Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

Back | Home | Next

Sabrina's Life 1956

1936-54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60
61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68-99 | Recent


Appears in the 'super revue' " This'll Make You Laugh " with Tessie O'Shea, Nat Jackley, Arthur Worsley, The Nitwits, TV Toppers And Marianne Lincoln. See the This'll Make You Laugh page .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes
I'm guessing and hoping the yellow lady is Sabrina.
If not, just pretend it is.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines January 1956 : England's Jayne Mansfield - People .
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 January 1956 - Nelson Leader - Friday, p16

Sabrina Here!
Sabrina, star of TV and the screen, will make a personal appearance at the Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, on Friday, January 20th.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 January 1956 - Daily Mirror

Arthur Askey is the man who launched the shapely Sabrina. "I wanted a dumb blonde for my series," he recalls. "And I got one.
"I think viewers would like to see Sabrina, again, so I'm putting her into my commercial shows."

How will Sabrina's particular attractions be used to entertain the customers?
That, according to Arthur, is something Saabrina would like to know too. They met at the Albany Club last week.
"I'll be wanting you for my show in February," the comedian told her.

"What are you going to do with me?" asked Sabrina.
But for once, Arthur reports, he couldn't find the right answer.

Arthur Askey introduces Sabrina to the audience before transmission of the Askey Show "Before Your Very Eyes" presented alternate Friday evenings by Jack Hylton for Associated-Rediffusion.


8 January 1956

Sabrina at Marylebone studios, 8 Jan 1955

SABRINA BARES HER PAST -- Sabrina, Britain's chestiest television personality, sips a cocktail in London at opening of Marlebone studios for making TV films last May. Today, it develops, she is worried about some nude pictures for which she posed in less-plush days. They decorate the backs of playing cards sold in Britain and abroad. The 22-year-old TV star's mother said she was consulting a lawyer to see if the playing card circulation can be stopped. Company making the cards says they're selling very well indeed.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

12 January 1956: Bird show, OLYMPIA, ENGLAND: Sabrina makes kissing noises at mynah bird in cage .


12 January 1956

David Peters reports Sabrina was a the Hulton Boys and Girls Exhibition at Olympia, and he got her autograph. She was wearing a small white woolly flowerpot shaped hat and a black dress.


12 January 1956

"CHARLIE" the Cockatoo makes friends with SABRINA when she paid a visit to the National Cage Bird Show at Olympia today.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

13 January 1956 : Sabrina appears at the premiere of "The Man with the Golden Arm"

Watch the video



Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

13 January 1956



DANCING 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Personal Appearance of


Star of Screen, Stage, Radio and T.V.



1st Prize : £5-5-0

To the lady whose measurements are nearest

to those of SABRINA

Entry Forms can be had on the night.
TICKETS 5/- (Limited). Obtainable where bills are displayed

or at Imperial Ballroom

Promoted by Colne Conservative Club.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 January 1956 - Aberdeen Evening Express - Saturday, p12

Wants More Than Dumb Blonde Parts

Sabrina is determined to stand her ground for bigger parts than the dumb blonde.
But in Manchester to-day she said it looked as though her agent was now pushing her rival, 22-year-old blonde Corinne Grey, as replacement to her.
Said Sabrina: "My agent had Corinne standing by Wednesday because he knew how I felt about travelling to Manchester three days before the TV show just to waggle my hips. But I don't want be pushed out."
She said she regarded the "dumb blonde" role of hers as something she should play only in TV shows with Arthur Askey — she is starting a commercial TV series with him in London.
"After all. it was with Arthur that 1 was featured like this, and I think it's appropriate to the series," she said.
"I want be given different parts in other shows. That is why I am taking drama and singing lessons" Sabrina should have been in to-night's TV show "Home James," featuring Jimmy James. Producer Ronnie Taylor said: "She broke her contract as far as this show is concerned, and she will not appear."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 January 1956 - Northern Whig - Saturday, p1

B.B.C. drops Sabrina from North TV Sketch

NORTH Regional headquarters of the B.B.C. at Manchester announced last night that "because she had broken her contract" Sabrina will not appear in a Jimmy James television sketch "Home James", from Manchester to-night. Corinne Grey will replace her
The statement said: "Sabrina was asked to attend rehearsal at The Playhouse Manchester, today but the producer. Ronnie Taylor, heard from her agent that she did not think it necessary to be there until Saturday, and that she would not arrive until then.
"The producer thought it essential that she should rehearse with Jimmy James, so booked Corinne Grey, who immediately left London for Manchester, where she arrived late this afternoon.
"It has now been decided that as Sabrina has broken her contract by not appearing for rehearsal, as agreed. Corinne Grey will take her place."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

15 January 1956

BBC Gives the sack to its Buxom Sabrina

LONDON, Jan. 14 (TNS)-Britain's buxom television star Sabrina, who gained international recognition by her figure and wiggle has been fired by BBC in a dispute over the first words writers put in her script.

The bosomy (40 inches) young blonde had balked at merely wiggling her hips on the "Home James" series.

A Protest

This week the writers gave her three lines on the program, but the 19 year-old Sabrina protested about the two days rehearsals for which she was scheduled.

She advised producer Ronnie Taylor she thought she could learn the role if she reported Saturday morning, instead of Friday, as BBC had asked. Taylor replied that if she was not on hand by 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon she would be replaced.

Sabrina did not appear and London model Corinne Grey was hired as a replacement. The blonde substitute, however, will not get the three lines on the show. She said to light: "I have deputised for Sabrina before — though my 36-inch bust doesn't compare with hers."

More info from The Calgary Herald , Sabrina was sacked from a musical TV appearance for declining to appear for rehearsals.

The Daily Mirror (14 Jan 56) added that Sabrina said she didn't attend rehearsals because, "They only wanted me to wiggle my hips and stay dumb." The show's producer, Ronnie Taylor, said "It certainly wasn't the case that we wanted Sabrina only to wiggle her hips."

Another source added that the BBC threatened to "bar Sabrina from the studio if she shows up tonight."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 January 1956 - Shields Daily News - Monday - p.6

Corinne gets special applause

CORINNE Grey, the North Shields-born starlet, received a special round of applause from the studio audience when she appeared in place of Sabrina in the dumb blonde's role in 'Home James' on television on Saturday.
Wriggling her hips and without saying a word, she appeared as a Teddy Boy's girlfriend in a sketch with comedian Jimmy James and his company.
A verse of a song sung by Jimmy James and two members of the cast dressed as B.B.C. commissionaires went:
First she will and then she won't
She puts us in a spot
Sabrina can keep silent
And Corinne do the lot — down at the B.B.C.

Sabrina later protested about the song and said she would consider asking for an apology.
Corinne. who formerly lived in Whitley Bay, took over the part when Sabrina failed to turn up in Manchester for rehearsals. The B.B.C. said that Sabrina had broken her contract

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 January 1956 - Daily Mirror

Sabrina is off his list

SABRINA — the girl who won television fame in a night without saying a word — is looking for a new agent.

Bill Watts , theatrical agent who specialises in representing beautiful girls, said last night: "I have ended our five-year contract. I've earned a lot of money for Sabrina, but I don't wish to represent her any longer."

Mr. Watts introduced Sabrina to the B.B.C. when they were looking for "a very lovely girl" to appear in the Arthur Askey series a year ago. Sabrina said last night: "I had already made up my mind to look for a new agent. As far as I am concerned it is a mutual parting."

