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WHY would audiences flock to hear 1970s cheesy classics like YMCA, Blame It On The Boogie, We Are Family and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart?

Because those old hits were the soundtrack to their lives, according to a legend from the era and now a star of stage show Boogie Nights – ‘Little’ Jimmy Osmond.

“Why is there such an appeal for the music?” he asks. “When you go on your first date or whatever, all those experiences are set to music, so it takes us back to earlier parts of our life.”

BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE – Andy Abraham, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Chico, Shane Richie Junior and Jimmy Osmond (inset)

BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE – Andy Abraham, Gareth Gates, Louisa Lytton, Chico, Shane Richie Junior and Jimmy Osmond (inset)

And don’t get the idea that it’s just women who like to re-live their musical youth.

“A lot of them bring their guys along and they look disgruntled at first,” says Jimmy laughing.

“They sit there with folded arms making out ‘the women dragged us here’, but at the end they’re rocking out and singing along – and that makes me so happy. It makes me feel like I’ve had a good experience.

“You also see sons and daughters come along because they have experienced the music with their families.”

Boogie Nights is also a family affair for Jimmy. As well as Gareth Gates and X Factor stars Andy Abrahams, Laura White and Chico, the show includes his brothers Merrill and Jay.

“When my brothers come out we play ourselves and do a medley mix that includes Love Me For A Reason and Crazy Horses and we might throw in a few lesser known ones,” he reveals.

“But it has all the music we all love. It’s fun for us to perform other people’s hits as well.

“I did Boogie Nights years ago and I had such a blast, so I was keen to come back and do it again.Then, at the end of last year’s Osmonds tour, Jay and Merrill said ‘Hey we fancy that’.

“The producers had already hired Gareth Gates and Andy Abrahams but I said ‘Do you mind if my brothers come and join in?’ and they were over the moon.”

Jimmy was too young to be part of The Osmonds originally but he is keen to point out: “I was the first one of my family to record. I had the first hit in the family, I was this little kid singing and had a hit in Japan – the song was called My Little Darling.

“And I’d had four or five hits prior to Long Haired Lover (his first big UK hit in 1972). My first show was with Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra when I was three.”

He has always been very much part of the family and has toured with his brothers in recent years.

“Anybody who has lasted has had to reinvent themselves and put themselves forward for different projects. That’s why my brothers and sisters have lasted,” says Jimmy.

“We’ve kept going because we’ve always been open to new things and never been so precious about who we are, or take ourselves too seriously.

“Every one of our personalities is different and we look at things differently, and we have learned to agree to differ. It’s a tough business but we still get along. So many families fall apart because of the narcissism of it.

“It helps that our dad always taught us there’s something bigger than us, which is a relationship with your family and a belief system, and that helps to get you through.

“Sometimes one of us will go off and try something else but they always come back, and we all have our roles to play. I don’t really have any expertise but I guess I’m the clean-up guy. I’ve always loved the business side and represented other artists as well as my brothers and sisters.

“But the most fun is to be part of the team. It can’t be just about me. It comes in things like Boogie Nights where you’re one of the cast, or on tour with The Osmonds where you’re one of the family. Those projects are such fun and it uses all your skills.”

Jimmy Osmond (along with Jay and Merrill) stars in Boogie Nights which will be at G Live in Guildford on Sunday, February 3 and at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, on Friday, March 1.

JON RICHARDSON has been on the road for most of this year – but he’s loving it.

The comic, who made his name as a team captain on Channel 4’s panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, spends his time on stage pondering the everyday items that have a major effect on his outlook.

Now host of Channel 4’s topical comedy show, Stand Up For The Week, Jon (below) says TV is great but he loves touring more.

“Live comedy is such a rush,” he says. “That’s why I’m not a writer or an actor or a painter.

“There’s simply nothing like the urgency of having 500 people look at you and expect you to be funny.

“I love writing, but it’s a totally different experience. You know that on a 60-date tour, every single night will be different.

“Everyone is there in that particular moment, and it will never happen again. At every show, the room is set up differently and every person in the audience has a different barometer.

