Cult heroes: Jake Thackray was the great chansonnier who happened to be English

He was a staple of light entertainment TV shows in the late 60s, but there was a clever and despairing comedy underlying Thackray’s songwriting

With his unmistakable baritone, clipped Yorkshire enunciation and rollneck sweaters, Jake Thackray was a regular fixture on British television magazine programmes in the 1960s and 70s. This was thanks to his gift for hastily turning around made-to-order topical songs of a comedic and mildly ribald nature. Residencies on Beryl Reid Says Good Evening, The David Frost Show, On the Braden Beat and That’s Life made Thackray a household name for a time.

It’s fair to assume a young Morrissey and an even younger Jarvis Cocker were watching, while Alex Turner – whose line “You used to get it in your fishnets / Now you only get it in your night dress” is pure Thackray – discovered him later. Thackray’s handsome face and strong Roman nose,
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