The Gift of Sid at Christmas

Sid James was a man of the people. His real-life warmth, coupled with the cheeky charm of the characters he played on-screen, ensured his eternal popularity with the great British public. If a company needed a well-loved celebrity to be the face of their brand or product, what better person to choose than Sidney? He was well-liked, seemed refreshingly down to earth and, in contrast to some of the dodgy geezers he played on film and television, was a man the public trusted.

As it's the festive season, let's take a look at some ideas which would have made the perfect gift for Sid fans, back in the days when the great man was still with us.

Fun and Games

Sid appealed to all ages, his popularity just as strong with children as it was with adults. It would probably seem strange today for a games manufacturer to make a craggy-faced, grey-haired, cardigan-wearing comedy actor the face of their newly launched product. However, back in the 70s, this was the norm and Sid James was perfect for the role. He lent his name and image to a number of great games.

Let the Music Play

In the 60s and 70s, novelty records were highly popular and much more widespread than they are today. Sid James lent his distinctive, whiskey-tinged vocals to a number of wonderful novelty records which I still love to listen to today. From his classic duet with Liz Fraser on the theme tune to the hit film Double Bunk to the nostalgia-soaked Our House, Sid's vocal presence was as memorable as his physical one.

Without a doubt, my favourite Sid James recording is the magnificently silly 'Ooter Song. You can listen to it below.

Sid by the Book

When I was a young boy, one of the things I always looked forward to receiving at Christmas was an annual. My festive season would not be complete without the yearly edition of The Beano or Whizzer and Chips. Another wonderful memory for children of the 70s such as myself was the much-loved Look-in magazine, which referred to itself as the 'junior TV Times'. In addition to the weekly edition, Look-in was also available in annual form at Christmas. Our man Sidney was a Look-in regular, mainly in cartoon form as Sid Abbott in the Bless This House comic strip. There were also a number of interviews with the man himself published over the years. They don't make 'em like this anymore!

A Gift for Dad

It is well known that, in real-life, Sid James preferred spirits to beer. However, he was still an ideal choice to advertise Sparklets home-made beer kits, as it is highly likely that most men would have chosen Sid as their ideal pub companion.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, Happy New Year. Thank you for your continued support of Sid's Place and for your help in keeping the memory of the wonderful Sid James well and truly alive.

See you in 2018!


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