Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Sabrina's Life 1955

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Such was Sabrina's fame that when the 1954 Audrey Hepburn film of the same name was shown in Britain, it had to be renamed Sabrina Fair (the name of Samuel Taylor's play on which the movie was based).

Britain's poster United States' poster
Sabrina Fair in the US Sabrina Fair in the UK

Undated 1955 - an early photoshoot

Portrait of Sabrina (Norma Sykes) 18 year old beauty model and swimming champion from Blackpool, Lancs, who has come to London to do film work . 1955



At some point in 1955, Sabrina appeared in a fundraiser for polio in East Anglia, The March of Dimes . See a newsreel .

As we know, Sabrina was a passionate supporter of polio research and its victims, since she suffered from it herself as a young girl.

Sabrina performs at the March of Dimes fundraiser, 1955 Sabrina performs at the March of Dimes fundraiser, 1955

(Pix upgraded 2022-09-26)

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

8 January 1955: Appears on the cover and centrefold of Picture Post . Do we have evidence? Of course we do - thanks to Sabrina Fan David J! The appearance was entitled A Lancashire choice to beat the Italian Beauties .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes
Click the pic to see Sabrina's Norma Sykes' breakthrough!

The very staid Post was the largest selling magazine in Britain at the time and it signalled the emergence of Norma Sykes as the leading photographic model in Britain at that time — which is why she gets her break as the glamour component of Arthur Askey’s new show on BBC TV a month later.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

27 January 1955 - The Stage , p.13

Empire — Norman Stanley is a versatile comic in "Oh Those Legs." and receives good support from Pauline Terrie and Eric Watts, Sabrina , Jack Reed, Sid England, Nareda's Girls Carillon Choir, Joan Hall, and the Night Time Lovelies.

The ad is from 24 January 1955 - Portsmouth Evening News - Monday, p8

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

January 1955 - Sabrina is appearing twice-nightly at the Portsmouth Empire in a show called, "OH - THOSE LEGS!" with Norman Stanley, Jack Reed, Pauline Terrie, Eric Watts, Sid England, The Montmartre Nudes and The Night Time Lovelies.

The following was quoted by the Trans-Gender Archive News (A NEWS AND INFORMATION BULLETIN FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
), Vol,3, No.1, October 1992.

These Chorus Girls Are Men!

Weekend Mail, 3-7 February 1955, p.3

Audiences all over Britain have watched a touring review called Oh, Those Legs - never suspecting that two of the chorus girls are MEN. Sounds fantastic? After seeing the show at Portsmouth Empire recently, I CAN VOUCH THAT IT IS TRUE . . .

Mrs. Annette Duval, 44-year-old producer of the show, said: 'We couldn't find girls for the chorus, so I advertised. Peter and Ricky sent photographs of themselves dressed as women. I invited them for an audition. Imagine my surprise when two MEN arrived I When the show first started . . . the two men used to take off their wigs on the stage at the end of each performance. But audiences never twigged they were men . . . They just thought they were wearing hair styles shorter than those of the other girls. So after that they decided to carry on the illusion by keeping their wigs on all through the show'.

The "Weekend Mail" says: There are plenty of pretty girls longing for a chance the chorus. These men should make way for GIRLS!*



14 February 1955

A kiss from Sabrina to you under the mistletoe, 1955

Sabrina under the mistletoe 1955

And you can see the full colourised version here


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 February 1955 - Evening Express , p.8

Arthur Askey and Sabrina 1955

No Prize for Guessing

"Before your very eyes" — beautiful model Sabrina or 18-year-old Norma Ann Sykes, and Arthur Askey. No prize for guessing who's who! They are rehearsing and will be seen together in the Askey show on TV on Friday.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

Appears in Span #6, Feb 55 as 'Miss Norma Ann Sykes'.

Appears in 'Spick' - February & May 1955

Bullet Read Arthur Askey's autobiographical account of how he gave Sabrina her start on TV.
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 February 1955 - Portsmouth Evening News , p.4

To be seen in a new television feature, "Before Your Very Eyes," next Friday, is glamorous model Sabrina, or 18-year-old Norma Sykes from Manchester.

If you want to see more of this Manchester born beauty look in on television's Arthur Askey show ' Before Your Very Eyes ' on Friday 18 February 1955 . She is Sabrina , an eighteen year old whose vital statistics are bust 39 , waist 24 and hips 37 . Sabrina had polio at the age of 12 , and was in and out of hospital for four years . She started a modelling and cover girl career when she was 17 and is now looking forward to a television future . 14 February 1955

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes 18 February 1955 -- first appears on Before Your Very Eyes , the Arthur Askey show, on BBC — 8 episodes.

See video of Sabrina on Before Your Very Eyes in 1958 with Arthur Askey. Thanks to Roger!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

One wag said that Sabrina was Arthur's biggest contribution to TV.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

22 February 1955 . The Argus (Melbourne, Australia)

Sabrina with Arthur Askey

Plain Norma Sykes, 21-year-old Manchester girl, took the stage name Sabrina and her measurements - 39-24-37 - to Arthur Askey (background), and is now a featured player in Askey's TV show "Before Your Very Eyes."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

4 March 1955

Sabrina is known to have been on Before Your Very Eyes . Also known is 18 March.

