10:30 - 04 May 2007
|Joe LongthorneGrand Theatre, Swansea|
MAN of many voices, Joe Longthorne, will be helping audiences in Swansea forget their troubles next week when he pays a return visit to the Grand Theatre.
The singer and impressionist has to put aside his own worries when he takes the stage with a couple of hours of great songs and hilarious impressions.
Once the ultimate "Hull boy done good", his rags-to-riches story has been tainted by bankruptcy and leukaemia.
A household name for more than quarter of a century, none of his problems have dented his popularity.
The man of 100 voices will undoubtedly take the opportunity to share his impression of a particular Welsh favourite, Shirley Bassey, who has said of him: "Joe can do me better than I can do myself."
Despite being dyslexic and deaf in one ear, Joe began performing in talent shows at the age of four and, by his early teens, was beginning to make a name for himself on ITV's Junior Showtime, LWT's Search for a Star and BBC's Les Dennis Laughter Show before getting his own series.
The shows earned him millions in his late-1980s heyday, but by 2000 he had run up debts of more than £1 million and had to declare himself bankrupt.
He played to packed houses at the London Palladium, sharing the stage with Bruce Forsyth, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross and Bob Hope.
But in an eventful and sometimes tragic career, Joe, now 52, has long learned to live without regrets and will be sharing his enthusiasm for new challenges at the Grand on Tuesday.