Monday, 5 May 2014

Eurovision - A very special edition

Hello folks and welcome to a very special edition of my Eurovision specials.

The year was 1981, the date 4th April and in Dublin the Eurovision Song Contest was taking place. Jay Aston, Cheryl Baker, Bobby G and Mike Nolan, otherwise known as Bucks Fizz were representing the UK with Making Your Mind Up. With the German entry hot on their heels on the scoreboard, Bucks Fizz won by the smallest of margins. The rest is history.
33 years later and after several million record sales, sell out tours, countless television appearances, solo careers and many other things, it is with great delight and just a little bit of giddiness that I welcome original member Cheryl Baker to this Q&A special.
View photo in message

D. Hi Cheryl. Many thanks for taking time out from Happy Days for this Q&A special.

C. It's a pleasure.

D. Shall we start?

C. Fire away.

D. Other than winning the contest, what were your personal highlights from Eurovision 1981?

C. My personal highlight from winning Eurovision 1981 for me  was
afterwards when we got back to the  hotel and I rang home.  At that
time I lived in a council flat in Bethnal Green, East London and had
done all my life.  My sister answered the phone and screamed when she
heard my voice.  There were masses of cheers as our tiny flat was
rammed with friends, family and neighbours.  Sheila, my sister, told me
that when we were announced as winners, the whole block of flats
erupted - with people opening their windows and cheering on the
landings.  Although at that time I had just won possibly the biggest
international prize in music, my heart was in Bethnal Green with my
family.  After speaking to everyone, I could go back down to the
celebrations in the hotel and really start to enjoy myself.

D. Were you and the rest of Bucks Fizz confident the song would win?

C. The only one in the group who was confident that we would win was
Mike Nolan.  We were in Dublin for a week before the competition and
Mike was confident right up to the actual day, 4 April. When you hear
the other songs so often in rehearsals they start to grow on you and
this is what happened with Mike.  He said our biggest competition was
Germany and Switzerland and he was right - we beat Germany into second
place by just 4 points!

D. If you could travel back to Eurovision 1981 and perform for  a  different country, which one would you choose and why? Bare in mind it has to be a country that participated in the contest.

C. The country I would have chosen to perform for other than the UK
back in 1981 would have been  Ireland.  It was a 3 girl harmony group
and, as I love singing harmony, it would have suited me fine plus they
wore gorgeous dresses and they sang in English, a definite bonus with
me as I can't speak any other language!

D. How do you think Bucks Fizz would fare if they represented the UK today with the same song?

C. I would love to say Bucks Fizz could win today if we entered the
competition but in reality I am absolutely sure we wouldn't.  We were
perfect for 1981 but music has moved on and "Making Your Mind Up" would
be far too "cheesy" for today's competition which, I believe, is very
sophisticated now. 

D. What are your thoughts on today's Eurovision?

C. I think today's Eurovision is fantastic.  You cannot compare it
to when we won in 1981 -  just have a look on YouTube and see the
difference.  Ours was done in a television studio with barely any
staging.  Nowadays, the Eurovision is held in massive arenas with
fantastic lights, special effects and stage set.  Although we haven't
done very well in the votes  in the past few years (an
understatement!), I still think the competition as a television
programme is superior.

D. Throughout the history of the contest, who has been your favourite UK entry?

C. It is hard to say who my favourite UK entry is as I am such a
Eurovision fan that I have loved them all (well almost). I loved the
New Seekers in 1972 with Beg, Steal or Borrow, Prima Donna in 1980 with
Love Enough For Two, Sweet Dreams in 1983 with I'm Never Giving Up and
Scooch in 2007 with Flying The Flag.  Funny that they are all girl/boy

D. And who do you feel was the best act ever?

C. I suppose my all time favourite Eurovision act is Abba but I also
loved Nicole, Gigliola Cinquetti, Severine, Vicky Leandros and
Anne-Marie David.

D. Personally, I would love to see Mika represent the UK in a future contest. Who would you love to see?

C. I would love a band like Girls Aloud to represent the UK, or even
better Little Mix.

D. Do you think any of today's songwriters could write a winning song for the UK and if so, who?

C. Of course, any of today's song writers could write a winning
song, probably the safest bet as he writes so prolifically would be
Gary Barlow. 

D. Now for some Bucks Fizz questions. Of all the brilliant songs the group recorded, which are in your top 3 and why?

C. It is difficult for me to choose my absolute favourite but it
would be between Now Those Days Are Gone, New Beginning and Land of
Make Believe.   NTDAG is a favourite because of the vocal harmonies,
LOMB is because it reminds me of Christmas 1981 and NB because it is
such a powerful track.  I am personally very proud of all three of

D. And your favourite album? Mine is Hand Cut.

C. My favourite album is our second, Are You Ready?

D. You're currently touring with the Happy Days musical. How is it going and will we see you in the West End?

C. I am loving Marion Cunningham in Happy Days, The Musical,
although my first love is singing with Mike and Jay.  Acting is far
more stressful for me!  There is hope that the show will go into the
West End but nothing is written in stone yet.

