About Me

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Plenty on Wikipedia and on IMDd.  Those two websites are great for the date and place of birth, as well as listing the TV, films, stage and radio I've worked on.  What they don't do is describe what it was like working on those productions, alongside the wonderful and sometimes not-so-wonderful personalities involved. They also don't divulge the highs and lows of over 50 years of marriage, bringing up three kids as well as emerging grandchildren. If you're interested, Learning My Lines (my autobiography), Echoes (my first novel) are for sale through my website, as is an archive of my blogs from 2009-2013.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Dusty and Me

Walking with my wife in Brighton, saw a poster advertising a Dusty Springfield concert coming to the Dome Theatre. Slashed across it was a CANCELLED sign.

I was a big fan of hers so I went in and enquired why it was cancelled. I was told that she’d only sold 12 tickets so the show was scrubbed. She’d cancelled it.

Five or so years later I was having a drink in the Colonnade bar next to Brighton’s Theatre Royal. It was full and there were crowds of people outside. I went outside to see what show was on. THE DUSTY SPRINGFIELD SHOW. God lord, now Dusty is dead there are people clamoring to see a double in her frocks, a wig and singing her songs . Where were all these people five years ago? Very, very sad.

I’m not dead and I’m not as famous as Dusty but we’re in the same boat. Nobody wants to come and see me. I’ve cancelled Liverpool and Lewes because of the dribble of ticket sales. She cancelled her show at The Dome. 

So I’m in good company, aren’t I? 


She didn’t want to play to bus queue of people and nor do I.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

FIRE

Looking in the mirror, I have a tan and black hair. I looked 25 years younger than I did last night.

The secret? Right, first light a fire in the bedroom then go into the shower room for your ablutions. Soon the lights will go out then you’ll notice it’s very dark. You’re not wearing glasses, that would be silly when your washing yourself also you’re not wearing any clothes.

Next open the door. Even without your glasses it’s black as night. You notice a blazing fire where you’d put on halogen fire to warm the place up. 

Then you grab your dressing gown and cover the flames with it to dowse the said flames. Next you open the window to let the smoke out. On turning your dressing gown is on fire. More things are piled on. Then you hear a fire engine. Next clumping firemen running up the stairs.

See me naked. ‘Put some clothes on, sir, you must vacate the building.’

Now I’m on the fire engine with an oxygen mask on. Everything was a blur after this. I remember being in an ambulance on the way to hospital.. ‘Just to check you out, sir. You do Mr Benn, don’t you?’

Next, in the hospital, stretched out with with with wires pinioned all over my chest, a strap round my arm, checking my blood pressure, which switches on every ten minutes, blood taken out of my arm  leaving two  contraptions ‘In case you need a booster.‘ and a clip on my finger to check my heart.

Nurse. ‘Keep breathing deeply, sir, your rates down to 94.‘ I breathe deeply. ‘That’s better up to 100 now.‘

They bring me a coffee, I daren't move in case I pull one of the wires out. Three and half hours the doctor let’s me go. Outside the first thing I do is light a cigarette. I was stressed out.

Now, I’m at home in front of the mirror. Alright look much younger but was it worth it? No. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Who wants to look younger?