Diddy’s delighted with his Retro tour

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Dec 2018 Diddy’s delighted with his Retro tour

60s Retro Night: The Fortunes, David Hamilton

HELPING raise money for Vari- ety Wessex, a 60s Retro event stars The Fortunes, with a retro 60s disco hosted by former Radio 1 DJ David Diddy Hamilton. The Fortunes, one of the UK’s premier harmony groups with a string of hit records including You’ve Got Your Troubles, Here It Comes Again and Freedom Come Freedom Go, have stood the test of time. They still top the playlists on radio stations.

Their last CD sold more than 100,000 copies and ‘It’s The Real Thing’ Coca-Cola advert is, of course, sung by The Fortunes. With fancy dress prizes too, Christmas Retro Night in Dorset is one of a series of retro nights in Highcliffe. Scottish 60s band Marmalade play all their hits, and more, followed by a 1960s disco with former Radio 1 host David Diddy Hamilton on March 29, Highcliffe Sports and Social Club, 387 Lymington Road, Highcliffe BH23 5EG.

A raffle is in aid of chosen charity Variety Wessex and bottles of Prosecco are awarded for the best-dressed fancy dressers on the night. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are available from Highcliffe Club box office (cash only), online from www.quizbrit- ainproductions.co.uk or by phone on 07810 797825 (card only).

David said: “I`m doing the show with The Fortunes just before Christmas and another with Marmalade in the New Year. I`ve a feeling I worked with The Fortunes on The Beat Show, BBC Radio, in the Sixties, and many times recently with Marmalade, including the wonderful Warners gigs. Falling Apart At The Seams was a Record Of The Week of mine (a Hamilton Hotshot) on Radio 1.

The Beat asked David: what did you want to be when you were at school? Do you look back and think about what your life would have been if you had not found fame? Let’s not talk about fortune because the DJs did not earn a lot of money back then compared with the tears they shed when they open their pay packets today.

Good job it’s no longer cash in hand, eh? Having clocked up 12,000 radio shows and more than 1,000 TV shows, how did you get into the music scene, and then broadcasting? Who prompted you and how did your parents react? Are you a musician; do you sing, have you ever written a song?

How do you spend your time now in between the shows you do, which I believe are well received by your audiences. Are we seeing the end of the era as so many artists of the 60s are giving up and many of the fans have taken the last long lie down? Who is the most attractive artist you have met in terms of personality and talent?

Charities are always looking for personalities to perform for them. You obviously have a favourite charity and you support it. You danced for Sport Relief in 2012? Was it a relief when you stopped? Do you have family and any off spring likely to take over the Diddy title, or working in show biz? You are now 80, nearly as old as dear old Jess Conrad. Do you see him these days?

David told us: “When I was at school, I wanted to be a professional footballer or a DJ. Luckily, I chose the latter, otherwise I would have retired 40 years ago. I never earned much money at Radio 1. When I hosted Top Of The Pops, the most I ever got was £90. In those days, the BBC was very careful with its money.”

“Talking of money, when I introduced The Beatles in the Sixties, my fee was 10 guineas. I tell people I`m on the same money today! I started broadcasting on the British Forces Network in Germany while I was doing my National Service in the RAF. Elvis was in Germany at the same time doing his National Service with the US army. I was one of the first DJs to play rock `n` roll.

“Until then, the playlist consisted of the likes of Bing Crosby and Peggy Lee, but I persuaded the station boss that the troops wanted rock `n` roll. My first broadcast was in January 1959, and I`ve been in broadcasting ever since… Radio 1, Radio 2 and lots of commercial stations. It`s my 60th anniversary in radio in January. I`m still on several stations and plan to celebrate my anniversary on a new station opening in January. Sadly, I don`t play any musical instruments but I admire people who do and make it look so easy. That`s their craft. I`m sad to hear that so many artists seem to be retiring.

“I hope it isn`t that their fans are dying off. I think perhaps the market has been saturated with Sixties shows with too many people jumping on the bandwagon. The artist I was most excited to meet was Roy Orbison. I think it was because he`d been there throughout my lifetime and Only The Lonely was one of the first records I bought. I played it over and over on my father`s radiogram.

“I did one of the last television interviews with The Big O, and when he died, a clip of it was shown on the ITN news. I enjoyed Dancing for Sport Relief although, as my wife will tell you, I am not a dancer. No one is as old as Jess Con-rad, although we were both pictured in the Daily Mail. As you will see from the article, I am now 80, but there is life in the old dog yet!”