D. Describe your perfect day.

C. My perfect day is getting up early and walking my dogs for ages,
and then coming home to have breakfast with Steve and the girls.
Doing an Asda shop, with my daughter, Kyla, having an amazing Sunday
roast dinner and then settling in front of the TV to watch Mr Selfridge
and Call The Midwife.

D. Your Twitter profile states "Refuse to grow old gracefully". Is this still the plan?

C. I absolutely  refuse to grow old gracefully.  I will continue to
wear too much make up, bleach my hair and wear inappropriate clothes.
Age is a number  - in my heart I am still a teenager. 

D. One final question. What is next for Cheryl Baker?

C. After Happy Days, The Musical, I will be working with Mike and
Jay doing festivals and eighties gigs up and down the country and
abroad.  Hope to see some of you there.

D. Many thanks Cheryl. It has been a pleasure talking with you today.

C. Thank you.

To find out where Cheryl, Jay and Mike will be performing this year and much more, pay a visit to their official website at

To see Cheryl in the fabulous Happy Days - The Musical, check the official website for venues and dates at 

And that folks is my Eurovision special. A massive thank you to Cheryl and the best of luck for all her future projects. Also, many thanks to Cheryl's PA Elaine for all her help and for putting up with my constant barrage of emails.

All that remains is my top 3 acts for this years contest. Those who almost made it include Finland, F.Y.R Macedonia, Israel, Italy and San Marino. Here's hoping it's 3rd time lucky for Valentina Monetta who so deserved to be in the final for San Marino last year.
The lucky 3 this year are:

1. Conchita Wurst with "Rise Like a Phoenix (Austria)
2. Axel Hirsoux with "Mother" (Belgium)
3. Ruth Lorenzo with "Dancing in  the Rain (Spain)

Tune in to BBC One/BBC One HD 10th May for the contest live from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Hi folks.

Well here it is, my first short movie starring the very talented Richard Collins. Written and directed by myself, camera by James G Wall and produced by Summer Snow, it runs at just over 5 minutes and is called Confession. The storyline - A man reveals his deepest darkest secret which will live with him forever.

Amazing is just one of the words I could use to describe how I felt when the finished film was posted on YouTube. It has reached 300 views which isn't bad but more would be nice. I'm not going to lie, I would love it to go viral and I hope this is the first of many.

Here it is for you to watch. If you like it, please feel free to leave a comment and share the film.
Thanks for watching and until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

There's no business like showbusiness!!

Hi Folks.
Well it has been a while hasn't it?
I thought I would do something different this time and let you all know what I have been up to lately.
Last year a good friend of mine made a film and was in desperate need for some extras. Of course I agreed to be one, went to the set the following day and then basically spent the rest of the shoot helping out behind the camera. I must confess it is my absolute dream to have a career making movies so absolutely loved helping out on this one.
The film was released a few months ago on YouTube and received rave reviews and over 5000 views. For those of you wishing to watch it, the film is called "The Truth About Romance" and is excellent.

Since then, I have finished writing scripts for a film trilogy, a ghost story and my first short movie called Confession. The latter has been filmed with me as Director and will be available to watch on YouTube this coming Monday.
More recently, I have been involved in the making of a new web series called "Two Guys & Her".
Written and directed by the very talented James G Wall (who also made The Truth About Romance) and starring James and the equally talented Jennifer Durrans and Jordan Greenhough, it is a hilarious series based on three housemates and the crazy things they get up to.

Episodes one to four are available to watch now as well as some very funny outtakes. I hope you find them just as funny as I did.

So what is next I hear you all ask? Well there are another six episodes of Two Guys to make, the premiere of Confession and I am currently re-writing my earlier confessions in the hopes of publishing them. After that, who knows?  I would love the opportunity to make my ghost story film a reality.
All I can say is that I am having a blast and in the words of the amazing Ethel Merman "There's no business like show business". You said it girl.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Eurovision - 2013

Hi folks. It's that time of year again, when the whole of Europe goes a little bit camp and the sound of music (some good and some so so bad) fills the airwaves. It's Eurovision time and since my little slice of this poptastic indulgence was so popular last year, I'm back with another slice.

The following is my top five for this years contest which takes place in Malmo, Sweden and are in no particular order.

Azerbaijan - Hold Me by Farid Mammadov.

