Some time after the Mark Vardy commercial, I was introduced to a fabulous agent called Joan Reddin. She was wonderful and arranged for me to start singing lessons to improve my London accent.
My first singing lesson was with a lady in Finchley Road, Hampstead. My mother was very supportive and offered to pay, so I turned up at a posh house and was ushered in to a large room with an enormous white grand piano. Now, I’m not a bad singer, but performing in front of strangers was a different kettle of winkles!
I didn’t fancy singing for this lady, but she asked me if I knew any songs. While I was thinking, she handed me a music score from the musical ‘Oklahoma’. To my horror she started playing the intro to ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’. I had no choice, so I started singing in a baritone voice and finished the song.
Joan also wanted to promote me as an actor and offered me the chance to join the Bristol repertory company. The idea of living in a garret in Bristol and learning tons of dialogue didn’t appeal to me.
One reason was that I’ve always suffered from a bad memory and not much patience, I wanted to travel. I’d always wanted to hack my way through a jungle. I knew all about them because I had seen a few Tarzan films. It was years before I discovered that elephants don’t live in jungles.
I’ve always believed that opportunities are everywhere. All you have to do is reach out with confidence and grab one.
So far, I haven’t done very well, but change was on the way.