Dave Allen had his first television appearance on the BBC talent show New Faces in 1959. In 1962 he toured South Africa with American vaudeville star Sophie Tucker. Tucker was impressed with him and suggested to him that he try his luck in Australia.
Moving there, he worked with Digby Wolfe on Australian television, becoming Wolfe's resident comedian.
While on tour in Australia in 1963, he quickly proved successful and accepted an offer to headline a television talk show with Channel 9, Tonight with
Dave Allen, which proved successful. Initially it was to be an eight-week run; but due to the show's popularity, it was subsequently turned into a 18 month engagement. The show which was later screened in Britain, the success of which led to
his own BBC TV comedy series Dave Allen at Large (1971, 1975). Throughout the 1970s and 1980s he continued to tour internationally with his one-man show and also performed as a dramatic actor.