This performance is from the heats to find a winner to represent Azerbaijan and I think you'll agree the young man from Baku gives a beautiful rendition of the song.
Given his good lucks, I think he will place very highly in the contest with the female votes he is bound to receive.

Germany - Glorious by Cascada.

It's not Eurovision without a little dance music and this one from Cascada certainly delivers.
Now I will let you into a little secret..I always thought Cascada were a British act?
Lead singer Natalie Horler does have British parents so you can't blame me for thinking that.
With album sales of over five million and hits in many countries, the group are very popular and I will be astonished if they do not finish top ten.

Russia - What If by Dina Garipova.

Another beautiful song, superbly sung by the young Dina Garipova. Previously, she won the Russian version of The Voice. Could she be in line to win another singing competition?

San Marino - Crisalide by Valentina Monetta.

It's safe to say that San Marino have not fared well with Eurovision, having never made it to the final. Perhaps their 4th attempt at the contest will see that happen.
I absolutely love this song and may go as far to say that this is the one I would like to win.
Valentina previously represented her country with the awful The Social Network Song (she finished 14th in the semi-final) but she gives an astounding performance for this song and surely deserves her place in the final?

United Kingdom - Believe in Me by Bonnie Tyler.

I'm going to be brutally honest here. When I heard that Bonnie Tyler would be representing the UK for Eurovision, my heart sank, stomach churned and voices in my head were screaming what the? Bonnie had performed a song live on some show I'd seen a year or two ago and she was bad. I remember saying to myself at the time that she had lost it and should retire.

Now I know I said that we stood a good chance last year with good old Englebert and we failed miserably but with Bonnie, I truly believe we will finish top five with this marvellous song. Her husky tones are back and I was wrong to think she was past it.

Bonnie has sold millions of records, had numerous hits all over the world and been nominated for a Brit award twice and a Grammy three times. She is quite simply a world class recording artist. With a fan base in the millions, will she at last restore the UK's fortunes in Eurovision? If she gives a brilliant performance on the night, then we can only hope she can.

So there we have it, my top five for this years Eurovision. Do you agree with any of my choices or do you think the top five will read differently?

Tune in on Saturday 18th May for Eurovision 2013 and may the best song win.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Hi folks. Well it certainly has been a while since my last post but fear not, I am back with a Valentine special.

Basically it is just an excuse for me to say who I would love to be my Valentine this year.
I could say it's every single member of One Direction (pause for screams and hysteria) but it's not. I could even say it's George Clooney or Tom Cruise. Both are still looking pretty hot. Again, it's not.
This year I would love the beautiful, gorgeous, handsome and oh so Nordic Alexander Skarsgard to be my Valentine.
Mr Skarsgard
Alexander was born 25th August 1976 in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the Son of the famous Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard and followed his Father into the world of film and television.
Whilst he did dabble in acting as a child, Alexander decided to quit at the age of 13 and did not return to it until seven years later.
During the seven years he did Swedish Military Service and even enrolled at Leeds Metropolitan University (my home town) for a few months. For all I know, I could have walked passed him whilst shopping in Leeds?

Since his return to acting, Alexander has appeared in several films including Melancholia, Battleship and Straw Dogs.
He even appeared with Lady Gaga in the video for Paparazzi.

He is most famous for the TV series True Blood and his role as Eric Northman, the 1000 year old Viking Vampire who lusts and eventually falls in love with the main character of the show, Sookie Stackhouse.

I love True Blood. The scripts are brilliant, acting awesome and it has some pretty good special and make up effects. The cast are perfect in all their parts and quite a few of them are just down right sexy.

Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander.
Since it's start in 2008, True Blood has gone from strength to strength with season 5 having one of the most exciting finales ever. Roll on season 6.
My oh my oh my!

Now I'm not going to lie to you and say the reason I would like Alexander for my Valentine is his handsome looks or those beautiful Swedish blonde locks of his, though they do make for a nice treat on ones eyes. The reason for my wish is quite simple..he has the most beautiful physique.

Ladies and Gentleman..I give you perfection. Need I say more?

If I woke up next to this every morning, well let's just say I wouldn't be doing much complaining and those of you who watch True Blood will also know he has the most perfect of butts too.

So there you have Valentine wish. All that is left to say is a very happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there.
Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special: The Final Instalment

Here it is folks, my final tribute to all things Eurovision and what better way to end this spectacular special than with my favourite two acts to come out of the competition.

Consisting of Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Mike Nolan and Bobby G, Bucks Fizz represented the UK in the 1981 contest with Making Your Mind Up and won.

How Bucks Fizz managed to win the competition is beyond me. The singing was off key, the dancing amateurish and let's not even go there on the costumes. Despite this blot in Eurovision history, I am awfully glad they did win. If not for the competition, they would not have gone on to have a very successful career.