Sabrina's next TV date is on February 10, when she will be appearing in the new Arthur Askey series on Commercial TV.

One must wonder whether Sabrina's recent sacking from the BBC played a part in their spate of mutual dissatisfaction.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 January 1956 - The Argus (Melbourne) (page 3) Sabrina and Charlie the cockatoo 1956

I'm so irresistible to girls! says Charlie, the cockatoo

"What makes me so attractive to the girls," says Charlie, the sulphur crested cockatoo. And who's the girl kissing Charlie.

It's Sabrina, the star of radio, TV, and films.

Charlie was an an entrant in the National Cage Bird Show in London recently. Sabrina visited the show, and ... well Charlie is SO irresistible.

Also see the news reel page

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 January 1956 - Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday, p.6


...Sabrina has been in a spot of bother with the B.B.C. for not turning up for a rehearsal.
She should have appeared in Jimmy James' TV show on Saturday but when she failed to appear the day before, the B.B.C. sacked her and called in Corinne Grey instead.
That was all right until, on to the screen popped Jimmy with two stooges and sang a little song that rather took the "Michael" out of her. Then she retorted and said: "I shall demand an apology — it's cheap and tasteless."
The song ran: —
"First she will. then she won't,
It puts us in a spot.
Sabrina can keep silent
And, Corinne can do the lot —
Down at the B.B.C.

Sabrina said she did not turn up at the rehearsal because all she had to do in the show was wiggle her hips. Now she says: "I'm tired of being a dumb blonde — it's funny with Arthur Askey — but not with anyone else."

Meanwhile Sabrina is all set for a season show in Blackpool and a new TV series with Askey.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 January 1956 - The Stage (London)

Sabrina (Norma Sykes) and her agent Bill Watts have ceased their business association. This follows the row with BBC-TV, in which Sabrina was replaced by Corinne Grey (another of Mr. Watts' clients)in "Home James" on Saturday. Sabrina's next TV engagements are on AR in the Arthur Askey series, starting next month.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 January 1956 - The Stage , p.12 - Thursday


JIMMY JAMES is a most amusing man. He needs no scriptwriters (although his son is one of them on this show). All he needs is to waggle his face and pull on a fag to get laughs. Or make some comments about his grotesque stooge, Bretton Woods.
He was seen in various roles, but none better than a judge trying a case very similar to the one Jimmy Edwards has tried at the Adelphi Strand, twice nightly until recently.
It was in this sketch Sabrina was supposed to have appeared. She missed a rehearsal and was sacked. A girl called Corinne Grey took over, but from what we saw of her part Sabrina was well out of it all. Thora Hird, too, was wasted in this sketch.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 January 1956

Television star Sabrina makes a personal appearance at to-night's Caine Conservative Club ball.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

21 January 1956 - Daily Mirror

From Sabrina: "I don't want to wiggle any more"

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 January 1956 - The Stage , London

[This may refer to Worthing's Valentine Ball on Feb 14 to provide funds for the town's music festival.]

Sabrina and Diana Dors have been invited to attend.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 January 1956 - The Stage , London

...Sabrina will be in the show run jointly by Jack Taylor and Tom Arnold at the Hippodrome.

It would include Tessie O'Shea, Arthur Worsley and Nat Jackley.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes 27 January 1956 - Nelson Leader - Friday

A FORMER Nelson girl now living in Barnoldswick, Mrs. Marilyn Murray, was the girl chosen at the Imperial Ballroom on Friday as the one nearest to the figure measurements of Sabrina the TV celebrity. Our picture shows Marilyn on the left, Sabrina on the right.

Ed - I'm glad the paper explained who was who. Otherwise I might have been confused.

Sabrina and winner of a measurement contest

Read the other article in the same paper on page 7 - SABRINA KNOCKS FANS OVER ... AND VICE VERSA!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

29 January 1956 - Evening Times. Eamonn Andrews

To the dear little boys and girls who came to the Children's TV Theatre last week to watch the guest artist we have for each programme and asked whom they'd like to see next.
Several hundred, voices answered at once - but the clearest name was "Sabrina."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes The second series of Before Your Very Eyes was screened in 1956-1958 on ITV.
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

1 February 1956 - Bluefield Daily Telegraph , West Virginia, p.4

by Sheilah Graham

Steve Cochran has something to remember British starlet Sabrina by - a new pooch. He's trying to persuade Sabrina to try her lucj in Hollywood.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

2 February 1956 - The Stage , p.4

'Twas a Night!
Sabrina, or local girl Norma Sykes, paid a call at Nelson Imperial Ballroom the other night and sang " I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby."
It proved a night of surprises for the Lancashire glamour girl. She renewed acquaintance with Patricia Wheadon, a Nelsonian she had lost track of since they were polio patients in a Stoke-on-Trent hospital.
She was presented with a new song " Sabrina Samba ," composed in her honour by local musicians Albert Morris and Alan Ashworth.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 February 1956: Sabrina stars in a British Pathé newsreel having her picture taken at a Bourne and Hollingsworth's department store. See the story .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

13 February 1956 - Reported in the Calgary Herald. "Hollywood Backstage" column

Steve Cochran has something to remember British Starlet Sabrina by - a new pooch. He's trying lo persuade Sabrina to try her luck in Hollywood.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 February 1956 - (Reported in The Stage on 26 January 1956)

Worthing is holding a Valentine Ball on February 14, to provide funds for the town's Music Festival. Sabrina and Diana Dors have been invited to attend.

Golly. Imagine what it would have been like if both of them had appeared! Sadly, there is no record that either of them was there.


16 February 1956 - Sabrina appeared at the European premiere of "The Rains of Ranchipur" at the Carlton Theatre, Haymarket.

Sabrina at premiere Rains of Ranjipur 1956

I would have been there too, but unfortunately I had not quite been born at that stage.
I blame my mother.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 February 1956 - The Stage , London

Arthur Askey and Sabrina had lots of fun in a sketch about Roundheads and Cavaliers during 'Before Your Very Eyes'


17 February 1956

Sabrina - Norma Sykes Sabrina's anniversary cake

Thanks to Miss DiDi Mau for posting this to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.vintage on 17 Aug 2002. The caption reads: "Sabrina Yearling - Sabrina, the television actress celebrated at the Albany Club, London Feb 17 her first year in show business as Sabrina.."

Caption: A cake with one candle is cut by television star Sabrina in London, last night to celebrate the first anniversary of her original television appearance under the name which has become known so well. Previously she was a little-known model Norma Sykes. ( Lancashire Evening Post , 18 Feb 1956, p.1 - added 18 Sep 2017)


21 February 1956

Sabrina attends the premiere of the movie 'The Ladykillers'. Thanks to Philip for this scan!

Sabrina, the girl who owes her fame to silence in the Arthur Askey TV shows when she just stood around looking glamorous – is seen here still very decorative and glamorous when she arrived at the Odeon Theatre last night

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 February 1956

Sabrina is known to have been on Before Your Very Eyes . Also known are 23 March, 20 April.


1 March 1956

Sabrina appears at the UK premiere of the movie "A Town Like Alice" at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square. She was with Carlo Giusdini, an Italian star who was in England filming "The Baby on the Battleship."

