BBC announces bio-drama on Dave Allen

The life of revered Irish comedian Dave Allen is to be dramatised in a one hour drama, Dave Allen At Peace.

Allen, whose Dave Allen Show ran from 1972-1986, will be played by Aidan Gillen (aka Game of Thrones‘ very own “Littlefinger”). He received his first big break in Australia, hosting Tonight With Dave Allen on Nine in 1963 before later being fired.

Written by Stephen Russell (We’re Doomed: The Dad’s Army Story, Peaky Blinders), the drama will explore how Allen’s comedy genius was shaped by the tragic loss of his father, his brother… and his finger. How he survived decades of the Roman Catholic Church’s wrath, death threats from the IRA and a ban by Irish and Australian TV, only to have his television career end in controversy when he used the F-word in an innocuous joke.

It will be structured in affectionate homage to Allen’s original television format. From his famous bar stool, the comic will reflect on his formative years and showbiz career. Flashbacks, some visualised as comedy sketches, will intercut his bar stool repartee bringing significant moments to life.

BBC Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy and Commissioning says: “Dave Allen defined and pushed at the boundaries of where television comedy were set and paved the way for modern stand-up to tackle controversial themes and taboos. This film explores what shaped his trail-blazing career and celebrates this hugely popular comedian who ridiculed authority figures with a twinkle in his eye, a glass of whiskey and the most talked about finger in comedy history.”


  1. He was great, I was only young when I first saw his show, but loved it. He had a relaxed way about him and when he told a story he’d reel you right in. Very talented, would be great to catch some re-runs of the show sometime and i’d love to see this bio.

  2. There was a BBC doco a few years ago – “Dave Allen: God’s Own Comedian”. Well worth watching if you can find it – and, looking just now, it appears to be on YouTube.

    (The Beeb did a few around the same time – I remember the ones on John Le Mesurier and Eric Sykes also being particularly good.)

    • Secret Squïrrel

      They had to wait for Aidan Gillen to play a character called “Littlefinger” and then wait a bit longer until he would no longer be playing him and be available to do this.

      I think Mr Allen would have appreciated the humorous link.

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