I turned 14 in 1981 and Bucks Fizz were without a doubt my favourite band and remained so for many years.
They released many singles, with three of them reaching number one in the UK. They were also very successful throughout Europe and even as far afield as Australia.

Of all the albums Bucks Fizz released, my favourite is Hand Cut which was released in 1983.

The artwork alone was worth the price I paid. Of all their album sleeves, this to me is the one that is the most visually stunning.

The reason I love this one the most is down to one track alone. That track is "I'd Like to Say I Love You".
It is such a beautiful song and I cannot believe the record company did not feel it worthy of a single release.
I am sure it would have proved to be a massive hit for them if they had.

Bucks Fizz are still performing, though they are now two separate groups. They have not had a hit single or album for years. Personally I think their demise from the charts was due to over exposure in the early 80's (Rihanna take heed) which resulted in the fans turning away from their music.
I was not one of those fans and continued to buy and listen to their music.

Of all the tracks Bucks Fizz recorded I have chosen my favourite three and they are:

Number 1 - I'd Like to Say I Love You
Number 2 - Tears on the Ballroom Floor
Number 3 - Golden Days

Whilst I love Bucks Fizz as a group, Cheryl Baker has always been my favourite and it was a travesty that her one attempt at a solo pop career went unnoticed. She released a fantastic version of "If Paradise is Half as Nice" and it should have been a massive hit for her.
I think I was one of the few that bought it and I still own it along with all my other Bucks Fizz albums and cd's.

I have two Bucks Fizz related dreams. One is to meet the original members of the group. The other is to write a musical based around their songs. I already have an outline for it and who knows, one day it may just happen

And so to the act who joins Bucks Fizz as my favourite to come out of Eurovision and who else could it be but the amazing Abba.
Consisting of Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-frid Lynstag, Benny Andersonn and Bjorn Ulveaus, they represented Sweden in the 1974 contest and won with Waterloo.

Abba went on to become one of the most successful acts to ever come out of Eurovision and one of the most successful bands in the world.
Selling millions of singles and albums, they were Sweden's biggest export for years.They are famous throughout the world and have influenced many of today's artists with their music.
How anyone can not like Abba is a mystery to me. Their music is ridiculously good and can be enjoyed by any age.

Of course, they have a huge gay following but I do not love Abba because I am gay. To me, ones sexual orientation does not determine who you will like music wise. That is not what music is about. Music is how it makes you feel inside. With their music, Abba have the ability to make you feel happy, sad, excited and many other feelings.

Abba split up many years ago and that alone is proof of how good they are as their music still sells by the millions.
There is always talk of a reunion and I know that if a concert were to be announced, it would sell out in an instant. One can hope that maybe one day they will make that announcement.

Choosing my favourite three Abba tracks was a difficult task. There are just so many that I love. Nevertheless I have managed it and here they are:

Number 1 - The Winner Takes it All
Number 2 - Thank You for the Music
Number 3 - Happy New Year

There is only one word to describe this song and that word is "perfection".

So there favourite two acts from the many years of the contest.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my Eurovision Special. I have absolutely adored writing it and looking back at the many highlights.
If you agree or disagree with my choices, please feel free to send me a message or maybe even a comment about my blog in general. If you really like the blog then pass the link onto your friends. Whilst my specials have been for all ages, some of my earlier blogs are a little on the rude side so please be cautious if you do pass the link on.

All that is left for me to say is tune in Saturday 26th for the 2012 Eurovision Contest from Baku and wherever you are in the world, I hope you enjoy the show.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special. The Sequel

As promised folks, here is who I believe should finish in the top 3 for this years Eurovision Song Contest being held in Baku.

In reverse order we start with:

Number 3 - Love Will Set You Free by Engelbert Humperdinck (UK)

At 75, Mr Humperdinck is one of the oldest artists to represent the UK in the contest.
Though I think he will struggle with the high note at the end, I still think the UK will do well with this beautiful ballad.

Number 2 - Standing Still by Roman Lob (Germany)

This song has already been a huge hit in Germany, reaching number 3 in the charts.
If it does well on the night,I can see it charting quite highly over here in the UK.
Mr Lob has the full package -  stunning looks, amazing voice and a lovely song. The only downside is the video is quite similar to one by the not as amazing Daniel Beddingfield.

Number 1 - La La Love by Ivi Adamou (Cyprus)

I do love my dance music and this entry from Cyprus is superb.It should do well with the gay audience and who knows, maybe this could be the year we see quite a few Eurovision hopefuls do well in the UK pop charts.

That's my top 3 for you. Do you agree with my choices or have I got it completely wrong?
There is only one way to find out and that is by tuning in to BBC1 on Saturday 26th May.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.