Sabrina with Carlo Giusdini, 1 March 1956


2 March 1956


Sabrina at Anthea Askey's wedding 1956 Anthea Askey , daughter of comedian Arthur Askey , was married today, her 23rd birthday, to 29-years-old Bill Stewart who works for the Jack Hylton organisation. The young couple met when Bill was stage-managing "The Love Match" the show in which Anthea had her first big part. Many famous stage personalities were guests at the ceremony which took place at the All Souls Church, Langham Place (London).
Photograph shows: Sabrina, who was a guest at the wedding seen arriving at All Souls Church, Langham Place. 2 March 1956


Watch the newsreel of Sabrina's arrival at Anthea Askey's wedding (MP4, 9MB)

Thanks to Philip for this scan of Sabby at the wedding. The caption on the back said:

Sabrina at Anthea Askey's wedding Sabrina, who achieved fame as the silent blonde in Arthur Askey's television series, arrives at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, today (Friday) for the wedding of Arthur's daughter, Anthea Askey. Anthea was marrying Bill Stewart, whom she met when he was stage manager for 'The Love Match' in which she had her first big role.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

3 March 1956 ( The Argus )

Sabrina has refused to play Lady Godiva in a summer carnival. "I do lots of things for charity but there are limits," she said primly. "Besides, my hair isn't long enough."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

9 March 1956 - The Motherwell Times , p.2


Lanarkshire's new luxury ballroom



8 p.m. TILL 1 a.m. ADMISSION 4/-




Dancing Every Evening
Dave Muir and His Band
with Kim Paige

The management wish to intimate that gentlemen wearing extreme dress cannot be admitted.

Sabrina Trocadero ad


The meaning of "gentlemen wearing extreme dress" is explained further in the Evening Times (Scotland) 15 Mar 1956, page 2

Full Dress

The management of a new dance hall to be opened In Hamilton to-morrow night are making it clear right from the start that they want no "Teddy Boys" to patronise it.

In their announcements they have appended a note that "gentmen wearing extreme dress cannot be admitted."

There is no mention of women's dress; otherwise Sabrina; the TV star who is to be the guest at the opening might have difficulty in qualifying for admission — if the posters now on view in the town are anything to go by.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

10 March 1956 ( Mirror (Perth, WA)


LONDON, Today: Sabrina — the girl who gained fame and fortune by saying nothing — spoke up herself when she told Oldham Council to find somebody else to play Lady Godiva at its June carnival.

Well-built Sabrina won fame by appearing on a television programme with comedian Arthur Askey and saying nothing. The carnival committee tried for hours to persuade Sabrina to take the role. They tried flattery by telling her they had searched throughout Britain for someone beautiful, blonde and curvaceous, and how she had been unanimously selected. But Sabrina said: 'No; not at any price. I do lots of things for charity, but there are limits. 'Anyway, my mother would never approve. Think of the embarrassment and my professional status. 'I could never lower myself to appear in public like that.'

From The Mirror (Perth, 9 June 1956) -

 andrea Delayne replaces Sabrina as Lady Godiva 1956 " SABRINA WOULDN'T TAKE IT ON... SO ANDREA TOOK IT OFF!

Andrea Delayne, a Manchester lass, filled the bill as Lady Godiva for a Lancashire carnival when bosomy TV star Sabrina refused the role." Andrea rode Patsy, a 10 year old white mare in the carnival before 15,000 spectators. "When Andrea accepted, she had to take riding lessons as she had never ridden a horse. But it was worth it when Andrea, a 17-years-old model, topped the bill in her skin-tight costume and rocketed to fame over night. "

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

10 March 1956 - Argus , Melbourne

SABRINA, due at the premiere of the film "1984", turned up at the premiere of "A Town Like Alice" by mistake. "I'm not sorry, I had a lovely cry at this film," said Sabrina afterwards.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 March 1956 - Evening Times (Scotland)

Sabrina, the girl who "busted" her way to fame with a dumb act on television, breezed into Renfrew Airport to-day and gave passengers arriving and departing a surprise.

She stood shivering on the tarmac in an all-black outfit while photographers "shot" her. Read more.

Sabrina Breezes in at Renfrew 1956

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 March 1956

Sabrina appeared at the Grand Gala at the Trocadero Ballroom

Glamorous T/V star Sabrina surrounded by male admirers at the Trocadero Ballroom, when she made a personal appearance for the official opening of the dance hall.

From The Motherwell Times (Scotland) Friday 23 March, p.13

Radio-T/V Star Attends New Dance Hall Opening

To the strains of "Lovely to look at," Sabrina, the well-known B.B.C. and television star, mounted the band-stand of the Trocadero Ballroom, Hamilton, for the official opening last Friday evening. She was introduced by Dave Muir, resident musical director and manager of the ball-room.
Provost Mrs Mary Ewart performed the opening ceremony when she cut the ribbon which spanned the band-stand. She recalled a previous occasion when she had visited the site — a vacant piece of ground — and she complimented contractors, architects and the directors of the Trocadero on the remarkable transformation that had taken place.
Mrs Ewart said that she regarded dancing as a recreation that was unsurpassed, and she certainly hoped that the young people of Hamilton and surrounding districts would take advantage of the fact that the ballroom offered unrivalled opportunities for them to take part in this recreation.
Sabrina, in a brief speech, spoke of the warmth of the hospitality she had received on this her first visit to Scotland. She would remember, too, the scenes which she had witnessed on her arrival in Scotland and Hamilton. The star hoped that the ballroom would meet with every success in the future.
She appeared later in the evening when she danced to the music of Dave Muir and his Band.
For her arrival at the Trocadero, it was estimated that no fewer than 2,000 people lined the approaches to the building. When her car arrived and when she alighted, the spectators crowded round.
Similar scones of enthusiasm characterised Sabrina's entry into the ballroom...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 March 1956 - Lancashire Evening Post , p.1

SABRINA's "FIGURE" Sabrina's figure 1956

Sabrina, the glamorous TV and stage star has told Lytham St. Annes Baths Committee that she will be "delighted" to judge a personality girls contest this summer - for her usual 100 guinea fee. But the committee think that "too dear" and have cancelled the invitation.

Councillor W. Dewhirst, chairman, said: "She doesn't speak much and we wanted her to say only a few words and be there. I suppose her attitude is right if she can command that sort of money.

Publicity officer Miss Jean Williams who thought of inviting Sabrina, said: "We get a well-known personality to judge the contest each year and we thought Sabrina would be an obvious choice, particularly as she lives in Blackpool and will be appearing in a summer show there this season."
The committee is low looking for someone else to judge the contest, which will be at the open air baths on June 27th.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 March 1956 - Mirror , Perth, Western Australia

Sabrina in UK, Jayne Manfield in US... You may have seen Junita in Perth ...
Where will the battle of the bosoms ever end?

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 March 1956 - Mirror (Perth, WA)

Another battle of the bulge has broken out, this time between strapping, speechless, blonde television star Sabrina and her current rival Corinne Grey . They will meet at Blackpool soon to compare statistics: Sabrina 39-24-37, Corinne 25-23-35.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 March 1956

Sabrina's pet ambition 1956

Sabrina is in Glasgow, Scotland, to open a ballrom in Hamilton. Read the story.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

21 March 1956 - The Banbury Advertiser , p.1

WHILE both the Duke of Edinburgh and Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery have been suggested to perform the opening ceremony of the Banbury Rugby Club's new pavilion. the most applauded suggestion came from Vice-president, G.F. Barter, who responded to the toast to the Vice-presidents at the Club's annual dinner. Speaking very seriously, he said, "I feel we should have someone who commands the respect of us all. and I feel that we could do no better than ask a person honoured by all Rugger players - Sabrina !"


