MANY a middle-aged woman will remember swooning as he sang Hold Me Close way back in the 70s.
David Essex could do no wrong during that decade.
He had number one hits with Hold Me Close and Gonna Make You A Star.
As an actor, he starred in two films about the rise and fall of a young man in the pop world with That’ll Be The Day and the follow up, Stardust.
Later in the decade, he played revolutionary Che Guevara in the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita.
By the mid 80s, the son of Irish travellers was starring in another major musical when he took on the role of Fletcher Christian in the singing stage-version of Mutiny on the Bounty, Mutiny!
And, although his star(dust) dimmed somewhat during the 90s, David Essex has been going through a bit of a revival.
He has already appeared on the Beeb’s soap success, EastEnders, and now it’s back to the musical stage for the former heartthrob.
Called All The Fun of The Fair, it is an evening Essex fans will not want to miss.
Following a record-breaking West End season at the Garrick Theatre (where it was nominated Best New West End Musical 2010 by What’s On Stage) the new show is penned by David himself and is inspired by his album of the same name.
The musical features many of his major hits including the aforementioned Gonna Make You A Star and Hold Me Close along with Winter’s Tale, Me And My Girl – Nightclubbing, Silver Dream Racer and Rock On — which was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
The story tells a heart-warming tale about an East End fairground family with David playing funfair owner Levi Lee — recently widowed and father to rebellious teenage son, Jack.
Dodgems and motorbikes, crafty cons and candy floss, fairground horses and fights are all part of the fairground life... Along with romance and rock ‘n’ roll, of course.
n All The Fun of The Fair is playing at the King’s Theatre from Tuesday, February 28 and tickets cost between £15 and £37.50.