11 March 1955

Sabrina with apple at a party for photographer

Apple biting Sabrina , the television star , poses at the party given for noted American photographer Philippe Halsman to meet a selection of English beauties worthy of his camera. It was held at the Westbury Hotel, the new American hotel in London, England. 11 March 1955

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

30 March 1955 - Evening Times

SABRINA, the dumb blonde of Arthur Askey's TV show has good reason for believing that silence is golden. In fact, so much success has followed her television appearances that when I called at her Kensington flat the other day I quite expected to find her still speechless - from sheer surprise.

But not a bit of it. Sabrina talked and talked and talked. And for a blonde so dumb she made a whole lot of good sense.

"Film offers won't interest me until I've had some acting experience," she vowed. "I know Hollywood doesn't bother whether a girl can act so long as she's got what it takes — but it's not the same over here."

There's no denying that Sabrina — her real name is Norma Sykes — has got what it takes all right.

Statistics — bust 39, hips 39, waist 24 — prove that. To help along, though, she is now taking instructions in acting, elocution, and singing.

Sabrina, who is only 18 shares her flat with an Alsatian called Shane. He's the only boy friend in her life at present. Other men, she claims, just don't interest her.

Sabrina and dog Shane

VIP access

[Sabrina and Shane]

Before leaving Sabrina I felt obliged to ask the question that so many viewers would like answered — when does she intend to break through the television sound barrier?

It was no use. Sabrina can certainly be the dumbest of blondes when she puts her mind to it!

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

The BBC goes Berserk! ( Picturegoer , 19 March 1955) - recounts the rampant publicity the BBC engaged in to pre-promote Sabrina's first TV appearance.

She had one line to say, "Doesn't it make you want to spit?" But it wasn't what she said during the show, it was her remark after that started her on the way to fame. Invited to a backstage party after the premiere, a group of critics seized on Sabrina and asked what, besides one line, she really did in the show. She shrugged. Then she said. "I really don't know. I'm just a dumb blonde."

The remark made every paper and from then on Sabrina was in the "A" list and was being wined and dined in London's costliest restaurants such as La Rue's, Simpson's and the Dorchester, a favourite place of Princess Margaret.

"Before Your Very Eyes" was only moderately well received by critics and public alike, until the introduction of the completely dumb voluptuous blonde, Sabrina (Norma Sykes), whose fondness for tight fitting dresses turned her into British TV's first sex-symbol." ( Source - dead in 2024)

 a Sabrina Incident

Out of nowhere, the nudes Sabrina had taken months earlier (by Russell Gay ), suddenly appeared on playing cards, along with those of other girls. The newspapers latched onto the story.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

 a Sabrina Incident The Sabrina Nudie Card Page

She becomes a household name overnight as Sabrina . The revelations of the nude photography as a 16 year old did not dent her appeal — they may have helped. But she hated the photos and was supposedly arrested for destroying them whenever she found them on sale. According to Confidential , "Sabrina visited the office of the playing card distributor and systematically proceeded to wreck the joint. Sabrina complained to Detective Superintendent Steve Glander of Scotland Yard. "I was only a kid of 16 when those photos were taken," she sobbed to him. "I was not going to admit defeat to my parents and ask them for train fare home. Please stop them from publishing pictures of me in the nude. I will do anything to stop them from being circulated."

Some (including Steve Cochran) have suggested that this "scandal" was one of Sabrina's finest publicity events.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 April 1955 - The Stage , London. p.19

Real Fun

ARTHUR ASKEYS latest "Before Your Very Eyes" continues to keep the accent solely on comedy. Arthur appeared in three sketches and scored in each with his inane fooling and clever way of switching out of character to tick off technicians or take the audience into his confidence by sly asides.
The first sketch was an old one but well done. Askey portrayed various pieces of furniture while Wallas Eaton and Sabrina (who still said no words) enacted a scene.
The second showed Arthur in a typical home in 1984 (seemed the same as to-day), checking his football pools when a Martian lands from a space ship. He walks through a wall with Sabrina and then sits down with Arthur — to check his pools!
The third sketch was in ancient Rome, with June Whitfield as Cleopatra, guest-star Patrick Barr as a soldier, and Arthur as an English slave. The mix-ups were merry when Arthur dressed up as Cleopatra for a routine with Patrick Barr.
Yes, this is a really funny show. Congratulations to Askey and his script writers. Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell. Pity it ends next week.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

15 April 1955 - Shields Daily News (p.2)

ARTHUR Askey presents the last in the "Before Your Very Eyes" series tonight, and the best kept secret of television still remains a mystery — will the voice of Sabrina be heard? My guess — that her lips will be sealed until the very end.
Being seen but not heard has certainly brought fame to Sabrina, whose real name is Norma Sykes. She is inundated with invitations to make personal appearances and has just been asked to take a part in a new British film called "Stock Car."
Then we shall hear Sabrina speak — she has three lines of dialogue.
For this performance, at the requests of viewers, Arthur is reviving the ghost sketch which he did in an earlier series.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 April 1955 - Shields Daily News - Saturday, p.5

Another event which drew large crowds in Railway Street, North Shields, last night, was a television show.
A TV receiver was put in the window of George Swan Ltd., radio and television dealers, and the crowds saw a broadcast from Blackpool Tower Circus, followed by the Arthur Askey show — Before Your Very Eyes — with the popular Sabrina And of course the [Round] Tablers made sure that everyone paid for their entertainment.

