Tag Archives: Cliff Richard


Over a meal out the other week we got talking about what famous people we had come across in the wild. Apparently meeting them through ‘work’ like blogging, did not qualify. You had to just happen upon them.

Various semi-famous people were mentioned, but the discussion felt a bit lacklustre. What’s a Jeremy Paxman in Blackwell’s or an Alistair Darling at airport security? I mean, really? The best Son came up with was flying with Gordon Brown. Daughter didn’t even think to mention her own flying with Pilou Asbæk.

I felt I had something to add, but it took me a while to remember Agnetha Fältskog at Heathrow (as we have a flying theme). Jan Malmsjö in the post office might not count, as I worked there. But Daughter found someone from one of those shows I never watch at our former post office. Or was it the greengrocer’s?

We came to the conclusion that the winner was the Resident IT Consultant’s cousin who volunteered the fact that she had danced with John Travolta.

(The niggling feeling that I was forgetting someone, finally matured when I remembered my Cliff Richard and Cilla Black encounter at the theatre. But they don’t beat Travolta, since I didn’t dance with either of them.)

The birth of British rock

This was right up Daughter’s street, and I don’t mean that in the geological sense. We managed to find just enough spare time before the show at the Lowry the other day, to take in the exhibition of Harry Hammond’s photos of early rock stars.

Sometimes exhibitions like these sound good and turn out to be somewhat disappointing, mainly due to far fewer exhibits to look at than you’d expected. This one was almost the opposite, with far more photos than we could have hoped for. All of them good and interesting to see.

I’m obviously too young (yes, really) to remember most of these stars from back when. The Beatles, yeah, yeah. My Cliff Richard is a little older than the one in the many photos. It almost seemed like a ‘Cliff with a touch of Beatle’ exhibition, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The others were many of the obvious ones, but I especially remember Adam Faith. You know how you often think when you hear that someone has died, that you didn’t realise they were still alive? It wasn’t until I saw the dates given for Adam that I remembered that he died in 2003.

As for Shirley Bassey she looks younger now than then. Almost. There’s something about the hairstyles and dresses from the 1950s.

Well worth going to see, especially if you’re ‘old’. Some of the theatre-goers for Goodnight Mister Tom who were taken round the photos by granny looked less than enthusiastic. Perhaps they’ve not been brought up on old songs on the iPod?


My hairdresser can talk about other things than “going out tonight?”, and that is why I took her advice to go and see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium a few years ago. I owed Daughter a trip to London, as her pesky brother had been allowed an extra trip to see His Dark Materials at the National a second time. Personally I wasn’t interested, as I’ve always found the film “not very me”.

We had good seats,near the front of circle. As is always the case, there were latecomers, and as is always the case their seats were the middle ones in the front row. I frowned at the tanned, handsome young man who stood at the bottom of the stairs politely directing the rest of his group into their row. Money, I thought. Who does he think he is?

I looked a little more carefully, and could answer my own question. Cliff Richard. Oops, not so young, then, but with every right to think he’s a somebody. Hang on, somebodies often come out in groups. I wonder who else is here? Looked to my right, finding Cilla Black stepping elegantly towards Cliff.

Well, I suppose people like them go to shows, too, sometimes. And whenever I think back to that night, I think Cliff Richard, not Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And I’m not even a fan. I don’t mind him, but I don’t worship him. I was reminded of all this as I set Wallander to record for tonight, and got a few minutes of Cliff on Songs of Praise.

Having waffled this far, I have to admit that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was very good. I shall continue to listen to my hairdresser.