a very warm welcome, plus a "Happy New Year".
Sorry I've been so long writing an update, but as
soon as I finished "Pirates Of Penzance"
in Leicester I was whisked off to London,
whereupon I repacked my case, finished off my
Christmas cards and sped off to Llandudno where I
once again got my "Dick" out for
several weeks. Once the season ended I hot footed
it to 'Campus R. Soles' - the name of my house -
and commenced preparations for the second leg of
the "Pirates" tour. The second week of
which finds me in fabulous Buxton. It's not far
from Nottingham, where I was born, so it's a bit
like rediscovering long gone memories. We used to
come here as a family on Sundays, ostensibly to
sight see, but really me dad wanted to watch the
Anyway, the theatre is
gorge, very intimate and welcoming, and very
obviously a source of pride with the locals.
Unfortunately the night life was zilch, but
undaunted, the cast used their imaginations and
created all sorts of after show fun, which is
best left to your imaginations!
Next week finds us In
Canterbury - lovely place but I'm not going to
the cathedral again. I can't face another candle
vigil. Also next week I shall be in a voice-over
studio, voicing one of the characters in a series
called "Little Robots", a number of
whom dwell in the sky, I suppose like "The
Clangers". We're doing 50 ten minute made
for the Beeb shorts. Don't know when they'll be
aired, but will keep you posted. I play 'Miss
Noisy' - can't imagine why they thought I'd be
ideal. Providing the other voices are Martin
Clunes, Lenny Henry, Morwenna Banks and Mel &
Sue, among others. Should be fab fun - I really
enjoy those sort of jobs. Mind you, I shall be
unable to get to London from some "Pirates"
theatres, so shall have to record my bits in a
studio plugged into london. That's showbiz!
Am hopefully going to Oz
later this year to visit my mate Ray Meacher, who
plays Alf Stewart in "Home And Away".
For devotees of the soap, Ray has just signed a
further three years contract, so you can still
get your Summer Bay fix.
Well, here I am at
'Campus R. Soles', the name of my house in
London, languishing like an actress, having the
best time. Having finished "Pirates"
I'm now having a few weeks of 'R & R'. It's a
great feeling not having to constantly be aware
that everything you do is geared towards that
evening's performance. "Pirates" was so
demanding, physically and mentally, that you had
to be totally focused. Of course, that's all part
of the job, so rightly so, but now it's PART TIME.
Went to a fab function
last week - a party given by a rather good
booking agency, to celebrate ten years of
business. Very well organised, champagne on
arrival, quick photo with the lovely Leslie
Phillips, who I've known for years. He's married
to Angela Scoular, a great pal from the "You
Rang, M'Lord?" years. She played Lady
Agatha, who was having an affair with Lord
Meldrum. Chatted for ages to another showbiz pal,
Vanessa Feltz, who looked great. She's really
slimmed down and had lovely long hair extensions
woven in her hair. Saw loads of ex-Big Brother
housemates and rather a lot of voluptuous young
girls exposing their feminine wiles. My friend,
Vince, nearly choked on his canapés, which,
incidentally, were delicious. Gone are the days
of cream crackers with sad-looking sausages.
There were mini steak & kidney pies in a
dainty dish, followed by bite-sized creme brulee.
Then it was an evening at
Drury Lane to see the new cast of "My Fair
Lady". A packed house gave them a rousing
reception, deservedly so. An excellent production.
I fell in love with Alex Jennings, who is the new
Professor Higgins, great performance. Joanna
Riding, as Eliza, is a very accomplished actress
and did a splendid job. Although I love
supporting my mates, I'm not a very good audience
member as I always want to be on the stage, not
sat down. And, no matter how good the show, I
always nod off for a couple of minutes. I even
found myself dozing at a Michael Jackson concert
a few years ago.
Am seeing "Taboo"
next week, with me old mate Boy George. I'm so
pleased it's a big success for him. By the time
you read this I will have been to Gloria
Hunniford's tea party, in her lovely big garden
in Kent. She's got a lovely sauna and swimming
pool, where I went to learn to swim. Disaster! Me
arm bands deflated and I sank to the bottom, me
skin shrivelled up and I looked like an advert
for immediate hair care. So, I've never bothered
Oh, "Little Robots"
is going fine. I've done a further eight scripts,
with another 40 to go. The producers seem very
happy with it and the rest of the cast are having
a ball making them. And they look after you,
supplying gorgeous sandwiches and fruit to
At the end of July I
shall be appearing in a short film called "Looking
For Lullabelle", playing Verity, one of the
tenants in a peabody flat. A cameo role, it's
very funny. As is the whole script, quite
touching too. The producers are very confident it
will get a showing at a major film festival, so
once again, I will keep you informed.
I'm in talks at the
moment with the producers of "Annie",
who have put together a short tour. As I
never like to finalise anything until I've signed
the contract I won't give you definite details,
but if all goes to plan we're looking at almost
three months, as from September this year. I
shall not, of course, be playing Annie, or Daddy
Warbucks, so I'll leave you to speculate!
Next week is the opening of
the season at Regent's Par and the "Pirates"
cast have been invited to the first night of
"As You Like It" and "Romeo And
Juliet", on separate occasions, of course.
I'm quite looking
forward to both shows as I'm really not a great
devotee of Shakespeare. Indeed, I'm hardly au
fait with any of his work, so it will be good for
me to broaden my literary education. He's got
millions of fans throughout the world, so I
figure I should at least pay my respects. There's
always the bar and the barbecue if my
It's almost a year since
"Pirates" started at the same venue,
where does the time go? All our lives speed by,
don't they? That's why we have to grab every
second and enjoy as much as we can.
As I write this, I'm at
a rather wobbly table, listening to Mud's "Greatest
Hits" in the garden, with red arms 'cos the
sun's been out. I remember when we did "Hi-De-Hi!"
we weren't allowed to go berserk with our tans,
as Jill, the make-up artist, used to have a
terrible time disguising the fact we looked like
extras from "It Ain't Half Hot, Mum".
I'm sorry I haven't kept
you posted throughout the tour, but I really will
endeavour to write on a more regular basis as I
do appreciate all your support and interest. I do
want to thank everyone who continues to log on to
my fabulous website, beautifully put together by
Davie. I hope you agree he does a really
wonderful job, putting in time and effort to make
it well worth paying a visit. Thanx so much Davie
- it's really appreciated. As indeed, is the work
done by my mate, Rob, who is in charge of all
your queries and administration, so a great THANX
to him too. But mostly, thanx to everyone out
there for your continued support.
Have a great Summer and
I'll catch up with you soon.
Muchos Luvos -
Su x x