[The Round Table was a charity fund-raising organisation.]

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 April 1955 - Dundee Courier , Angus, Scotland

Charities Queen Anne Steven names Sabrina the Dundee students' monster in city square before the procession started its tour through the city on Saturday.

The 'Dundee Monster' is a (now-threatened) traditional float that features in The Aberdeen Torcher parade which has been organised by Aberdeen University Students' Association for more than 120 years. See some Aberdeen monsters through the years . It seems that Sabrina appeared in person rather than in effigy.

In 1955, the Charities Day hauled in about £2500.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

April 1955 - Beauty Parade

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

4 May 1955 ( Lancashire Evening Post , p.6)

Arthur Firth's...

SABRINA the silent; the girl who once served behind the counter of a Blackpool snack bar, is a star. She stepped Into Arthur Askey's television series and never spoke a word — except on the last show, when she said she had an inclination to spit. Yet she found herself in a blaze of publicity.
Amazing .... fantastic, but that's show business. All she did was to stand sit or lounge in front of the cameras while Mr. Askey made funny remarks. The result? Sabrina is a success. She has received invitations to open fetes, present prizes and model bathing suits at hundred quid a time: a coffee bar and two monkeys have been named after her, and she has received six proposals of marriage.


And to top it all 18-year-old Sabrina the 10-stone blonde, who not long ago was plain Miss Norma Sykes (though I doubt if plain is the right adjective) is going to make a film.
Not bad for girl who has never opened her mouth in public, except of course to say that she felt like spitting.
Not bad for a girl with a Lancashire accent and inch-long eyelashes who is only a beginner at drama, singing and elocution class.
But she has ambition. Since Sabrina slinked into our homes via TV of course mother and father have left Blackpool for London to look after her career.
Yes, Sabrina the silent has certainly found fame. She must have taken to heart her mother's advice: "Little girls should be seen and not heard."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 May 1955 ( Daily Express )

SUCCESS STORY (or Silence is Surely Golden)
Sabrina, nee Norma Sykes, TV's really-and-truly-dumb blonde, this week moved her parents out of a caravan at Crystal Palace and into a house in Maida Vale.


12 May 1955

Sabrina at Marylebone studios, 8 Jan 1955

Sabrina the British television star sips a new type of cocktail she had just named at Marylebone Studios, London, today 12 May. She also opened the new studios, originally one of the first film studios in London and now converted for making television films, England. 12 May 1955.

Not 1958 as the picture's filename erroneously suggests!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 May 1955 ( Mirror , Perth. Read more of the nudie card saga )


London, Today: Scotland Yard has received a request from a television actress to halt the circulation of nude photos of her which were taken when she first arrived in London.

Actress is well-known 18-year-old Sabrina, who says she has learned that some of the photographs have been on sale in London and Manchester under her professional name.

Also on sale is a calendar, said to be similar to the famous Marilyn Monroe publication.

Sabrina said that when the photos were taken she was plain Norma Sykes and struggling to make a living from modelling.

She said: "Scotland Yard intends to get photographs for inspection and there may be proceedings. These photographs could ruin me.

"At a party I was terrified that people might be talking about them. I was frightened that every time they looked at me they were thinking about those photos. Some of these nude photographs were taken when I was only 16 and a stranger in London. I thought they would help me to be a success in modelling. I was hungry and alone and didn't know what I know now. I want to be a success in films and on TV.

"I have everything to live for and now some unscrupulous people try to take advantage of something I did when I was little more than a kid."

Bullet 19 May 1955 - turns 19
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 April 1955 - Dundee Courier , Angus, Scotland

Charities Queen Anne Stephen names Sabrina the Dundee students' monster in City Square before the procession started its tour through the city on Saturday.

(This may be garbled - it comes from a limited-view commercial OCR newspaper site)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 May 1955 - Lancashire Evening Post , p.6. By Arthur Firth.


NOW there is a donkey called Sabrina — and it's Arthur Askey's. On Whit Monday it will have its first outing of the season at Wivelsfield, Sussex in this year's Donkey Derby. It will run against 20 other asses owned by stage, screen and TV folk in an event called the "Mummer's Mokes."
Under local rules men are barred from riding and the jockeys will be children or small women. Top weight is nine stone and the riders are barred from using a whip or spurs and — oh what a bumpy journey — they ride bare-back.
The proceeds are for the fund to save old or unwanted donkeys from slaughter. The betting?
Couldn't say, but my shirt would he no qood on Sabrina.

More vital information from other sources: there are five events, including fancy dress, and the carrot race.

I still don't know who won. Stay tuned.


28 May 1955 - Derek Roy's dog thanks Sabrina for her contribution to charity at the Weekend Mail's Festival Gardens Gala

Sabrina and Derek Roy

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

'66' magazine - a Sabrina souvenir. (1955)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

(Pic upgraded September 2015)

London England 1955 - Televised Tea Party at BBC television centre. All Star invite to open the new women's television programme. Pictured are Denis Spicer, Dummy James Green, and Sabrina

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

June 1955 - A serious showgirl Sabrina on a pedestal (where she belongs). The magazine source is unknown.

