Cat no. 226531

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Dicky Leeman (television director and producer/assistant film director)


Recorded 22 September 1995

Dicky Leeman (1911 - 7 August 2011)
Interviewed by Roddy Giesler

Born in Shanghai, Dicky Leeman entered the film industry as child actor before developing into an assistant director at various studios during the 1930s. In 1948 he directed his only feature film, a musical entitled 'A Date With A Dream', also co-writing the screenplay. During the early 1950s he moved into television production for both the BBC and ATV, specialising particularly in musical variety shows. Notable credits as a producer include 'The Des O’Connor Show' (1963) and 'Cliff!' (1967).

In this interview with Roddy Giesler, Leeman offers an account of his career, beginning as an actor and later an assistant stage manager for a theatre company on the Isle of Wight. He describes his first work in the film industry as an extra and subsequently his move into television, offering insights into the different working cultures at the BBC and ATV in the 1950s and 1960s. The interview is rather unstructured, but it contains interesting details and anecdotes about Leeman's working relationships with various showbusiness personalities of the period, including Peter Sellars, Margaret Lockwood and The Shadows.