Return of the roving gypsy

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“THERE was a time...” harkens the beginning of Lucky Number Slevin but the phrase can also apply to stars of yesteryear.

David Essex, for example, was appearing in EastEnders a short time ago (he may still be: don’t know, don’t watch).

But there was a time when he was one of the hottest pop stars to come out of Britain.

Making the young ladies swoon from Lands End to John O’Groats, the young Mr Essex not only had a string of top ten pop songs to his credit, he also became a film star.

That’ll Be The Day and Stardust were big hits in this country telling the story of a lad from a poor background and his rise to pop stardom and his inevitable fall back down again.

But, for women of a certain generation, he’ll always be remembered as the cheeky, cocky Pearly King type who had a string of hits with Rock On, Stardust, Hold Me Close and Oh, What a Circus.

The latter song came from his depiction of legendary revolutionary Che Guevara in the Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice musical, Evita.

The move to musicals was a good step for Essex and he garnered much respect for his roles in musical versions of Mutiny on the Bounty and She Stoops to Conquer.

Now the roving gypsy is back promoting his greatest hits album.

And no doubt the audience will be filled with screaming females — though perhaps more mature.

David Essex is at the Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday, November 21 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost between £25.50 and £27.50.