Sabrina - Showgirl June 1955

Sabrina - Showgirl - June 1955


2 June 1955 (year uncertain)

Sabrina is due to honour the grand opening of Spurling Motors in Harrow on June 2 - probably in 1955

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

4 June 1955 - Daily Mirror , by Noel Whitcomb, having dinner at the Savoy Sabrina Savoy 1955

Into the party came SABRINA, "dumb" blonde of TV. She started to get pretty vocal to me about some of the bad publicity she's been getting.

"It isn't fair the way I've been made fun of," she said. "I've heard people say that I'm taking elocution lessons so that I'll be able to speak property. It isn't true."
Sabrina Is a nice girl, and has done a good thing by putting pretty well all her suddenly big earnings into buying a house for her Mum and Dad (who used to live in a caravan).

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

9 June 1956 - Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser , Wiltshire, England

Pavilion Bath - Saturday June 9th, 1956. 7 til 11. TEDDY FOSTER band with Personal Appearance of Sabrina . Tickets 5 shillings.


16 June 1955 - Sabrina sings

Sabrina sings

Upgraded 5 June 2021


24 June 1955 - The famous Park Lane Hotel photoshoot which I call the Tatters series

Sabrina in Park Lane


24 June 1955

Sabrina to Star in Variety

18 year old Manchester born Sabrina, the TV personality who starred with Arthur Askey in the TV series "Before Your Very Eyes" is to star in variety and will top the bill at Chiswick Empire on July 4th. It is five months since she entered show business, and her rise to fame is now well known. She has played in specially written parts on films in Butchers' "Stock Car", made personal appearances at £100 a time, lent her name to advertisers' products, been on front cover of English, French, German, Italian and American magazines. She has had a cafe, boats, frocks and cocktails named after her. Hollywood talent scouts have already sent for her photos. She is to tour the provinces, appearing at Nottingham, Leicester, Scunthorpe, Manchester and Blackpool. (Pic by C.Sanderson 24/6/55)

O.P.S. 18 year old Sabrina whose statistics are, bust 39, waist 24 and hips 37, photographed when posing for photographs at her press conference, at Park Lane this morning.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines 25 June 1955 - Make Way for Sabrina! Picturegoer . During the making of Stock Car .
Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

30 June 1955 - An ad for People magazine, Australia

Sabrina - People magazine

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines Sabrina Washes Her Hair , A.M . 21 June. Some of the best ever pictures of Sabrina. Barely 19 years old, she can get media attention for cleansing her golden tresses... Even Kylie Minogue couldn't manage that.
Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines One Look and all Britain Gasped - People June 29, 1955
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes Appears in her first movie , Stock Car , but her carefully-trained voice has been redubbed with a harsh Cockney accent. Sabrina is furious...
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

5 July 1955 - The Argus (Melbourne)

Sabrina is now on a five-months concert hall tour - still not talking, but attracting thousands of lookers.

Sabrina is disappointed that her role in the act is merely to stand around while comedians weave jokes around her. A perceived lack of respect for her efforts and abilities grows into a resentment that grows over time, and was especially apparent upon Sabrina's return to Britain in 1963 .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

5 July 1955 - Daily Express

The Fete Opens - But the style is changed

TIME was when garden parties were opened by a lady who was ladylike and rather grand; more than middle-aged and accustomed to making; speeches; a figure-head in the local community — the lady of the manor or the Women's Institute chairman.

She used to declare it open with a torrent traditional verbiage... "Flattered to be chosen... hope that the raffle will he won by everybody... Indebted to the something branch for so kindly allowing... and I know you would like me to thank Lady So-and-so for letting us use her lovely garden...

But time passes on. Today's most highly-sought-after garden-party opener is a blonde and busty 18-year old. From Surrey last week to Manchester next, the girl who is opening garden parties now at £50 to £100 a so is TV's Sabrina . And she doesn't say a word.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

7 July 1955

According to Speedway And Stock Car World , Sabrina made an appearance at a Birmingham stock car meeting with Bill "Mad" Mason.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 July 1955 - The Stage , London (p.5)

Debut of Sabrina at the Chiswick Empire

Sabrina and the Three Deuces, 1955

In the olden days of variety one had to have exceptional entertaining powers to be top of the bill. To-day that is of secondary importance to box-office drawing power. In this respect, from the looks of the auditorium on Monday at Chiswick, Sabrina is a successful top of the bill.
She herself must admit that her talent is limited. She became famous as a well-built dumb blonde in Arthur Askey's television programme. Like a good child, she was seen and not heard.
At Chiswick, if you strain your ears, you can just about hear her - singing in a small voice and talking in a series of mutters.
Such a person needs good presentation. She doesn't get it. She appears four times on the current bill - three times too many, despite her change of dress each time, from pink to blue, black and silver. With the young singing trio at the end, she seemed almost natural, but with veteran straight-man Dave O'Gorman she is out of place, and he even looked embarrassed about it.
With the trio - The Three Deuces - she sings "When You Get It, You Don't Want It," "Do It Again" (which she breathes into the mike), a number which this writer thinks was about TV but couldn't hear the words, and a farewell song...

