Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Best-Dressed Man on ITV 1974

This rather magnificent double-page spread from the TV Times of November 30th 1974 isn't the makings of a cut-out puppet television theatre for randy housewives to enact their darkest World of Sport/Duchess of Duke Street slash fiction desires, it's the final of ITV's Best Dressed Man, the race to find the most dapper gent on the network.

The TVT used to be full of these competitions. As well as the annual awards, the readership themselves had the chance to become Weightwatcher of the Year, Dressmaker of the Year or even Miss TV Times herself (presenting duties for the latter ceremony were blagged, often as not, by Hughie Green.) It's safe to say that by the 1970s, the TVT had firmly identified its demographic, even though they wouldn't have called it that.

So it was that its readers - addressed at all times as "LADIES" - were invited to help rank the sartorial achievements of IBA-approved menfolk. Some expert help was provided by a panel of judges including Tommy Nutter, some bloke from Burton's and "TV Times fashion writer Jill Whiffing". The criteria: how well the fellows dress for their age, how well for their figures, and how well for their jobs. ("For example: Dickie Davies would look strange wearing a frilly shirt on World of Sport.") Entrants had to score the chaps from one to ten on the form (AV forever!) in the hope of winning a wardrobe of "full fashion garments" courtesy of the shadowy International Wool Secretariat.

In case you're wondering where Patrick Mower is, he won it last year and so must watch languidly from the sidelines. It's only slightly annoying that I can't find the issue where the winner was announced. Suffice to say Moore - who's surely in costume and therefore cheating - should be disqualified. Cargill should probably be penalised for accessorising with a Rolls-Royce, too, although that cravat puts him firmly in the running. The smart money's on Cazenove.


  1. This is quite possibly one of the best things on the internet ever. Cazenove wins 'Most Likely to Get a Contract with Man At C&A'.

  2. Kenneth Kendall gives me the horn.