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Shirley Abicair was born in Melbourne, Australia in October 1928. She was a singer and self-taught Zither player-an instrument which was well known at the time from the soundtrack of the film Third Man. After performing at parties while at university, she started to land professional engagements. As with many Australian performers at the time, she moved to London, where she was swiftly hired to appear on the TV Programme Centre Show on 20 January 1953. Within a few weeks, she had her own series of short programmes on Television, as well as a string of Radio appearances. Her career throughout the 1950s continued with successive series on BBC Television, as often as not on Childrens Television, with some forays into evening schedules. Her act was quite simple, singing and accompanying herself on Zither, though she also branched out into storytelling with her tales of Tumbarumba, Aboriginal boy, later published in book form. She had residency on Monday afternoon Childrens series Studio E, broadcast from eponymous Studio at Lime Grove. On Television she Make guest appearances on the likes of Crackerjack, Six-Five Special and Alan Melvilles anthology-Z. She also had her own Radio series and appeared on Friday Night is Music Night and Workers Playtime. Being Australian was always an important part of her persona and appeal, unlike some performers who tend to play It Down, or conversely exaggerate it for comic effect. Shirley returns to Australia from time to time, but always comes back to the UK and continues making appearances on BBC. As 1960s dawn, although she had her own TV series, do guest spots, and was a regular on Eamonn Andrews quiz Show Top Score, Shirley's appearances gradually started to become thinner on ground. She travel extensively, meeting cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in Moscow, appearing on US game Show To Tell Truth, and entertaining British troops in Malaysia on a tour headed by Frankie Howerd. Back in Britain, she provided music for the early BBC2 series Second Sex, contributed to the folk music series Tonight in Person, and guested on Radio 1 Night Ride. In 1971 she disappeared to America, and little has been seen of her on the BBC since, apart from items like 1977 Woman Hour feature Ladies in Retirement, but she is remembered as a performer of charm and elegance. Dame Shirley Bassey is the epitome of showbusiness icon, but come up hard way before achieving her international success. Born in Tiger Bay in Cardiff in 1937, she graduated from singing in pubs and clubs to professional theatre Show Memories of Jolson in 1953. After a rocky start and the birth of her first child, her career gradually Take off, with early appearance on Television leading to a Record contract. Shirley Bassey's first BBC credits are in series by and Large, Radio comedy with Peter Jones in 1956, and her first television credit is Lets Make Date, showbusiness miscellany presented by Brian Reece.
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