Read the full article

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 July 1955 - Winnipeg Free Press

Ah well, Sabrina Fair, British TV's 119-pound blonde sensation, has spoken at last. She held her first big press conference the London the other day. Her mother attended the conference, and what she said was: "Norma doesn't care about men."

Sabrina's real name is Norma Sykes, and Sabrina met the press before she started off on a stage tour of England. Asked what she'd do on the stage, Sabrina fluttered her eyelashes and said, "Don't know." One of her managers said hurriedly "This girl is so phenomenal we've got to work out a routine for her ... something VERY special."

Nineteen-year-old Sabrina then went out to change into a very tight pair of white shorts and a turtle-necked while sweater that stretched to 39½ inches.


18 July - December 1955 : Sabrina debuts in variety: French Capers at venues including Palace Theatre (Leicester), Chiswick Empire (London) and Palace Theatre (Chelsea)

Sabrina at the Palace Theatre 1955 Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes


August 1955 - SPOT ON

Sabrina's hands

Hands are one of the greatest problems of the photographer. Few models have the ability to pose these gracefully and if a photographer is fortunate enough to discover...

Dammit! Now we'll never know what will happen if a photographer is so fortunate!


6 August 1955

Sabrina and Jimmy Young 6 August 1955

Television personality Sabrina, the girl who made a million fans without uttering a sound, gets some tips on recording technique from singer Jimmy Young with the help of a tape recorder in London's Hyde Park. Sabrina is to show that she really does have a voice by making some records soon and who is there better able to give her advice on the subject than Jimmy Young? His record of 'Unchained Melody' is Britain's top selling disc and has already passed the 100,000 mark in sales.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 August 1955 - The Stage , London, p.2 (full article added 21 Sep 2017)


Reading Palace has just completed " A Fortnight Featuring Blondes," commencing with the appearance of Sabrina topping the variety bill on August Bank Holiday week. Sabrina found time whilst in Reading to visit the local hospital (accompanied by the Palace managing director, R. J. Langley) to cheer the patients with a gift of a huge basket of fruit and more than 100 signed photographs of herself.
The past week has featured another charming blonde, Denise Vane, who features in Harry Dennis's revue. "French Tit Bits."
On the opening night of the show blonde film star Diana Dors, accompanied by her husband and a huge Cadillac, paid a visit to the theatre. Her presence resulted in excellent business!
This week Jack Gillam presents "Pleasures of Paris."
Future attractions include "Lilac Time" and "Women of Twilight."
Max Miller, topping a variety bill, heads the autumn programme week commencing October 10.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

27 August 1955 - 8 September - Portsmouth Evening News (p.5), Hampshire, England. The dates given are confirmed, but may actually extend before/after the dates shown.

6:30 & 8:45 - twice nightly television's newest personality the Glamorous Sabrina with Dave and Joe O'Gorman, Johnny Lockwood, the Three Deuces...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

30 August 1955 - Daily Mirror

THE DAY I DATED A PIN-UP - by Eric Wainwright Sabrina Date at the Seaside 1955

THE girl in question is: Britain's pin-up with the mostest. Her name is Sabrina.
It was a bright summer morning. I rang her up.
"What about nipping down to the seaside for a bathe?" I asked.
"Lovely," said Sabrina, who adores swimming.
It sounds a cheerful way to spend a summer's day, doesn't it? I thought so too until I tried being her escort and had the most frightening day of my life.

Read more about Sabrina drawing mobs at the seaside .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

31 August 1955 - Shipley Times and Express

A local boy scout reports that when heading for Canada for the World Jamboree, "our tickets were presented to us by the fabulous Sabrina of T.V. fame and many photographs were taken."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

3 September 1955

In this week, Sabrina appears with Dave and Joe O'Gorman and Johnny Lockwood at the Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

15 September 1955 (Winnipeg Free Press)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes Polio To Video

Pert Norma Sykes, just chosen for a leading role in a British television series, actually is an inspiring story in herself. It's hard to believe that Norma has been in and out of hospitals for the past four years with polio.

Now she is well enough to start what looks like an extremely promising career.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 August 1955 - Victoria Daily Times (Canada) - by Wallace Reyburn

Sabrina: she's the girl (real name Norma Sykes) who became the overnight talk of the nation by appearing in a TV series with Arthur Askey and wandering around the sets without uttering a word. Her figure left viewers jjust speechless.

Off the TV screens now. she's decided to keep her publicity going by doing a Marilyn Monroe. She has called in the aid of Scotland Yard to stop people peddling pictures of her taken in the nude when she was a struggling young model in London trying to turn an honest penny.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

21 September 1955 - The Sketch - Wednesday

Blonde Without Words

In the newly decorated Watergate Theatre restaurant - it's now in charge of Tondi Adams, who also runs The Tate Gallery Restaurant - I had a cosy little chat with Sabrina on the subject of her not-yet-released film, " Stock Car ."
"Are you pleased with it?" I asked.
Miss Norma Sykes knitted her pretty brows and replied vaguely "To tell you the truth I'm not very satisfied. You see, I play a dumb blonde..."
"Well?" I enquired courteously.
"Well," she said, after some thought, "you see, I'm not on the screen long enough for people to know I'm really acting."
Sabrina is to make a film with Arthur Askey. But she would prefer to play parts like Judy Holliday plays. H'm


Sheila Bradley and Sabrina with Tondi Adams (centre), who has taken over the restaurant at the New Watergate Theatre Club — making her third.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

22 September 1955 - The Aberdeen Evening Express reported an "exotic evening shoe in dull corkette calf, with jewelled high heel and vamp trim, is known as "Sabrina." It part of Rayne autumn and winter shoe collection for 1955.


