influence on the creation of Austin Powers.

Credit: C. Fishel

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