Denise Drysdale

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Denise Drysdale
Born Denise Anne Christina Drysdale[citation needed]
(1948-12-05) 5 December 1948 (age 65)
Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Other names Ding Dong
Occupation television personality
actress
comedian
Years active 1951–present
Television The Ernie Sigley Show
Hey Hey It's Saturday
The Circle

Denise Anne Christina Drysdale, (born 5 December 1948) is an Australian Gold Logie award winning television personality and comedian. She is often affectionately known as Ding Dong, a nickname invented by Ernie Sigley.[1]

Early life[edit]

Childhood[edit]

Born in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin, Drysdale and her family moved to Port Melbourne when she was three and a half, where her parents ran the Fountain Inn Hotel. They lived there for eleven years, during which time Drysdale attended Kilbride Ladies Convent, South Melbourne.

Career beginnings[edit]

Drysdale's career began soon after the move to Port Melbourne.

"During that time it was the 6 o'clock swill, and Mum didn't want her little girl seeing all that drinking, so she sent me to dancing, to May Downs. May Downs was an amazing woman. She taught us 150% is what you gave in any performance, or don't bother. And of course, that's got me into strife over the years."[1]

By the age of six, Drysdale had won many dancing competitions.[2]

At about ten years of age, she began her television career with GTV9 in Melbourne, working in the junior ballet on the Tarax Show. This wasn't to last, as she was later sacked when her development didn't match what was considered acceptable.

"We'd been there about a year and a bit, and on the holidays I had put on weight, but not much, and as you know, if you put someone in a nice tutu, they don't have bosoms – they have very flat chests. Pete Smith always said, "You grew boobs, they had to get rid of you." They couldn't do it today. And I've suffered to this day. I still stand on the scales six times a day to check whether I've put on half a pound or a pound."[1]

Photographed at the time by a Channel Nine photographer, Drysdale went on to win the annual Girl of the Year Award with Everybody's in 1964.

At age seventeen, Drysdale joined the new show Kommotion as a go-go girl,[1] becoming Melbourne's first go-go dancer.[3]

Despite not having previously sung professionally, Drysdale was invited to tour Australia with Ray Brown & The Whispers. She was then offered a recording contract and appeared in 26 episodes of the ABC's Dig We Must.

Career[edit]

Drysdale's popularity led to an invitation to perform for the troops in Vietnam for three weeks in late 1967, along with Patti Newton, the Strangers, and Doug Owen.[1] In 1969, she went to the Far East to entertain American troops.

In 1974, she became Ernie Sigley's barrel girl on The Ernie Sigley Show. It was here she gained the nickname Ding Dong. In 1975, Drysdale won the TV Week Gold Logie for the Most Popular Female Personality on Australian TV. She won her second Gold Logie the following year. In the same period, she also won consecutive Silver Logies.

Over the years, Drysdale has appeared regularly on numerous television shows including: The Norman Gunston Show, Celebrity Squares, Young Talent Time, Countdown, Division 4, Homicide and Bellbird. Drysdale has also worked in regional television in Victoria including guest appearances on BTV-6 Ballarat and hosting a morning magazine show on GLV-8 in the 1980s. As an actress, she has appeared in the movies, The Last of the Knucklemen, Snap Shot and Blowing Hot and Cold.

On stage, she has appeared in many plays and musicals including: Salad Days, Grease, The Barry Crocker Show, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Hello, Dolly! in 1994. She also spent two years in Sydney doing Weekend Magazine and Beauty and the Beast.

In 1989, Drysdale again teamed up with Ernie Sigley to host In Melbourne Today, and in 1991 began a Sydney version of the show In Sydney Today. The two programs later merged to a single program: Ernie And Denise. Also in 1989 Denise was asked to fill in on Hey Hey it's Saturday due to Jacki McDonald being ill and subsequently leaving. She stayed with the show for over a year before leaving due to ongoing rumours of a feud between her and host Daryl Somers. Over the years both have denied such rumours. In 1992, Denise returned to host an episode of Hey Hey it's Saturday in Daryl's absence. She also returned for one of the reunion shows in 2009.

In 1998, Drysdale joined the Seven Network to present her own show for the first time, simply called Denise. This program lasted four seasons.

In 2005, Channel 9 chose Denise as one of the most 50 important people on television for the last 50 years. [4] In 2008, Drysdale released an album entitled What A Wonderful World. The album contains a remake of the single Hey Paula. Originally a duet with Ernie Sigley, the new version features Mark Trevorrow. On 7 October 2009 she made an appearance in the second of the Hey Hey It's Saturday reunion specials.

In 2010, Drysdale joined Network Ten's new morning show The Circle alongside Yumi Stynes, Chrissie Swan and Gorgi Coghlan as host. She remained on the show for two seasons, leaving at the end of the 2011 season. She reappeared as a special guest on the final episode of The Circle in 2013.

Drysdale regularly performed around Australia on the club circuit, often with her television partner, Ernie Sigley.[5] Drysdale also does regular guest talks around the country.

Awards[edit]

Drysdale has won two Gold Logie awards for Most Popular Female personality on Australian television.

In January 2008, Drysdale was awarded the 'Australia Day Citizen of the Year' award by Baw Baw Shire.[6]

In 1998, as part of Melbourne's Moomba Festival, Drysdale was crowned Moomba Monarch.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Drysdale has two children.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Talking Heads
  2. ^ Australian Speakers Bureau Retrieved 2011-1-8
  3. ^ Denise Drysdale on Life, Love and the Universe
  4. ^ Profile of Denise Drysdale
  5. ^ Full circle | The Daily Telegraph 24 September 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013
  6. ^ http://www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/page/page.asp?page_id=1049
  7. ^ Monarch History | Thats Melbourne. Retrieved 4 May 2013

External links[edit]