25 September 1955



The International Watch and Jewellery Trade Fair - the first exhibition of its kind ever held in this country - opened today at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Sir Cyril Dyson , Chairman of the National Association of Goldsmiths and former Mayor of Windsor, performed the offcial opening ceremony.

Photograph shows: SABRINA with wall clock which runs for a year on an eleven penny battery. The figures are on signs of the Zodiac. SABRINA is the well known Music Hall star. FOX PHOTOS, SEPT 25th 55.


26 September 1955

Sabrina dancing with Harry Secombe 1955

Actor and comedian Harry Secombe (1921 - 2001) dancing with model Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes, 1936 - 2016) during a BBC Television Tea Party held at the Television Centre in White City, London, September 26th 1955. The party was given by Cecil Madden, assistant controller of the BBC, to inaugurate the new extra hour of afternoon TV. Due to the large number of guests, the event was filmed in the TV Centre's scenery dock.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

27 September 1955 - Daily Express Sabrina 1955

Attends a star-studded 2,500-person tea party to mark BBC's new afternoon programme to combat ITV. It caused a traffic jam, and was televised at 4pm.

Talbot Rothwell, Arthur Askey's writer, who was there was said to be the first man to introduce Sabrina to the public.

(Picture is full size)


27 September 1955

Sabrina is living at 223 Elgin Avenue, London W.9 - and in those happy, innocent days she was not afraid to give her residential address to fans.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 October 1955 - Aberdeen Evening Express , Aberdeenshire, Scotland, p.6 (full article added 26 Sept 2017)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes MISS SYKES makes A SECRET SHIMMY

I ANNOUNCE the return to the B.B.C. television of Miss Norma Sykes, a tall blonde, whose theatrical activities are carried out under the name Sabrina, writes Ramsden Greig.
Sabrina is scheduled to make a surprise shimmy across the screens on Saturday evening.
This mute and multi-curved young woman whose most vital statistic is 39½ inches ("Darling, please don't forget the half-inch'), will be employed in three comedy sketches by the Bernard Brothers in "The Saturday Show."
With the minimum of talent, a pleasant face, and a copious bosom. Sabrina achieved some sort of fame earlier this year as the dumb blonde of the Arthur Askey TV show, "Before Your Very Eyes." Since then she has been appearing in the music hall stages, making a film, opening soirees, studying the drama, having her voice trained, and sulking over the sale of art studies she posed for before achieving her weird fame.

What can I tell you to expect from her on Saturday evening?
I can tell you nothing.
"Sabrina." says Mr George Bernard, "is our little secret!"
Little, Mr Bernard?

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 October 1955 - Daily Mirror , by Noel Whitcomb

I went along to a party where I saw Sabrina, looking — as usual - outstandingly well.
"How's the singing going, ducks?" I asked.
She made a face. "After I'd taken lessons," she replied, "I thought I could sing. Then I heard the opinions of some of my best friends — and found out that I couldn't."
"Well, that's something," I said. "Some singers never find out."
"I'm up at four every morning now," she went on. "For filming in Petersfiend, Hants."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 October 1955 - Evening Times, by Richard Young

Sabrina isn't so 'dumb' when it comes to money. A very interesting article about Sabrina's financial management and costume jewellery factory investment.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 October 1955 - Portsmouth Evening News , p.12 - Tuesday

Sabrina and Terry-Thomas

Star performers in this week 's first ever 3-D colour pictures will be the beautiful Sabrina and Terry-Thomas, seen together in a fantasy of their own creation. Look out for Sabrina on the cover of Picture Post.
And don't forget to ask your newsagent for the free 3-D spectacles — given away with each copy.

3-D Colour pictures are here

This is a great week for readers of Picture Post. For the first time ever in the history of magazine publishing you will be able to see brilliant 3-D pictures in full colour. These pictures, brought to you by the enterprise of Picture Post, inject life and colour into the pages of a magazine in a way that has never been achieved before.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 October 1955 - Daily Mirror

An ad for the 3D 'Picture Post' pix of Sabrina and Terry-Thomas as musketeers.

Ad for 3D colour pictures of Sabrina

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

28 October 1955 - Aberdeen Evening Express . p.6

The Shape that makes me shudder
by Ramsden Greig

Sabrina makes me shudder THE constant viewer is beginning to suffer from a TV irritant for which there appears to be no balm. This is called Miss Norma Sykes, known professionally as Sabrina. She is blonde, said to be beautiful, undoubtedly bosomy and theatrically quite untalented.
She first arrived upon the television screens in the Arthur Askey comedy series "Before Your Very Eyes."
At that time Sabrina was a funny and original gag.
She followed through with appearances in a Bernard Brothers' show and recently in a Bob Monkhouse programme.
By now the gag was not so funny and far from original. Sabrina's dumbness was becoming a corny joke.
During the week-end she turned up on the ITV show "On The Town."
Mr Ron Randell, its compere, saw fit to introduce her to viewers as a personality, proving:
(a) That Mr Randell does not know what a personality is; or
(b) that there is a grave shortage of personalities who attend ITV floor shows.
It is Sabrina's intention to continue to appear on TV whenever and as often as possible.
I submit (with sidelong glance at her most vital statistic — 39½ in.), that the whole business has reached outrageous proportions. Her shape is beginning to make me shudder.