25 March 1956

"MEN do not like a woman to be cultured and clever, so I'm too smart to be anything but dumb" - Sabrina


25 March 1956

Sabrina running with Don Cornell.

Sabrina ran round Green Park, London yesterday - with American singer Don Cornell . He runs round the park most mornings, but finds it lonely without company. So yesterday (25.3.56) Sabrina went running too, Later, Don caught a plane to Glasgow. He is singing there in a show that opens tomorrow. He will still take his morning run - and he would still like company.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

29 March 1956 - The Stage , page 4

The Maitles theatre owners of Falkirk. Glasgow and Hamilton had Sabrina up to open their plushy new Trocadero dance hall at Hamilton.

She told me she had just turned down an offer to film in Italy.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines March 1956: Appears in PhotoPlay
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

1 April 1956 (Easter)

Sabrina appears as a celebrity on a cruise ship - and the attentions of the coal stokers nearly make the ship run out of steam.

Watch the Sabrina-parts of the video that appeared on the BBC in October 2015.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

2 April 1956 - Belfast News-Letter , p.4


Sabrina seeks shelter

Police had to be called to disperse the crowd when the TV star arrived at Ilfracome on the showboat Glen Usk from Bristol yesterday. She was greeted by the chairman of the local council, Mrs C.D. Norman. Sabrina was mobbed by thousands of holidaymakers and townspeople as she walked along the pier and quayside. The crowd was so dense that Sabrina had to take shelter in Mrs. Norman's house. Then several men tried to climb in through the windows of Mrs. Norman's house, clamouring for Sabrina's signature.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

5 April 1956 - The Stage , London. [Full article added 10 Sep 2017]

MET Sabrina, who flew north to open a new luxury ballroom for the Maitles family at Hamilton. She's an eyeful, too.
Miss Sykes, of Manchester, stopped the traffic in Hamilton's main street. Curiosity interest was intense.
I think it puzzling when you find the public idolising acts with looks and no particular talent. "I'm learning to dance, but I'm making an awful hash of it." Sabrina told me. She goes into Blackpool Hippodrome show this summer.


7 April 1956

Sabrina dancing in Scotland 1956

Och! Laddie...

Wee Angus was all of a dither when he took to the dance floor. In his arms was "silent" British TV star Sabrina. The Scots youth was lucky enough to have the first dance with her at a new ballroom at Hamilton (Scotland) which Sabrina officially opened.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 April, 1956- Evening Times (Scotland) - page 1

Sabrina and Mr Mac 1956


It isn't every day that you walk into the Weaver to Wearer tailor shop In Glasgow's Trongate and find Sabrina "in attendance." But Sabrina WAS there to-day to announce the winner of the firm's "Win a Suit" competition — smiling Mr John McDonald, of 180c Centre Street, Glasgow who wins TWO "Squire" suits.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 April 1956 - Sabrina's influence on 1950s Britain was profound in many sociological ways.

The Bulletin and Scots Pictorial posed the question: Are Scots women influenced by the curve cult, as personified by Sabrina?


10 April 1956: Sabrina was the guest of honour at the Savoy Luncheon at the Variety Club of Great Britain. She got newspaper headlines for actually speaking!

Read about the incident.


The only woman guest at the Variety Club of Great Britain's luncheon at the Savoy hotel today was Sabrina, the girl who says little but 'looks a lot.'


11 April 1956 - Daily Express Sabrina and Chief Film Censor

IT'S a sad reflection on show business. The Variety Club of Great Britain guests of honour, at its lunch yesterday, were Mr. Arthur Watkins, the chief film censor , Lord Mancroft, and Sabrina .
The menu proclaimed "The Scoop of 1956 — Sabrina Speaks."
Her speech began: "My maiden speech will be short and sweet. After all, if Grace Kelly only got a prince, I have got a king..."
[Presumably she was referring to Mr, Watkins, who was "King for a Day," the club's title for its chief guest.]
Sabrina put a paper crown on his head.
He replied : "O.K. this will get a U cert."

Sadly, this did not prevent 'Satan In High Heels' being banned in 1963 .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 April 1956 - The Stage , London

Miss (Corinne) Grey came into the news when she took over for Sabrina in 'Home James' recently.

Read more of how Sabrina refused to rehearse her 3 lines and was sacked .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 April 1956 - The Bulletin and Scots Pictorial, p.5

In an article about how British women take a smaller size in knitwear than other countries' women...

Commented chairman Bailie Matt A Murray Edinburgh: "Never mind if they have the tallest and bluest women in America — we always have Sabrina"


23 April 1956


Sabrina and her Stirling machine gun Sabrina, the girl with the so obvious silent charm, visited the British Industries Fair at Olympia yesterday and tried her skill the the "Sterling" sub-machine gun which is being produced for the British army and 33 other countries.

Sabrina set her sights on the target which consisted of tiny figures of Sabrina being chased by servicemen.


25 April 1956

Sabrina makes an appearance at the Norman Heath Testimonial Benefit Match.
She travelled around the pitch in an open car and kicked off the match.

Sabrina at the Norman Heath Benefit Match

Sabrina and Norman Heath

Sabrina at the Norman Heath Benefit Match

West Brom Manager Vic Buckingham

Sabrina at the Norman Heath Benefit Match

TV Star 'Sabrina' starts the match with Billy Wright and Manager Vic Buckingham (left).

Thanks to The Guy From the Netherlands for finding these new pix! (19jul2012)

Sabrina - with soccer boy

Thanks to Steve Page for the pic above.

And in 2021, another from the same event...

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

April 1956: Appears on cover of Carnival (see her other covershots here )

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes


11 May 1956 - The Sheffield Riot incident occurs. Read all about it .

Beaver Valley Times - 14 May 1956

SHEFFIELD: Sabrina spent a terrifying hour Friday [11 May 1956] when a mob of youths tried to strip her at a store opening ceremony. A crowd of 4000 stamped and shouted as the blonde Sabrina, her 39-24-36 figure poured almost into a form-fitting dress, arrived to open a tailor shop .

Dozens of youths rushed her, knowing down women and children and clawing at her clothing. A generous portion of the dress was ripped away and Sabrina was bruised and scratched. Two persons fainted in the crush before police arrived to escort the cause of it all away.

'It was the most terrifying hour of my life,' she said.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

17 May 1956 - The Stage (p.5)

At the Golden Jubilee Concert of the Variety Artiste's Ladies Guild and Orphanage at the Princes on Sunday...

Even the seven comedians fell into line by repeating similar jokes, chiefly about Sabrina, before joining the majority in finishing off with a song.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 May 1956 - Lancaster Guardian - Friday, p.7


Sabrina, the noted television personality who draws crowds where ever she puts in an appearance, will visit Lancaster tomorrow morning to open a new men's tailoring department at the firm of Hardy and Co. (Furnishers) Ltd. in Brock Street.
Already people are whispering, "Sabrina is coming" and she is likely to arouse considerable interest as she drives through the city to Brock Street from a Morecambe hotel.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 May 1956 - reported in the Lancaster Guardian on Friday 25 May , p.7

[Sabrina turns 20]

Sabrina's visit stops the traffic

SABRINA, the Television personality, made a "hit" with Lancaster people on her 20th birthday last Saturday, when large crowds saw her open a new men's tailoring department at the Brock Street premises of Hardy and Co. (Furnishers). Ltd.
Hundreds of people swarmed around her car as it came to a standstill outside the store. As she stepped out and walked up to the main doorway, a policeman struggled to hold back eager fans. She was introduced by the branch manager, Mr. W. K. Cussons, and was presented with a bouquet by Mrs. Cussons. The crowd rushed across the road to get a closer look and the street was completely blocked for a few minutes.


