Much-loved entertainer Brian Conley is bringing his new live show to Derbyshire this weekend - and promises audiences as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!
The popular comedian, actor and presenter will be at Buxton Opera House on Sunday, with a show packed full of laughs, anecdotes and much more.
We caught up with him to chat about the show, his career and the key to his success.
Tell us about your new show Alive and Dangerous?
It’s a potpourri of entertainment and as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. There’s a big video screen and show highlights from my illustrious career, lots of comedy and a nod to all the West End shows from over the years. Hairspray, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, Oliver! and Barnum – it’s a look back at my career and a fun comedy night.
Does it feature Nick Frisbee with his famous catch phrase ‘it’s a puppet’?
Yes of course Nick and the puppet has got to be in there, Larry the Loafer plus ‘dangerous Brian.’
Do you still get ‘it’s a puppet’ shouted to you in the street?
Oh god yeah, all the time. But you know it paid the mortgage so I’m happy.
Aside from your live show, what else are you doing?
I’ve just finished another series of the ‘TV That Made Me’ a show where I interview celebrities about their favourite television, growing up.
It’s a bit like Desert Island Discs but for TV.
Who’s starring in this series?
Good question, I’ve just done twenty, there’s loads: John Thompson, John Hannah, John Prescott, Myleene Klass, Esther Rantzen.
You’ve been to Buxton before, what do you think of the town and the area?
It’s very sweet. The trouble is you come in the evening, do a sound check, the gig and then go. There’s no problem with the one way system so I’m pleased about that.
You’ve been in the entertainment industry for 42 years, how do you think it compares to when you first started?
Oh god, really! When I was starting off there was the summer season and club work – there isn’t as much of that type of work. But I’m fortunate that I can cross over and do my musicals. All the shows are shorter now - It’s changed, but life does change.
Yes more recently you’ve become a musicals star, how did that come about?
I went to stage school, so I did have that type of experience before the TV success. I was offered a part in Me and My Girl and I got the musicals bug and after that I did Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and Hairspray.
You have a strong singing voice.
I would say I was born to sing and everything else I learnt. The singing is something I’ve always had from a very young age. The comedy came later. (He yawns) excuse me I’m getting bored of talking about me.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career?
Playing Al Jolson way back made everyone sit up and look at me different because up until then I was just an entertainer, but suddenly I did that and there was a lot of acting involved.
The most important question now, where do you get your dimples from, your mum or your dad’s side?
My mum’s side. They’ve got me out of a lot of trouble.
Who would play you in the story of your life?
Gawd! I’ve no idea, maybe Will Ferrrell.
If you weren’t in show business what line of work do you think you’d be doing?
I don’t know I’d probably be some tramp somewhere. I’m no good at anything else. Entertaining was in my blood – I was born to entertain from a very young age. I was always entering competitions and things like that. I’ve no idea what I’d do, I would probably be a salesman.
What do you think the secret to success is?
I think you’ve got to be passionate about what you do. I really enjoy all aspects of it whether it be pantomime, musicals and television. And I’ve always loved doing live, I am a live act. I think variety is the spice of life so the fact that I can do different things helps me keep sane.
And just no big master plan – just see what happens.
For tickets, call the Buxton Opera House box office on 01298 72190 or see here.