Ugly Dave Gray

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Ugly Dave Gray
Graham David Taylor

(1933-12-26) 26 December 1933 (age 89)
  • Actor
  • television personality
  • comedian
  • compere and radio host
Years active1963—present
ChildrenLisa and David Gray

Graham David Taylor (born 26 December 1933), known better as Ugly Dave Gray, is an English Australian actor, television personality, comedian, game show host, and radio host.

Early life[edit]

Born Graham David Taylor, he transposed his first and middle names to come up with "Dave Gray". The "Ugly" part came from his first wife, Gail Gray, who joked that Gray was so ugly, he made her look attractive.[1] He became active as a comedian in his native England in the 1960s, before arriving in Australia.


His first television gig in Australia was in 1972, when he hosted a version of the game show Beat the Clock. Although still working as a stand-up comedian, by 1976, Gray had taken a straight dramatic role as publican Bunny Howard in the early episodes of soap opera The Young Doctors. The following year, however, Gray appeared in his most popular role, as a regular panelist on the game show Blankety Blanks.[2] He proceeded to leave his role in The Young Doctors after his initial 13-week contract expired to work on Blankety Blanks, with Graham Kennedy himself convincing Gray to do the game show.[3] Gray had been receiving $100 a day for The Young Doctors; with Blankety Blanks paying $45 an episode, this represented a pay cut.[4] Later, Gray signed with agent Harry M Miller, who negotiated the increased pay rate of $75 per episode, which remained until the series ended.[5]

Gray was appointed Court Jester to 1977 King of Moomba Mickey Mouse (a controversial choice with some Melburnians, who preferred 'home-grown' Blinky Bill).[6]

With his ever-present cigar, Gray became one of the most popular comedians on Australian TV. He became a game-show host in his own right, helming Celebrity Tattle Tales from 1979–80, and Play Your Cards Right from 1984-85. Gray also appeared in a series of commercials for Half Case supermarkets in the 1980s, as well as spots for other products, including an erectile dysfunction nasal spray in 2003.[7]


In the 1980s, Gray also presented a drive-time radio program on 3UZ, with Mary Hardy.


According to Gray's autobiography, It's Funny Being Ugly, Gray was not invited to speak at Graham Kennedy's funeral in 2005, and indeed did not know where the service was being held. He had to call presenter Philip Brady for details.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Ugly Dave Gray has two children, a daughter and a son. His son, also called Dave Gray, is following in his father's footsteps as a comedian.[9]

In 2011, Gray announced that he wished to be cryogenically frozen after death.[10]


List of albums, with certifications
Title Album details Certifications
Gray and Spicy. Boom! Boom!
  • Released: 1977
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: Crest International (CRIN-TV-123)
Gray and Spicy. Boom! Boom!
  • Released: October 1977
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: Crest International (CRIN-TV-130)


Title Year Role
In Melbourne Tonight (TV series) 1969–1970 Host
The Ernie Sigley Show (TV series) 1974 Himself (guest artist)
Ted Hamilton's Musical World (TV series) 1974 Himself
Frontline 1994 Himself
"The Penthouse Club" (TV series) 1974 Himself
"The Graham Kennedy Show" 1973–1975 Himself
"Celebrity Squares" (TV series – Game Show) Himself (contestant)
"Dinah! (TV series) 1976 Himself
"Blankety Blanks" (TV series) 1977–1978 Himself – Panellist
"Celebrity Tattle Tales" (TV series) Himself – Host
"The Daryl Somers Show" 1982–1983 Himself
"Play Your Cards Right" (TV series) 1984 Himself – Host
"Vaudeville (TV movie documentary) 1992
"Breaking News" (TV series) 1994 Himself
"Burke's Backyard" 1996 Celebrity Gardener
"The Micallef P(r)ogram(me)" (TV series) 2001 Himself as Guest
"Double the Fist" (TV series) 2004 Himself
"Graham Kennedy: Farewell to the King" (TV movie) 2005 Himself
"Temptation" (TV series) 2006 Contestant
"I Will Not Go Quietly" (Documentary) Himself
"The Hamster Wheel" (TV series) Himself – Guest
Title Year Role
"The Young Doctors" (TV series) 1976 Bunny Howard
"All at Sea" 1977 Dick Goscomb
"Gettin' Square" 2003 Jack Cullan

References in popular culture[edit]

Gray was portrayed by Angus Sampson in the 2007 television movie The King, about the life of Graham Kennedy.


  1. ^ Ugly Dave Gray, It's Funny Being Ugly New Holland 2008 p. 86
  2. ^ "Ugly Dave's Gray-ve plan". The Gold Coast Bulletin. Australia. 13 December 2010. p. 17.
  3. ^ Gray, Dave. It's Funny Being Ugly, New Holland Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-74110-409-2. pp 125-6
  4. ^ Gray, Dave. It's Funny Being Ugly, New Holland Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-74110-409-2 p 126
  5. ^ Gray, Dave. It's Funny Being Ugly, New Holland Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-74110-409-2 p 133.
  6. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people.: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) PDF pp 17-22
  7. ^ "Impotent to get money back". 4 December 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  8. ^ Gray, Dave. It's Funny Being Ugly, New Holland Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-74110-409-2 p 224
  9. ^ "David Gray - Stand-Up Comedian". Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  10. ^ Jeffrey, James (13 December 2010). "Strewth". The Australian. p. 13.
  11. ^ "Grey Turns Gold" (PDF). Billboard. 24 September 1977. p. 54. Retrieved 10 November 2021 – via World Radio History.

External links[edit]