Sabrina then cut a tape to open the new department and as she was photographed sitting in a siesta chair near the windows the pressure of the crowd outside caused the large sheets of glass to creek [sic]. Hundreds of people queued up for Sabrina's autograph. As she left the premises the crowds again surged round her car.
Sabrina had had quite a hectic time in getting to Lancaster. The car in which she travelled from London to Blackpool on the Friday evening had a break-down and she did not arrive at her Blackpool hotel until 4 a.m. on Saturday morning. There was only about three hours sleep before her journey to Lancaster.

Sabrina visits Lancaster and stops traffic


Shop window centre of attraction at Hardy and Company's Store. Lancaster, on Saturday, was television personality Sabrina, who opened a new men's tailoring department. Here in view of an admiring crowd she is pictured with the Store manager, Mr W.K. Cussons.


24 May 1956

In an article on Scottish bakeries, The Scottish Bulletin reported that you can get cakes with colour pictures made of icing.

"The other week they even put Sabrina on a cake for a boy's twenty-first birthday"


26 May 1956 - Presents twentieth Gold Collar Classic Final Trophy at Catford.

Sabrina - Norma Sykes

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 June 1956 - The Stage , page 3

Sabrina is a spectator at the second annual golf challenge match for charity at Butlins, Clacton on Sunday [3 June].

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

9 June 1956 - As a dvertised in the 'Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser ', Sabrina makes a personal appearance at at the Pavilion, Bath with Teddy Foster and his band. It cost 6 shillings at the door.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

14 June 1956 - The Stage , London. Full article added 10 Sep 2017.

Sabrina at the Garage

At Hatch End. Middlesex, last week. Sabrina had the unique experience of opening a new garage and service station designed by last year's Mayor of Harrow, an architect, whose interest in the theatre is well known locally. Police controlled a large cheering crowd when Sabrina arrived but while signing autographs after the ceremony, she was mobbed by a section of the crowd and had to escape through a back door.


14 June 1956 - Attends the premiere of Diana Dors movie "Yield To The Night" at the Carlton Theatre, Haymarket. Watch the newsreel (AVI, 4MB)


Sabrina attends the film premiere of "YIELD TO THE NIGHT"

Glamorous TV star SABRINA seens as she arrived at the Carlton Theatre last night to attend the premiere of the filn "YIELD TO THE NIGHT" in which Diana Dors plays the part of a murderess.

Sabrina attends the premiere of Diana Dors movie "Yield To The Night"

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

On 20 June 1956 The Herald-Press (USA) printed the photo above and reported:

ENGLISH ACTRESS Sabrina, whose daring gowns have caused some chin-wagging, is shown arriving for premier of "Yield to the Night" in a London theater. Note her unusual hairdo.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 June 1956 - Mirror (Perth, WA) expanded in Daily Mirror 31 May 1955.

Sabrina sings

Sabrina's singing lesson was scheduled for 3:15pm.
"This girl is very keen," said singing teacher Maurice Burman. "She's never late."

He was right. Sabrina appeared on the dot - dressed as if for a garden party. Read the rest of the story.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 June 1956 - Daily Mirror

In parliament, a fund-raising lottery introduced by Harold McMacmillan in the recent budget was was attacked by Labour MP Harold Wilson.

Mr WILLIAM ROSS (Lab., Kilmarnock) said that the prize draws should take place on TV.
When he asked : "Is the Chancellor going to preside?" there were Labour cries of " Sabrina ."
Mr. Ross: Maybe it will be Sabrina maybe, Dame Irene Ward (Tory M.P for Tynemouth).

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

June 1956 - Double Feature , Beautiful Britons #8

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

30 June 1956 - Lancashire Evening Post , p.5


ON an evening when Channel Nine was churning out a routine programme. B.B.C. put what modest distinction there was into last night's viewing...
Then there was "This Will Make You Laugh," a preview of to-night's opening of yet another of Blackpool's star-studded summer shows.
Broad humour was the key-note, and it is safe to proclaim this as an entertainment which will get easy laughs from audiences in holiday mood. I'm not sure whether it was Show Business history in the making to see and hear Sabrina sing, first a straight little piece with the orchestra and then to the eccentric accompaniment of those musical clowns, the Nitwits.
She also acted in a sketch, in which chief honours went to the other two stars in the bill. Tessie O'Shea and Nat Jackley, each exploiting their individual styles with gusto.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

July 1956: Sabrina and Corinne - Span #23

July 1956 : When Sabrina was shot in the nude! Lowdown

July 28, 1956: What now for Sabrina? - Picturegoer

July 1956 - Elementary My Dear Watson , Point

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

5 July 1956 - Daily Mirror

SABRINA should have judged a beauty contest at Lytham St. Anne's last week — but the Council turned her down.
Instead, red-haired Joan Edwards — hostess of ABC-TV's "Number Please" — took over.
Why the snub to shapely Sabrina?
She demanded a fee of 100 guineas.
Joan appeared for nothing.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

5 July 1956 - The Stage , page 4

... With Sabrina at the Hippodrome, Corinne [Grey] on the Central Pier, and Tessie O'Shea also at the Hippodrome, someone suggests Blackpool's 1956 slogan should be BLACKPOOL AND BUST! . . .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 July 1956 , Radio Review - Added 10 Sept 2005

Sabrina in fishnets

VIP access

Caught by the camera at her make-up mirror is one of TV's most famous figures, Sabrina. She will appear with Arthur Askey in "Before Your Very Eyes" the London CTV show, at 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 July 1956 - Mirror (Perth, WA)

Keen Fans
LONDON - Thieves stole Sabrina's photograph from a West Bromwich showcase.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 July 1956 - Shields Daily News - Saturday, p.5

Then Sabrina sang

THE show on television was entitled "This Will Make You Laugh."
Then Sabrina began singing. My dog began howling. Of the two, my dog was the more tuneful.
Sabrina wins her place in entertainment because she is a shapely lass. At present, she is displaying her charms to holidaymakers at Blackpool.
Carefree people on holiday may forgive Sabrina as she struggles through a song, but not viewers at home.

11 July 1956 - Daily Mirror

Oh, for a muse
By Donald Zac

I see that SABRINA, that top-heavy blonde of no particular talent, is going to speak at a Woman of the Year lunch alongside Miss ROSE HEILBRON, Q.C, and DAME EDITH EVANS, This should be quite a remarkable feat for Sabrina... unaccustomed as she is to public speaking.
So now let me tell about the day she gave a private little drama performance...just for me.

It was at her flat in Fulham, S.W. Her mother sat on the bed. Her father sat in an armchair. Sabrina sat on the floor.
"Recite a little Shakespeare for me," I said.
"Go on," I coaxed.
"Sabrina — say some Shakespeare for Mr Zac!" scolded her mother.
"Oh, all right then," she pouted.
"Oh ... oh for a muse of fire," she began.
Then she dried up.
"Go on," I said encouragingly.
"I'm hungry," she grumbled. "Mum - Can I have a ham sandwich?"

