A LONG AND WINDING ROAD
I don’t believe it!! At last I’ve made it onto a Front Page! The only other time I’ve made it onto a front page was in the Sydney Daily Telegraph, when I had the first of my heart problems and the banners outside all the newsagents screamed “TV STAR DICES WITH DEATH” - which made me laugh, for in the biz we called it “a P54”, for every personality that something happened to - a toe operation or tonsillitis - had a similar headline. Ah, well, that IS showbusiness!
Would you believe - last year I celebrated 60 YEARS as a professional performer, and I still have the “brass neck” to keep on being “on the green”. I started being paid to perform when I was 12 years of age - on BBC Radio in Scotland at Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow, ten shillings per broadcast! Then at the Paisley Victory Theatre with “The Logan Family”, eight shows a week for 30 shillings per week! I was always showbusiness daft - running my own Concert Party for charity shows when I was 14, going to drama school, R.S.A.M.D., at 16, heading to London when I was 19 to perform in a strip club (not as a stripper!) called, very poshly, The Irving Revue Bar! Thirteen strippers and three guys - seven shows a day, seven days a week! At £12 a week - I had hit the big time!!! At 20, I was the male singing ‘star’ of my first BBC TV series, “You and the Night and the Music” at £200 per show - not too bad a jump from ten bob a show to two hundred quid in a time frame of 8 years! Mind you, during the years leading up to that, I’d well and truly been doing my “apprenticeship” in tatty variety theatres and summer shows - but learning from wonderful people, some with great acts, waiting for the opportunity to be “discovered” by the “right” people. Most of them (who are still alive) are still my friends to this day - and they helped me to learn my “trade”.
From then on it was quite “plain sailing” - appearing all over the world on radio, television shows, stage revues and with many of my own shows, up until the present day.
The countries that I’ve performed in, apart from virtually every city in the UK, include Malta, Bahrain, Libya, Cyprus, Germany, France, Italy, USA, New Zealand and, of course, Australia. Mind you, I may have forgotten some, as I thought the list would have been longer. I know, I’m having a “senior moment”!