Sabrina is no longer a novelty.
She is fast becoming a bore.
The gimmick has gone.
So, too. should Sabrina.


29 October 1955

British glamour model and actress Sabrina, wearing a halterneck evening gown with floral decoration on the chest, with black evening gloves and fur wrap, sheltered by a man in uniform holding an umbrella, as she emerges from a taxi having arrived to attend a premiere in London, England, 29th October 1955

Sabrina at premiere 1955


3 November 1955

Sabrina at a film premiere 1955

Glamorous radio and Television star Sabrina arriving at the Gaumont Cinema Haymarket London to attend the premiere of the film To Hell and Back

And at the same event... (Reported on 1 December 1955 - Winnipeg Free Press )


Steve Cochran and Sabrina head to a premiere

Sabrina and Steve Cochran 1955 Stars On A Star

Actor Steve Cochran usually plays the "smooth" type in the films, and he looks pretty smooth here with Sabrina at a premiere in London, England. Steve's examining her necklace of stars shaped like those worn by American generals. The necklace was timely, since Steve and Sabrina were going to a war picture, To Hell And Back .

Yep. Sure. He's examining her... "necklace". Yep. Yeah. Sure...

And how is a necklace "timely" for a war picture?? Methinks the caption was attached to the wrong picture.

And, yes. Something is wrong. Her dress is different so it can't be the same event as the other 2 pix. But they all claim to be from 'To Hell and Back' which was released in 1955.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

3 November 1955 - The Stage , London, p.2 (full article added 21 Sep 2017)

Calls for Next Week


IPSWICH HIPPODROME.— Sabrina , Jimmy Wheeler. Fayne and Evans. Two Pirates, Three Deuces, Nick and Pat Lundon, Henri Vadden, etc.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

November 1955: ... as described in ' Don't Make a Mug out of Me says Sabrina ' - Picturegoer Nov 12, 1955.

November 1955: Featured in Beautiful Britons

November 1955 - Male - inside front and back covers !

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes


November 1955: Appeared at the Fashion Designers' Ball held at the Royal Festival Hall.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 November 1955 - Daily Mirror .

Donald Zec interviews Steve Cochran , recently arrived in London.

He [Steve Cochran] was getting ready to take Sabrina to a premiere when I dropped in.

"I've never met the dame," he said, slipping on black suede shoes. "All I know about her is..."
He spread out his hands like a man weighing up the pros and cons.

"That's Sabrina," I said.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 November 1955 - Shields Daily News - Monday, p.6

Sabrina's puppy gift to Milburn

Fog delayed the aircraft bringing television's blonde, Sabrina to Newcastle on Saturday to open a new self-service pet store and the opening ceremony had to be put back an hour.
Later in the afternoon. Sabrina went to St. James' Park and met the Blackpool team when they came off the field — Sabrina comes from Blackpool — and she presented Jackie Milburn with a black and white puppy.

Sabrina mobbed in Newcastle 7 Nov 1955

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 November 1955 - Bulletin and Scots Pictorial, 7 Nov 1955. 'Nark's Nook', p.4

She's got a nerve, this Sabrina girl, hasn't she? Throwing pictures of herself out of a window to the surging crowds below, stopping the traffic, putting the polis* in a panic. Who does she think she is?
Diana Dors?

* I assume this means "politicians"

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

12 November 1955 - Fife Free Press & Kirkcaldy Guardian , Fife, Scotland

No Sabrina, But...

While a new department store was hitting the headlines after having their premises opened by the fabulous Sabrina last Saturday, we, in a less spectacular fashion were attaining similar, but perhaps more conservative results, at our new premises at
14 Victoria Road
which, without pomp or ceremony, were officially opened last Saturday.
While a hysterical crowd tumbled over each other for Sabrina's autographed photos, a well-mannered crowd were content to inspect our splendid stock of SOFT FURNISHINGS .
We pride ourselves that we have something for everyone in the SOFT FURNISHING line, and sincerely invite you to pay us a visit.


61 Dunnikier Rd. & 14 Victoria Rd., Kirkcaldy
PHONE 2395

What a passive-aggressive cry for attention this was!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 November 1955 - Mirror , Perth, Western Australia

Approved by 12 million

An extravagantly curved blonde named Norma Sykes was in the news again in London this week.

She stopped the traffic in Newcastle for more than an hour. Women and children were near-trampled to death by men fighting to be near her. Norma was wearing a chaste all-covering sweater.
But she was autographing and distributing photographs of herself in a daring, utterly revealing off-the-shoulder evening frock.
Officiating at the opening of a pet shop, she threw hundreds of photographs from a window. Read the whole article .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 November 1955 - The Stage , page 7

THE Cresta Ballroom [in Luton] — formerly the Alma — had a gala opening last Friday. There to wish the new venture well were TV glamour girl Sabrina and film actor Paul Carpenter.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 November 1955 - The Stage , page 12

On the Jack Hylton programme to-night (Thursday), entitled "Ladies in the Limelight" and compered by George Jessel, will be Vera Lynn, Belita, Eileen Joyce, Frances Day, Betty Driver, Sabrina, Kitty Bluett, Robey Buckley, Greco Sisters, Louise and her Pets, Luton Girls Choir, Eileen Gourlay, and the Joan Davis Dancers.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

27 July 1957

Sabrina - NORMA SYKES - will be coming to Luton on Saturday, July 27

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

1 December 1955 - The Stage (p.12)

After Sabrina appeared with George Jessel and 60 other ladies on AR-TV on 24 November...

