Impersonator Jon Culshaw says playing Lancashire comedian Les Dawson is an 'honour'

Credit: Flighing High / PA images

The impersonator Jon Culshaw has said it is a "great honour" to play the comedy genius Les Dawson in a new touring stage show about his life.

It is almost three decades since the passing of legendary Lancastrian, and now the play 'Flying High' is set to premier at the Edinburgh's Fringe festival.

And who better to play the Blankety Blank host than fellow Lancashire-born comedian Jon Culshaw.

The Duke of Edinburgh and comedian Les Dawson, 1983. Credit: PA images

Best-known for his uncanny impressions, Culshaw, who is originally from Ormskirk, is taking on the role in an incredibly realistic portrait of the comedian's life.

Culshaw can impersonate more than 350 people, ranging from John Bishop to Barack Obama and from Professor Brian Cox to Michael Gove.

Les Dawson is somebody Jon has wanted to play for "many, many years" and said it is a "great honour" to take on the role.

He said: "I will always remember when I first put the costume, wig and the shoulder pads."

Jon Culshaw said it is a "great honour" to play Les Dawson on stage. Credit: ITV News

Speaking about the play, Jon said: "Les was booked to perform in New York in December 1985 and Les, on the flight, started to pull together some final notes for his autobiography.

"Tim Whitnall, the writer, thought what a lovely what a lovely way to frame the story."

The heartwarmingly funny show, which is touring the UK from August 2022 until December 2022, has the full backing of Les' family.

His widow Tracy Dawson has even loaned Jon some of her late-husband's rings to wear when he is on stage.

"It's fabulous", Tracy said. "I'm so pleased it's Jon Culshaw because he's a northern comic and he does it so beautifully."

The late Les Dawson's wife Tracy and daughter Charlotte, embrace a statue of their loved one. Credit: ITV News

Les' daughter Charlotte, who was just one at the time of his death in 1993, has said her own son has mannerisms of her late father. "He's like a mini Les", she said.

After the Fringe, the tour will officially start in Lancaster in September 2022 and end in Lytham St Annes in December 2022.

"It was important to play the home shows, especially in those places important to Les and his heritage. People just love to remember Les", Jon said.

More information on how to book tickets for the Flying High can be found here.

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