End of Shakespeare.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

12 July 1956 - The Stage , London, p.6 (full article added 21 Sep 2017)


THE season show at Blackpool Hippodrome, presented by Tom Arnold and Jack Taylor, is living up to its title, "This'll Make You Laugh," with Tessie O'Shea, Nat Jackley, Sabrina and the Nitwits heading an excellent company.
Tessie O'Shea has played many seasons in Blackpool and is as popular as ever. Nat Jackley is also at home and his material and facial expressions were never funnier.

Sabrina is rather a surprise, for she has more to do than usual and her work with the Nitwits, who are in top form with their mad music, is also most entertaining. Arthur Worsley, the ventriloquist, as usual, is very impressive, and Marianne Lincoln has great fun with the audience. Allen Modley's comedy imitating Wilfred Pickles, Margo Barry, vocalist, and the Television Toppers are other acceptable features of a successful show.
Richard Afton is producer, and Jack Walker musical director.

17 July 1956 - Appears on Before Your Very Eyes 8.30 - 9.00 pm
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 July 1956 - Variety (U.S.A.), p.48

Gimmick angle is seen in two shows. Sabrina (Norma Sykes), "dumb blonde" of British TV, is featured in an undistinguished song- spot in "This'll Make You Laugh," the Tom Arnold-Jack Taylor revue at the Hippodrome cinema. Corinne (Corinne Grey) does an s.a. walk-on* in the Central Pier show. Both gals were shot to fame because of tv spotlighting. And both personify current sex-cum-glamor slant in Britain, so much that Blackpool is said to have found a new 1956 slogan in "Blackpool and Bust."

*I have no idea what this means.


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 July 1956 - The Stage , page 3


More than 140 stars of television will be at Sudbury on Sunday afternoon to play cricket, run side-shows and impromptu entertainments for the Stars Organisation for Spastics...

In addition to the celebrity cricketers, those expected include Winfred Atwell. Dora Bryan, Phyllis Calvert, Leslie Caron, Chin Vu, Alma Cogan, Hazel Court, Joan Crawford, Bebe Daniels, Sandra Dorne, Maudie Edwards, Vera- Ellen, Hy Hazell. Barbara Kelly, Vera Lynn, Jeann Marsh. Kim Parker. Beryl Reid. Thelma Ruby, Sabrina , Dorothy Tutin and Yana...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 July 1956

Ramsbottom Rides Again is in cinemas

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 July 1956 - The Stage (London)

Sabrina, who surprises many by the strength of her contributions to the Arnold/Taylor Blackpool Hippodrome summer show, is having her portrait painted by Blackpool Art Society president Fred Wood . Sabrina's most vital feature is her beautifully-formed mouth, opines the painter


Sabrina has signed up with MCA.

I have no idea who MCA is. Any ideas?

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

10 August 1956 - Northern Whig , Friday

Women of the Year
Busy man this week is Mr. Charles Scott-Paton, secretary of the Great London Fund for the Blind. He is sending out letters and invitation cards to 600 distinguished women.
Mr Scott-Paton is chief organiser of the second annual "Women of the year" luncheon which is being held at the Savoy next month in aid of the blind.
Nearly all women In Britain who have made some notable achievement in the past year are being invited. The rest of the guest list is made up from a "pool" of names of distinguished ladies.

(Miss Norma Sykes) has also accepted an invitation...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes 15 August 1956 - Skegness Standard - Wednesday, p.3

Skegness Foreshore Director, Mr. W.G.Bosworth, has now heard from Sabrina , whom he knew as Norma Sykes when he lived on the Fylde coast, that she cannot accept an invitation to crown the Skegness Carnival Queen in September.

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

11 August 1956: Appears in 'Blighty'

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 August 1956 - Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail , p.1

The fall-out from the Sheffield traffic blockage kerfuffle lands up in court. A brief hearing has the case adjourned until 14 September.


ON the application of the prosecution, summonses arising from the "personal appearance" at Sheffield of Sabrina, the variety artist, on May 11, when she opened a new shop in the centre of the city, were adjourned by Sheffield magistrates today until September 14.
Town Tailors Ltd. trading as "Weaver to Wearer", of Margate, Leeds. were accused of wilfully obstructing the free passage of Haymarket, Sheffield, and Public Relations Services. Ltd., of Virginia Street. Leeds. were accused of aiding and abetting.
When the case was called Mr. C. O. Adams said that the prosecution could not proceed today, as two of the witnesses were unable to attend. He asked for an adjournment for three weeks.
Mr. K. I. Mitchell, representing both firms, said he had no objection to the adjournment.
He added that he might have to ask for the date to be changed, as it was necessary for a certain witness to be called.
One was "a well-known" personality known as Sabrina who was appearing in Blackpool. He was agreeable to the case standing over "provided the date is suitable for her."

Follow the court appearance on 25 September after the adjournment .

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

29 August 1956

Sabrina helps judge a bathing beauty contest in Morcambe with Ben Lyon and Dickie Valentine, Bebe Daniels and Charles Eade before a crowd of 6,059 people. The winner of the £1,000 title was Iris Waller.

Visit British Pathé to see the newsreel.


1 September 1956

Sabrina has a wee tipple

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes



4 September 1956

Sabrina portait Fred Wood 4Sept56

Actress Sabrina being painted by artist Fred Wood in an art gallery of Blackpool.

Another article mentioned that the painting had "that certain 3-D effect."

The Aberdeen Evening Express (Thursday 6 September 1956, p4) added:

Lucky Blackpool! Not only can citizens and holidaymakers see SABRINA in person; they'll also be able to view her on canvas when this portrait — painted by FRED WOOD — is on show at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool. The shapely Sabrina posed for Fred in her leisure time from her starring role in the the show "This'll Make You Laugh" at the Blackpool Hippodrome.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

1956 photoshoot newsreel of Sabrina in glorious technicolour - yes, folks! People who lived before 1960 did have flesh tones!

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines

15 September 1956: Why Sabrina Won't Talk , Picture Week


Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines September 1956: England's Jayne Mansfield - People
Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

19 September 1956 - Daily Express

Sabrina tally-ho unearths an earl

THE 21-year-old Earl of Wharncllffe, in blazer, flannels, and yellow pullover, was chased for a quarter of a mile through the centre of Sheffield yesterday by a crowd of shrieking women.
It was all because of a mix-up over Sabrina. the shapely TV girl.
The earl was up in court for a driving offence. And Sabrina is due to appear in the same court as a witness in a few days' time.
When photographers gathered outside the court yesterday, the whisper went round, "Sabrina is there."

They jostled

In a few minutes hundreds of women were jamming the footpaths and jostling each other in the hope of seeing Sabrina.
"Is this reception for me?" said fhe earl, about, to leave the court. He dodged but of a side door. But when the crowd spotted him running, they chased after him.
And they did not give up until he told them who he was and assured them he had nothing io do with Sabrina.

The earl was convicted yesterday for the sixth time in a year for a motoring oftcnce. He was accused of driving without due care and attention, and fined £3, with costs.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

21 September 1956 - Daily Express

OUT — as a speaker at next week's Woman of the Year luncheon a the Savoy: Sabrina .
IN — Gladys Morgan, 55-year-old Swansea-born comedienne.

Others whose voices will be heard at the lunch: the Marchioness of Lothian, Dame Edith Evans, Miss Rose Heilbron, Q.C.