That beautiful girl. Sabrina dressed in a beautiful gown, should definitely be seen, but not heard.
Her efforts to sing a verse in the "Housewives' Choice" item were neither tuneful nor decipherable, and Betty Driver, Frances Day and Kitty Bluett also fought a losing battle to make a favourable impression in this small "spot."

Sabrina and George Jessel

Picture: Sabrina and George Jessel

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

1 December 1955 - The Stage , page 4

An article on the Boy Scouts' "Gang Show" of 1955 noted that:

The comedy, too, is excellent in content and performance, with no mention of atom bombs, National Health, Sabrina , mothers-in-law, and other well-worn subjects.

Bullet 2 December 1955

Sabrina with Les Gilbert and the Ted Heath Band
(Full size)

Sabrina with Les Gilbert and the Ted Heath Band at the Weekend Mail Ball at the Royal Albert Hall

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

3 December 1955 - Sabrina's thoughts on Marilyn Monroe - Picturegoer

Date unknown: Sex-quisite - A Sabrina Album - a Sabrina-sized compendium, year unknown.

Date unknown: Sabrina through the looking glass. Best of QT (1950s)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

10 December 1955 - Daily Mirror

Sabrina Jewellery Ad 1955 It's the latest Sabrina fashion idea!

Pop a snippet of the dress of the moment into each transparent Sabrina ear-ring and presto! ONE pair of ear-rings matches your clothes always! Also match your nail-varnish, lipstick or boy friend's tie!

Send postal order now to Dept. A6, Sabrina Jewellery Ltd, Guildhall Building, Stephenson Street, Birmingham 2.

4 shillings per pair. Post Free.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 December 1955

Sabrina appears at Queen's Hall in Queen St, Peterborough at the Grand Gala Opening Night. Dancing 8pm to midnight. The Peterborough Advertiser reported on the 13th that...

Sabrina Opens New Hall

Sabrina, the TV artist, is to open a new dance hall in Peterborough (Queen's Hall, capacity 300) on Saturday [17th] , when dancers at the gala night will have a chance of dancing with her.
Music will be supplied by a new group, the Rhythmaires Dance Orchestra, directed by Ron Todd.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 December 1955 - Daily Mirror

When asked about her new year resolutions: "I'm determined," Sabrina said, "to show a little less of my you-know-what and a little more of my personality next year."

19 December 1955 - Daily Express by Anne Edwards

The Bricks of 1955

Anne's articles discusses the biggest faux pas dropped by 1955 celebrities. It concludes...

A girl who looked promising while she remained dumb, but when she opened her mouth in a TV programme — what a brick that was.
Flat, sexless, dull — it was the reverse of everything that Sabrina looks.

17 December 1955 - Reported in the Peterborough Advertiser - Friday 23 December 1955, p.4


"I have got a face as well, you know."

- Sabrina at the Queen's Hall, Peterborough, on Saturday, posing for the 17th photograph.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 December 1955 - Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday, p4

by Ernest Moore

... Mr. [Eamonn] Andrews is undoubtedly a personality. Sabrina presents the paradox that it is not necessary to have talent to be a "star" name.
Heaven preserve us from any more Sabrinas!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 December 1955 - Evening Times - TV COMMENTARY

TV usually manages something for everybody. It's not all good, but at least most tastes are catered for at some time during the evening. Take last night. A somewhat mixed grill included:—

"WHAT'S MY LINE?"— Most of the regulars were missing, but Sabrina turned up as the celebrity and brought along her voice. (It's a useful thing to have around when one wants to get in that plug about one's new film !)


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 December 1955 - Daily Mirror

Jayne Mansfield says in an article that "I have three cats, called Ophelia, Romulus and Sabrina ."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 December 1955 - Mirror (Perth, WA)

"It's the shape, not size that counts". Sabrina brushes off her rivals , and discloses that (apparently) she "likes being mobbed by people who want to tear her clothes off"

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

28 December 1955 - Daily Mirror

Sabrina farewells Steve Cochran as he flies out to Lisbon. They have been seen together since he escorted her to a film premiere 3 months ago.

Also in the Lancashire Evening Post

Sabrina, glamorous even in rainwear, says goodbye to American film actor Steve Cochran as he leaves London airport for Lisbon after making a film in Britain.
Sabrina — real name Norma Sykes — is the Blackpool girl who became a television star without saying a word.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

30 December 1955 - Daily Mirror

In "Vicky's Almanack for 1956", March includes "Sabrina enters politics".

Read more of the curious incident of Sabrina and politics .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

31 December 1955 - Aberdeen Evening Express , p.7

What a Year It's Been for Show Business! ...

JUNE : Sabrina almost extends her talents on wax.

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