A show business legend comes to Kingston with Des O’Connor’s performance at the Rose Theatre, writes David Gazet.
Best known for his variety show Tonight, which was a staple for British Television for over 25 years, Des has produced 36 albums and made a name for himself as a comedian, musician and chat show host both at home and abroad – one of the few English comedians to make a name for himself across the Atlantic.
“I do not believe all this nonsense that humour does not travel. It does travel if you stretch yourself,” Des said. “You just have to realise that people all round are not that different.
“ At 82, Des is still going strong and says he enjoys nothing better than interacting with his audiences.
“I have done 24 concerts so far this year, but then it gets quiet.”
“It is not a bad job, it is better than work. People usually say what can we expect? I would love to answer them. The first half is very, very loose.”
While he enjoys getting people up on stage to play the piano and performing some of his latest hits, Des’ favourite part of the show has always been talking to his audiences.
“I can’t believe some of the conversations. A woman the other day said: ‘I am having problems with my man.’ I asked where is your husband? She said: ‘No, he is my man!’”
As well as his constant touring, Des is currently working on his 37th album as well as an upcoming TV show, but family life remains important too. “[Performing] is the best two hours for me every day apart from being with my family.”
Des’s nine-year-old son Adam was born in 2004, adding fatherhood to the list of responsibilities. But Adam seems to be as full of ideas as his dad, writing a nonsense poem that prompted Des to give it a try.
“At the moment they are planning to publish a book of children’s poems I have written.”
“He is the biggest joy in my life. He is such a joy and a blessing.”
Des O’Connor, Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, April 27. 7.30pm. Tickets £13-£25, call 08444 821556, visit rosetheatrekingston. org for more information.