More on the Savoy incident

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 September 1956 - Daily Mirror

Sabrina outside court Sabrina finally appears in court regarding the traffic jam and near-riot when she made a personal appearance in Sheffield on 11 May .

After the hearing, Mr Mitchell said an appeal was being considered.
Said Sabrina: "It was much more nerve-wracking to appear in court than in front of the TV camera."

(Lancashire Evening Post )

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 September 1956 - The Bulletin and Scots Pictorial, page 1

Sabrina in Court 1956


Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

28 September 1956 - Daily Express Sabrina snubbed at the Savoy, September 1956

At the "Women of the Year" luncheon at the Savoy yesterday...

There had, of course, to be an incident. Miss Norma Sykes, better known to TV viewers as Sabrina, walked out during the lunch when she found she wasn't being asked to speak.

THEN she sat in an adjoining room and SPOKE: "It was all announced in the papers that I was to speak so I got a drama teacher to coach me. I am terribly disappointed after all that hard work."

Lady Lothian, who was chairman. told me: "I told Miss Sykes that we had already devised a list of guest speakers and that, owing to the difficulty of her getting down to London from the North we had dropped the idea of her speaking at the lunch."

Read all about this Sabrina Incident

(Don't confuse this sad Savoy event with the pleasant Variety Club event from Apr##il 1956 .)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

29 September 1956 - Melbourne Argus ##

The Language Of Blondes - an article on Diana Dors, and Sabrina's luncheon rejection. All we know of the speech is, "It is indeed an honor to be here today surrounded as I am by so many distinguished people."

Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines 13 October 1956: What I Think About Men - TV Mirror

October 1956: Cover and article , Picture Digest - nudie card disclosures!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

13 October 1956 - Daily Mirror

Arthur [Askey] explained how he gave Sabrina her dumb-blonde start at an audition: When she was in front of the camera she STOOD OUT, he said.

15 October 1956 -Four thousand people turned out to see Sabrina at Birkenhead, resulting in a massive traffic jam. It turned into a near-riot when her dress strap broke. Read about the Birkenhead Incident .


SABRINA, television and stage "dumb blonde" was ill in bed with "shock" yesterday after a stampede of fans when her neckline plunged — by accident.
She was coming out of a Birkenhead cinema after a personal appearance, when someone stepped on the train of her evening gown.
Both shoulder straps broke. A shrieking crowd of fans surged forward...

Sabrina in Shock!

Sabrina recovers after the Birkenhead incident

According to Exposed , "Insiders still affirm that it had been staged by Sabrina's own press agents."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

15 October 1956 - The Bulletin and Scots Pictorial

Sabrina Still Shaken

SABRINA was still "shaken and sick" yesterday after being mobbed by a crowd of 1000 outside a Birkenhead (Cheshire) cinema on Saturday night. She was pushed and fell against her car and her shoulder straps gave way.

Last night she went to Blackpool to discuss with her mother whether to appear at Leeds Empire to-night.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

16 October 1956 - St Petersburg Times (Florida), p.11

Morals and Manners

Sabrina, whose pinup-type figure is a byword amonng British TV audiences, was leaving a theatre in Birkenhead, Eng., when a crowd closed in on her. Someone stood on the train of her skin-tight gown and some-one else pushed her. There was a loud ripping sound and Sabrina atood for a moment naked to the waist, then screamed and fainted. In bed in her hotel room suffering from shock, Sabrina complained: "This has been my worst experience. I just feel like going home to Mother."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

18 October 1956 - The Stage , p.3

Cancelled Engagement

Sabrina has had to cancel her appearance at Leeds Empire this week. She is suffering from concussion after an accident at Birkenhead last week, when the crowd got out of hand.

 a Sabrina Incident

October 1956: Sabrina was on the bill for the 1956 Royal Command Variety Performance in London as a 'surprise artist'. Sadly, the performance was cancelled. Liberace was in tears, and Sabby was disappointed. Read more about the incident.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes
Sabrina appears in the programme

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

24 October 1956 - Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday, p1

Liberace, Sabrina and Oliviers for Command

LIBERACE, the American pianist, and his brother George are to appear in the Royal Command performance at the Palladium on November 5th.

There is an International flavour to the list of artists who are to appear in addition to Liberace. America is represented by comedian Jerry Colonna. From Spain, there is Antonio and his Spanish ballet company, who are now appearing in London, and Paris sends Patachou, the fabulous cabaret artist.


They will all be making their first Appearance a Royal Command performance. So too will Sir Laurence Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh. Command veterans who are to appear again include the Crazy Gang, Billy Cotton and Tommy Trinder. There are several pop singers, including Alma Cogan and David Whitfield.
The list of artistes appearing for the first time is as follows: Antonio and his Spanish ballet company; Jerry Colonna; Eric Delaney and band; the Frediani Trio; Holger and Dolores: Dickie Henderson; Liberace and George Liberace; Vivien Leigh; Ben Lyon; Alicia Markova; Chic Murray and Madie; the Morriston Orpheus Choir; Bob Monkhouse; John Mills; Sid Millward and the Nitwits; Sir Laurence Olivier; Beryl Reid; Sabrina, and George Tapps and his dancers.


Artists who have already appeared at Command performances are Arthur Askey, Winifred Atwell, Max Bygraves, Alma Cogan, the Crazy Gang, the George Garden dancers, Billy Cotton, Tommy Cooper, Jerry Desmonde, Gracie Fields, Eddie Gray, the George Melachrino orchestra, Alfred Marks, Brian Reece, Harry Secombe, Terry-Thomas, the John Tiller Girls, Tommy Trinder, Dicky Valentine, Jimmy Wheeler, Jack Warner and David Whitfield.
Not all the artists will be in individual items. Some will appear in "surprise" sketches and production scenes.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 October 1956 - Daily Mirror


AT a theatrical party recently, Anna Hawkings claimed to be able to name every other woman's perfume. Guessing correctly, she went round the room until she came to lovely Sabrina, famous TV and stage star. Contrary to her reputation for silence Sabrlna was the centre of an animated group.

Miss Hawkings sniffed, leaned nearer, and sniffed again. "Obviously a French perfume," she said, "and a delightful one, but I'm baffled. It's new to me."
Sabrina smiled, "I'm not wearing perfume from a bottle," she said, "It's my new French Pink soap and talc. Of course the perfume is imported from Paris. That's why it's so French and exciting."

Was that why so many people were clustering around her? Well, it was certainly one reason

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 October 1956 - Melbourne Argus

Sabrina is a surprise selection for the 1956 Royal Variety performance. Full article.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 October 1956 - Daily Mirror , by Clifford Davis

Sabrina Turns Up - Twice

A NEW slimmed down Sabrina comes to ITV tonight. But for good measure she will appear twice.
First she shows up at 7.30 in the "Take Your Pick" quiz show. An hour later she pops up again with Arthur Askey for the opening edition of his new comedy series.

Exercises and a daily road run have nipped a good 4in. off Sabrina's waist, and the girl you'll see tonight can now boast a 19in, waist.

But, don't worry chaps - Sabrina's other measurements remain the same... 39in.
For her first appearance in "Take Your Pick" Sabrina helps out one of the competitors in a forfeit imposed on him by quiz master Michael Miles .
It sounds as though the penalty will be a pleasure.
In the Arthur Askey show — first to be seen over the whole ITV network — Sabrina, as usual, won't have much to say.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

26 October 1956 - Ottawa Citizen, p.56

U.K. Facing New Shortage Variety Acts

LONDON (CP) — Topping the bill at Britain's famous Royal Variety Performance next month will be such non-variety performers as a Shakespearean actor and a statuesque blonde who rarely talks or sings.

