StarTurn ‘rabbits’ with Gordon Bennett

StarTurn interviews its newest artist, leading international cockney entertainer, Gordon Bennett,  This is Gordon’s busiest time of year, the period around,  and including, St Georges Day – 23rd April. People all over the world become strangely nostalgic and patriotic for things English. They often love to have a good old sing-along and knee’s up too, and who better than Gordon to lead them and get the audience involved. If you want to book cockney entertainment for your St George’s day celebrations then you’d need to book Gordon at least a year in advance. Although any time is a celebration with Gordon Bennett!

Ever wondered what inspires someone to become a cockney entertainer – lets see what makes Gordon tick……

Why did you choose to become a cockney entertainer?

“Well I suppose I got the bug when I performed in a Junior School concert. Then I fell into it really, around the time Chas & Dave brought out their ‘rcokney’ style EP, ‘Oily Rags’, before their big hits, something about their music quite literally struck a chord.”

How did you actually start and how old were you?

“Well music was in the family. My Nan and Granddad played piano and violin and used to sing at the Hackney Empire. Also when living in Tottenham for a while she used to play piano in the picture palace for the silent movies. When I started professionally I was around 16, not old enough to drive so my Dad had to take me to all my gigs. Often we’d find ourselves at pubs where there were regular coach trip ‘pull-ups’ and I had to sing to groups of old ladies – they taught me a lot of the old songs in a hurry! But I really did have lots of help and support from my Mum and Dad and Grandparents who I’m sure would be proud of me today for carrying the tradition on.”

What sets you apart from other cockney entertainers?

“Ooo, that’s a hard one! I don’t really get time to see other cockney entertainers as I’m always working. I think I am quite dynamic, and I perform all the old songs but in a modern way. I’m not always what people expect – I bring a new dimension to an old thing. I am also a very happy-go-lucky cheeky chappie, and that comes over to the audience.  One lady recently said that I oozed happiness and that my performance was delightfully infectious! “

What’s your best career moment?

“I’ve been on TV a few times, once on the same magazine interview show for Sky TV, with Joanna Lumley! I’ve worked with, and met, loads of celebrities; including my heroes Chas and Dave, who told me to ‘keep flying the flag’! I was also in the movie ‘Amazing Grace’. I’ve done a bit of radio as well, and performed for Royalty! There have been so many best moments but actually every performance I do is a ‘best’ as I really do enjoy every moment of what I do.”

What’s your worst career moment?

“Grotty venues and bouncing cheques!!! But that’s not very often these days.”

Where in the world have you performed?

All over the UK, Gibraltar and Spain. I’ve been asked to go to Australia to perform but have been too busy to fit in a trip. My favourite place to work is the Home Counties and London.”

What is your favourite cockney song?

“Another hard one! I do like the Chas and Dave songs the best and was thrilled to receive their blessing to perform their songs. “

Name three things you can’t live without?

“First and foremost – my children and family. My iPod and of course my driving licence – it would be impossible to travel the length and breadth of the UK to perform without it!”

What advice do you have for someone starting out in entertainment?

“Keep preserving and get a thick skin. You’ve just got to keep plugging away. Also, in these days of political correctness – if in doubt leave it out!”

A fact about yourself that may surprise people?

“I truly believe that it’s my privilege in life to make people happy, I’m very lucky and enjoy what I do.”

What questions would you like to ask Gordon? Post them here and we’ll do our best to answer them…..

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