Bobby Crush


Bobby Crush first came to public attention after six winning appearances on Hughie Green's British ITV talent show, Opportunity Knocks, in 1972. He received the Variety Club of Great Britain award for 'Best New Artist' of 1972.[2] He recorded for the Philips label in the UK and his recordings were produced by Norman Newell, who had previously worked with Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis and Bobby's role model, Russ Conway.

By the age of 18, Crush had starred at the London Palladium having already achieved an album in the top 20 and a single, "Borsalino", in the top 40.


His West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium (guest starring with Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Dame Julie Andrews). As a regular performer at that venue, Crush's name appeared on the "Roll of Honour" at the Palladium's stage door. He also played a year at the Victoria Palace with Max Bygraves in SwingalongaMax, has appeared at The Royal Variety Performance and starred in his own one-man show at London's Fortune Theatre.


His work overseas includes a tour of Canada with Sir Harry Secombe in "The London Palladium Show", concerts in Australia and New Zealand, as well as performing in cabaret on cruise liners.


His television appearances include Sounds Like Music, a British game show that aired on ITV from 6 June 1989 to 11 May 1990 in which Crush was the show's host. He has appeared on countless other TV programmes over the last 5 decades. His most recent TV appearances have been in the ITV sitcom Benidorm, in which he played the character "Billy Sparkle". Bobby was also recently featured on the ITV series "Last Laugh in Vegas", in which eight British acts from the 60's and 70's were flown to Las Vegas to make their American debuts.


Theatrical roles include Liberace in Liberace's Suit (Jermyn Street Theatre),[3] "Dr Frank N. Furter" in The Rocky Horror Show, "Billy Flynn" in Chicago, "Vernon Gersch" in "They're Playing our Song", "L.M." in "Pump Boys and Dinettes" and Liberace in Liberace, Live from Heaven (Leicester Square Theatre / New Zealand tour / Edinburgh Festival). Bobby also co-starred with Ray Quinn in the 2018 tour of Summer Holiday, the Musical playing the role of Jerry.


Crush's radio broadcasts include his own week of shows on BBC Radio 2 and as guest contributor on many other radio programmes, the most recent being on Ken Bruce's Radio 2 show, choosing "The Tracks of My Years".


His recordings include his debut album Bobby Crush, which reached no. 15 in the UK Albums Chart, and chart singles "Borsalino" and "The Sting". He has made 13 studio albums as a pianist, not including compilations. His "Double Decker Party Album", which was TV-advertised, sold 100,000 copies and brought him a double gold disc. His "Piano Party" album also went gold in New Zealand. Crush is featured vocally on Pickwick's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing the role of "Pharaoh", and on songs from the musical Hair for Carlton Records.


Following the release of his album Reel Music, Crush played a 30-date tour with 60's singing star Gene Pitney, including a night at the London Palladium. Other career highlights include "The Stonewall Equality Show" at the Royal Albert Hall and a tour of "Back to Bacharach", Crush's tribute show to Burt Bacharach, for which he also wrote the script.


Crush has appeared in 37 pantomimes, starting out initially in "principal boy" parts but is now in demand for "dame" roles. In January 2021, in recognition of 37 pantomimes since his first in 1973, Bobby was inducted into the "Panto Archive Hall of Fame", an honour bestowed on just a handful of entertainers.


As a composer, Crush has written three pantomime scores, a musical (Sherwood) and comedy material for Russ Abbot and Les Dennis & Dustin Gee. His greatest success as a songwriter was penning the music and lyrics for Keith Harris and Orville's hit "Orville's Song" (also known as "I Wish I Could Fly"), which reached no. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, sold a quarter of a million copies and brought Crush a silver disc.


A tour with 4 Poofs and a Piano, for whom he also wrote, took place between February and April 2013.


On 23 March 2014 Crush celebrated his 60th birthday with a gala concert at the Leicester Square Theatre, London


He continues to tour extensively and is a regular at the West End cabaret venues "Crazy Coqs" in Piccadilly and "The Pheasantry" in Chelsea.


Personal life


Crush came out publicly as gay in an interview with Gay Times in 2004. He lives in London's West End and is currently preparing his autobiography. The aim is to publish in 2023 to coincide with his "50 years in showbiz" anniversary.


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