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'Dimples' is back in Wirral
DES O'Connor returns to Wirral later this month as part of his UK tour.
The entertainer - whose many strings include singer, comedian and chat show host - will be on stage at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Sunday, September 30.
Recalling his last trip to the seaside town, the 80-year-old told the Globe: “I was at the Floral Pavilion last year for a show looking back on my 50 years in the business and am looking forward to coming back.
“I love coming up to Merseyside, because audiences up here love a laugh just as much as us Cockneys.
“It’s going to be a fun night out, and there’s a structure to the programme.
“The first half will be loose with audience participation and the second half there will some great musicians.”
The Londoner, whose singing was the butt of jokes by comic greats Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise and nicknamed 'Dimples' by the duo during their TV shows in the 1970s, will look back on a showbiz career spanning more than 50 years when he comes to the Floral Pavilion.
The former Butlins' redcoat was awarded the CBE in 2008 for services to entertainment and broadcasting.
After National Service in the RAF his entertainment career began with theatre appearances in variety shows all over the country. His first television series was broadcast in 1963 and he went on to star in or host his own mainstream television show every year for more than 45 years.
His music career has seen appearances on stages in Las Vegas, Australia, Toronto and more than 1000 times at the London Palladium.
His American series was shown in more than 40 countries and seen by 200 million people world-wide.
Looking back on his career, Des said: "I’ve done most things in my career, played almost every theatre in the country, but not as much as Ken Dodd.
“Eric Morecambe always joked that I couldn’t sing, which is a bit passé now, but it turned out that my voice isn’t too bad.
“Highlights of my music career include performing in front of 26,000 people at the Toronto State exhibition.
“But I suppose the only thing I have not done is a part in a movie. But there is something in the pipeline which I can’t say too much about.”
His TV shows include Des O'Connor Comedy Tonight and ITV1 daily celebrity talk show Today With Des & Mel with co-host Melanie Sykes.
In 2007 he took over the helm of Channel Four's hugely popular quiz Countdown, presenting for two years.
His music career saw the release of 36 albums with sales of more than 16 million and he has spent 117 weeks in the top ten charts. Other hits included Dick-A-Dum-Dum, which got to number 14 in 1969.
His current album, Inspired - features 18 brand new songs co written by Des and Alan Hawkshaw, who has worked with Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand.
He has received the Special Recognition Award at the National TV Awards and his autobiography Bananas Can’t Fly was in the top selling charts.
In May, he took over the iconic role of The Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reimagining of The Wizard Of Oz, at the London Palladium. As well as the title role, Des also played the character of Professor Marvel.
He said: “I loved the challenges of doing a scripted show and Wizard Of Oz was a fun show to do.
"It’s very different to live shows, because others are reliant on you for cues and you can’t muck around.”
Tickets for his show at the Floral Pavilion are from box office on 0151 666 0000 or www.floralpavilion.com