"Living Doll" is a song written by Lionel Bart made popular by Cliff Richard and the Shadows (then still The Drifters) in 1959. It has topped the
twice; in its original version and a new version recorded in 1986 in aid of
Comic Relief. UK
Living Doll was originally written for the film Serious Charge which featured Cliff Richard. The idea came from a newspaper advert for a child's doll. The original version of Living Doll was a rock 'n' roll song (rather than a ballad) and can be heard on the soundtrack to Cliff Richard's first film, Serious Charge. It was originally meant for the singer Duffy Power.
Note that a totally different rock 'n' roll song with a similar title Livin' Lovin' Doll was released by Cliff Richard and The Drifters which predates the release of Living Doll itself.
The song was originally recorded in 1959 by Cliff Richard and the Drifters and produced by Norrie Paramor. It peaked at #1 on the UK singles chart for six weeks from July 1959, selling over a million copies in the process. The song won Bart an Ivor Novello Award for best song. It was Richard's first US hit single reaching #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song is performed by Cliff Richard (vocals), Hank Marvin (guitar), Bruce Welch (guitar), Jet Harris (bass) and Tony Meehan (drums).
In 1986, 27 years after the first release, alternative comedy group The Young Ones approached Richard to record a comic version of "Living Doll" for the Comic Relief charity. Despite the apparent contrast between the anarchic comedians and the clean cut Richard, he agreed and their version again topped the UK singles chart, for three weeks from March 1986. Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin was reunited with Richard on this recording for the first time since 1975.
There are many references to Cliff Richard in The Young Ones, preluding their collaboration, including:
- Rick - is a devoted Cliff Richard fan.
- Rick's fanaticism led to many jokes about Richard being made during the show's run.
- The name of the show and the opening theme are taken from the Richard song The Young Ones.