From pop stars to actors, environmentalists to broadcasters, how many Davids can you remember?
Formed in Tottenham in 1957, the pop group the Dave Clark Five had their first UK top ten single with ‘Glad All Over’ which knocked the Beatles single ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ off the top of the UK Chart in January 1964.
The band were extremely successful and were one of the top selling UK acts of the British invasion in America – just under the Beatles with sales of over 100 million records.
Dave Clark was the drummer, vocalist, manager and producer of The Dave Clark Five.
David Crosby was a founding member of the American bands The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
The Byrds shot to fame with the Bob Dylan song ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ released as their debut single in April 1965. With ‘I Knew I’d Want You’ on the B-side, the single reached number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic marking the beginning of the folk-rock revolution.
The musical partnership of Crosby, Stills & Nash, in 1968 became one of the most successful touring and recording acts of the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
Originally from Muswell Hill, North London, brothers Ray and Dave Davies, along with school friend Peter Quiafe formed The Kinks, a rhythm-and-blues band in 1963.
The Kinks achieved much acclaim with their 3rd single ‘You Really Got Me’ setting them on the path to American success. Banned from America for 4 years in at the end of a disastrous American tour in 1965 The Kinks proceeded to become more idiosyncratically English with hits like ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ and ‘Sunny Afternoon’.
With Dave Davies providing the high backing vocals, The Kinks went on to release such classics as ‘Dead End Street’ ‘Big Black Smoke’ and what was to become their signature song ‘Waterloo Sunset’.
Joining the British rock band Pink Floyd in 1968 as guitarist and co-lead vocalist David Gilmour replaced original member Syd Barrett and the band moved away from the singles market to concentrate on live work. They toured continually, developing new material and progressing their innovations in sound and lighting on stage as well as in the studio.
The band hit the commercial jackpot with Dark Side of the Moon in 1973 which remained in the pop charts for more than a decade.
To date their album sales have topped 250 million.
A homegrown musical and acting talent, David Essex has many strings to his bow.
Alongside his illustrious recording career, David has landed parts in numerous top musical productions, films and on television.
His first significant stage role was in 1971 as Jesus in Godspell, and he went from there to co-star with Ringo Starr in the film ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and wrote the song ‘Rock On’ which went on to sell over a million copies in the US and topped the charts worldwide.
In 1974 the single ‘Gonna Make You A Star’ was released and went to No 1 in the UK while David played Jim Maclaine to great acclaim in the film Stardust. ‘Hold Me Close’ which was also a number one hit followed by David returning to the theatre to play Che Guevara in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and the part of the Artillery Man in the musical version of The War of The Worlds.
David had the starring role and wrote the score for Silver Dream Racer from which the title track became a top 3 hit. He also got to number 2 in the UK charts with ‘A Winter’s Tale’ written for him by Tim Rice and Mike Batt.
The 80’s saw David as Christian Fletcher in the musical Mutiny which he wrote himself and enjoyed a 16 month stint at The Piccadilly Theatre, London and in 1988 David ventured into television as Davey Jackson in the BBC series The River, watched by over 11 million viewers.
David Niven didn’t start his career as an actor, instead he gained a place at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and from there joined the British Army. Bored with peacetime army life and having developed an interest in acting he resigned in 1933 and travelled to Hollywood where he was successful in gaining several roles in films such as Barbary Coast, Mutiny of the Bounty, Dodsworth, Thank You, Jeeves! The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Dawn Patrol, Bachelor Mother, The Real Glory, Eternally Yours and the lead role as the gentleman safe-cracker in Raffles.
After war was declared in 1939, Niven returned to the UK and was one of the first expatriate British actors to go back and join the army.
David had a decorated war. He transferred into the Commandos and took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy. He served in ‘Phantom,’ a secret reconnaissance and signals unit which located and reported enemy positions. Helping to set up the BBC Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme and ending the war as a lieutenant-colonel David received the Legion of Merit, presented by Eisenhower himself.
Following the war David appeared in over 100 films. His many roles included Sir Percy Blakeney as The Elusive Pimpernel, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days and Sir Charles Lytton in the Pink Panther films.
A trained musician as well as a successful actor, David McCallum’s early acting roles included a juvenile delinquent in Violent Playground, an outlaw in Robbery Under Arms and as junior RMS Titanic radio operator in A Night to Remember.
McCallum’s first American film was Freud: The Secret Passion, shortly followed by a role in Peter Ustinov’s Billy Budd from where he went on to play Lt Cdr Eric Ashley-Pitt in The Great Escape, released in 1963.
During the sixties David was best well-known, however, for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
On into the seventies and David’s acting career included such films as Colditz, Kidnapped and the science-fiction series Sapphire and Steel with Joanna Lumley.
In recent years, McCallum gained renewed international recognition and popularity for his role as NCIS medical examiner Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard in the American TV series NCIS.
David Bellamy was an English professor, botanist, author, broadcaster and an avid environmental campaigner who managed to communicate his love for the natural world to millions of viewers and listeners.
Instantly recognisable, David’s energy and enthusiasm, warmth and honesty enthralled a generation and brought environmental issues to life.
His eccentricity did nothing to diminish his popularity and he seemed to delight in being a target for comedians of the time.
David’s seventies TV shows included Bellamy on Botany and Bellamy’s Britain with Bellamy’s Backyard Safari airing in 1981. In fact, David wrote and presented more than 400 TV series not only in the UK but in the far east, New Zealand and Australia and was appointed an OBE in 1994.
Sir David Frost
Sir David Frost was an English television host, media personality, journalist, comedian and writer.
David’s career had its beginnings at Cambridge University where he became secretary of the Footlights Club and met future comedy greats such as Peter Cook, Graham Chapman and John Bird.
In the sixties David fronted the satirical news programme ‘That Was The Week That Was’ and went on to present the sketch show ‘The Frost Report’ which brought together John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett and had a huge influence on many comedy writers including the Monty Python team.
David’s career then moved on to interview political figures, celebrities and royalty with ITV’s ‘The Frost Programme’ and ‘The David Frost Show’ in the US where he famously interviewed the former US President Richard Nixon over his role in the Watergate scandal.
Following his knighthood in 1993, David went on to present ‘Breakfast with Frost’.
For more than 50 years Sir David Frost made a huge impact on television being able to effortlessly move from comedy to current affairs, to light entertainment.
Who was your favourite David?