British commercial broadcaster ITV3 will celebrate the life and career of late entertainer Larry Grayson.
Produced by Kent, England-based factual boutique Double Yellow, Larry Grayson: Shut That Door! will provide unrestricted and unprecedented access into the Generation Game host (pictured).
Directed by Ian Denyer, the one-off special will chronicle Grayson’s life. Born William Sulley White and growing up in a foster family in the 1930s, Grayson performed professionally in working men’s clubs as a supporting drag act. Having initially used the stage-name Billy Breen, an agent advised he changed it to Larry Grayson in the 1950s.
Grayson would rise to British television prominence throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Following his debut on an ITV Saturday night variety series, his popularity peaked as host of BBC’s hugely successful Saturday night primetime series The Generation Game, drawing upwards of 25 million viewers each week.
He passed away on Jan. 7 1995 at the age of 71 after suffering a perforated appendix.
The film will feature never-before-seen footage from Grayson’s personal archives, including correspondence, family photographs, personal scrapbooks, professional memorabilia and an unpublished draft of his autobiography.
Featured interviews include The Generation Game co-star Isla St. Clair; friend and documentarian Janet Street Porter; The Generation Game producer Alan Boyd; long-time friend and business partner Lionel Blair; hype man Michael Barrymore; Grayson’s great nephew Mike Malyon; and Lord Michael Grade, who served as his first agent.
Larry Grayson: Shut That Door! was commissioned for ITV3 by Satmohan Panesar. Mark Wells and Tony Nicholson are executive producers on the one-off special.