The auditorium lights dimmed and without introduction or music Des O’Connor strolled onto stage alone under a spotlight.
Elegant in a blue lounge suit, this octogenarian with dimples to die for proved to the sizeable crowd that age is indeed just a number.
For the first half O’Connor simply chatted to the audience while his pianist joined him on stage and tinkled the ivories with some delightfully subtle background music whilst the star joked with the crowd, proving himself to be a master of the ad lib.
He sang Over The Rainbow in homage to the fact that he played The Wiz in The Wizard of Oz and further delighted the audience with anecdotes about various entertainers he has met.
After the interval and a costume change into a dark suit and dickie-bow he returned with his excellent five-piece band for a laid-back rendition of Nice and Easy and went on to recall his time touring Britain with Buddy Holly in 1958, following this with a Holly medley and then into an excellent version of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline which included plenty of audience participation.
Des had stories about everyone including Eamonn Andrews, Joe Pasqualle, actor Robin Williams and an interesting account of time spent in the company of Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas, all interspersed with standards like My Baby Just Cares for Me and Crazy.
This is a performer who has stood the test of time and shows no signs of slowing down.
The audience went home happy. They wanted an encore, but after a pacey two hour show Des wasn’t up for it. He was off for a well deserved lie down.