The reason, says show organizer Harry Marlow, is that Britain no longer has sufficient big-name variety acts to fill the bill.

"I know there will be complaints," said Marlow, secretary of the Variety Artists Benevolent Fund, after announcing the list of performers invited to appear before the Queen November 5.

The list includes Sir Laurence Olivier, Britain's leading Shakespearean actor; his wife, Vivien Leigh; American pianist Liberace, and Sabrina, whose major assets are her measurements of 39-23-30.

"The answer to the complaints is that, there just aren't enough variety acts to fill the bill — not enough, at any rate, of the sort of names we need to justify charging up to 20 guineas for a ticket.

"It becomes a bigger problem every year. There are plenty of good acts going around the country but either we've used them too often, or they don't yet mean enongh to the public to warrant a place on the bill."

As a sign that variety is not totally dead, the bill includes such veteran music hall favorites as Gracie Fields, bandleader Billy Cotton and comedians Arthur Askey and Tommy Trinder.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

31 October 1956 - Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday , p6

Read the whole article in which Arthur Firth defends Sabrina's right to appear at the Command show.

Sabrina at Command Show? Why not?

NOT since, Joe Louis pounded Max Schmelling under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden has anyone taken a beating quite like Sabrina. But the amazing thing is that Sabrina is still on her feet. She is on them so firmly that she has just achieved her biggest triumph — a solo spot in the Royal Variety Command Performance at the London Palladium....

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes Appears with Arthur Askey in the movie Ramsbottom Rides Again .
Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes) in magazines November 1956: Eye Stopper from Britain , Adventure Magazine

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes The Samba Sabrina ? You bet! She was a 1956 cultural icon and here is the proof! Click the pic to enter the competition and record the Samba Sabrina !

And as for the lyrics, it's not too hard: "Sa-bri-na.... Sa-bri-na"

4 November 1956 - Sabrina rehearses with the Crazy Gang, including Max Bygraves, for the Royal Variety Performance

Sabrina's prepares her top hat performance at the Palladium 
Sabrina's prepares her top hat performance at the Palladium
Sabrina's prepares her top hat performance at the Palladium

5 November 1956 - Sabrina chats to Liberace and Max Bygraves after the royal performance was cancelled

Sabrina chats to Liberace and Max Bygraves

Bigger pic found and linked on April 2016

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 November 1956

Sabrina gets a TOP LEVEL ORDER

LONDON, Monday: The Queen will meet a toned-down Sabrina at tonight's Royal Variety show. The girl with the 40in. superstructure, who planned to wear a new deep decolletage creation, has been told by producer Val Parnell: "Cover up or flatten out. Your dress is too low for the Queen." Sabrina had intended to throw a cape over her shoulders for the presentation, but Parnell ordered: "No cape - more dress."

"It's too late to get another new dress," pouted Sabrina, "and how do I flatten out? And if I do it I won't be me any more. They might as well have got any ordinary girl."

(Found in The Argus)

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

6 November 1956 - Daily Express

The time is 3.55 yesterday afternoon. Val Parnell steps up to the microphone on the stage of the London Palladium to announce "a shattering message from Buckingham Palace."

The cast of stars for the Royal Variety Show had been rehearsing their acts, were assembling for the finale when the blow fell.

Read more about the aftermath of the cancelled 1956 Royal Variety performance

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

7 November 1956 - Star-News

Liberace has run across a British phenomenon named Sabrina, reportedly England's answer to Dagmar. and will feature the girl in his Las Vegas engagement next season.


7 November 1956 - At the premiere of 'Moby Dick'

Sabrina at the premiere of Moby Dick - 7 Nov 1956

Sabrina at the premiere of Moby Dick - 7 Nov 1956

With feathers in her hair, on on her dress - lovely SABRINA is pictured on her arrival for last night's premiere of the film "Moby Dick" - at the Warner Theatre. [Pic upgraded May 2016]

Sabrina wears feathered ear decorations to match the trimming on her dress as she arrives for the premiere of the film "Moby Dick" at the Warner Theatre , London , this evening , England.

Damn, I bet those feathers tickled some fancies that night...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

12 November 1956 - Daily Mirror

WE were reminiscing — Eamonn Andrews and I [Donald Zec] — about the biggest surprise in our lives, when the subject curved quite naturally around Sabrina.

"That girl will become one of Britain's top personalities," Eamonn forecast. "She's intelligent and learning fast."
Now the idea of Sabrina being the "Bust with the Brains" had never occurred to me.
For me, she was just a prodigious piece of chest expansion - a forty-inch substitute for earnest conversation.
But as Eamonn is no layman when it comes to beauty-spotting I went out in search of the new Sabrina.

Read more about the new 1956 Sabrina.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

15 November 1956 - The Stage , London, p.5

Edward Mann , scenic designer for Frank Fortescue's company at the Windsor Theatre, Bearwood, had a free lunch at the Dorchester last week, when he was one of six people chosen by the "Sunday Dispatch" to meet Sabrina. Mann's name was the first Charles Eades "Sunday Dispatch" editor, drew from a pile 0f 20,000. Back at work this weed, Mann said: Sabrina has a very fine personality. Having lunch with her was a pleasure."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

29 November 1956 - The Stage , London, page 5


... Denis Goodwin, Jon Pertwee, Hy Hazell, Thora Hird, Donald Houston, Paul Carpenter, Kim Parker, Janette Scott, Peggy Mount, Sabrina , Brian Rix and many others, who also did yeoman service throughout the night running the Tombola, auctioneering gifts, selling raffle tickets and autographs.

Editor's Note: "Stars go gay in aid of spastics" is not a headline you are likely to see any more!

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

13 December 1956 - The Stage , page 3

Variety Artistes Ladies' Guild Ball Success...

The Golden Jubilee Dinner and Ball of the Variety Artistes Ladies' Guild and Orphanage was an unqualified success. with some thousand attending the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, on Sunday...

The dancing went on until the early hours of the morning and among those seen enjoying it were Sabrina , Mrs Alex Neil (of the Bedford County and Luton Grand), Robert Nesbitt, Mrs Audrey Devon, Al Hunt and many more...

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

20 December 1956 - Daily Mirror

Fair Sabrina made her disc behind locked doors in Bond-street a few days ago. Afterwards I joined her to listen to the play back. And she wasn't looking too happy.

"Chest trouble," smiled World Record Club recording manager, Norman Newell .

"A cold on the chest," corrected Sabrina, who had her larynx syringed by Noel Coward's doctor before the session.

But the result was pleasing. "Just the sexy voice we want," said Mr. Newell. It's a breathy come-hither voice that could almost steam up your glasses. An intimate talk rather than an attempt to sing, although she has been persevering for two months with lessons.

The song, "Persuade Me " which has a line that says "everything points to you..."

Verdict: Another way to get curves in the grooves.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

25 December 1956 - According to the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail (5 November 1957, p.8)

Sabrina appears as the Good Fairy in "Puss In Boots."

<< Back | Home | Next >>

All original content copyright © nylon.net
All Rights Reserved.

Last Changed: Wednesday 2023-07-12 13:44 href="/sabrina/index.html"> Back to Sabrina's home page

Wednesday 2023-07-12 13:44Wednesday 2023-07-12 13:44