Dave Allen documentary commissioned by BBC Two

Dave Allen Allen never revealed how he came to lose the top joint of his left index finger

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Irish comedian Dave Allen is to be honoured by the BBC with a special documentary celebrating his life and career.

The one-hour programme will feature previously unseen archive footage of the comic, who died in 2005 aged 68.

It will also include interviews with friends and colleagues, among them Dame Maggie Smith, Steven Berkoff and the director Stephen Frears.

Dave Allen Night will be broadcast on BBC Two next month.

The documentary will see the cast and crew of the comedian's best known show - Dave Allen At Large - reunite to talk about their memories of working on the programme.

Gilly Hall, Entertainment Commissioning Executive, called Allen "an inspired and extraordinary comedian" who was "ahead of his time and an acclaimed actor too".

Born outside Dublin in 1936, Allen was famous for performing his TV routines while perched on a stool, usually with a glass of whiskey and cigarette in his hand.

Although his first UK TV series was on ITV, he became better known through his guest spots on BBC One's The Val Doonican Show.

That led to Dave Allen At Large for the BBC, which ran from 1971 to 1979.

His last performance came in 1999, when he recorded a rare interview for Radio 4.

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