“You’re aware that any moment someone might stand up and shout ‘I completely disagree!’ That’s what’s so brilliant about stand-up!”

Jon’s reputation has been built on comedy that strikes a chord with most people.

He says: “There’s nothing better than the laughter of recognition – that sense the audience has felt the same thing.

“I learned that when I did my stuff about obsessive-compulsive behaviour. People listen to you and think, I’m not on my own.

“Nothing can beat the sight of people in the audience nudging their partners and saying, ‘You’re like that’.

“You’re not alone if you find it difficult get out of bed in the morning or if you have moments of sadness. For me, being sad proves you’re still alive. I don’t trust people who say they’re never sad – that shows an element of delusion.

“You have to accept that bad things can happen. You have to notice what’s wrong in order to fix it.”

Much of Jon’s set is devoted to contemplation of growing older and he says: “The core element of every show is about trying to be happy.

“This year I’m turning 30. It doesn’t mean a great deal to me. I’ve always felt a lot older than I am, and I’ve grown more comfortable with myself as I’ve got older.

“But the big dilemma is that I haven’t really had the 20s most people have had. I haven’t slept around or drunk as much as others. Your youth should be about making mistakes, but during my 20s I limited the risks and didn’t take too many wrong turns.

“You should hit 30 and think ‘Now’s the time to knuckle down’ but I went too early with knuckling down. Perhaps the opposite will happen now and I’ll start letting people down.”

Jon is disarmingly honest and that will shine through in the show where he will talk about a recent relationship break-up.

“If you’re discussing something on stage, you have to mean it. You can’t spend your life deliberately ordering the wrong things in restaurants just so you can get a routine out of it,” he says.

“I talk about issues such as the fear of the end of a relationship, which I hope everyone will be able to associate with. But rest assured, if it’s not funny, it doesn’t get into the show.”

Jon, who will also be discussing living with friends, adds: “If I read this interview, I might think, Is this guy a comedian or just too tight to pay for counselling?’

“But ultimately my stand-up is like house renovation. Every year I take the wreck that is my life and renovate it on stage.

“There’s an underlying pessimism to my world view, but I’m like a workman who accepts the damage and still tries to sort it out. Maybe I’ll have to start wearing a hard hat on stage.”

Jon Richardson will be at G Live, Guildford, on Tuesday, September 4.

ALL AT SEA – House Of Burlesque girls give being Shipwrecked! a glamorous look

ALL AT SEA – House Of Burlesque girls give being Shipwrecked! a glamorous look

HOW do you get to be a burlesque artist? Well, for Miss Tempest Rose it came from a love of showing off.

The glamorous Tempest, who brings Shipwrecked! to Surrey this month, reveals: “I trained as a musical theatre actress and did that professionally for about three years, but then a colleague suggested I audition for the Kitten Club, which is London’s longest-running burlesque club.

“She knew I loved to sing and dress up and show off and said you’d love this.

“So I auditioned even though I didn’t have a clue about burlesque – I’d seen the film Cabaret and imagined it was similar – and got in. That was about five years ago.”

Tempest took to the art form immediately and has never looked back, even travelling to Las Vegas to appear at the Burlesque Hall Of Fame.

“To me burlesque is a way for women performers to be all the things they are in real life, which can be intelligent, funny,
playful, inspiring as well as sexy,” she says.

“For people who haven’t seen it before, I’d say if you think of burlesque as a sensual type of theatrical entertainment, you wouldn’t be far wrong. It can be very funny but also very sexy and beautiful.”

Shipwrecked! is being taken on tour by Tempest’s company, the House Of  Burlesque, and while burlesque performers are usually female, this show includes a male artist as well.

“We’ll be singing and dancing all in glamorous striptease costume and with beautiful jazz music.

“We tend to think of burlesque as the British meaning which is ‘satire’ – it’s very playful and funny and tongue-in-cheek. Each of our scenes is tied together by a central theme – in this case Shipwrecked!

“All the acts add to the story from sailing to hunting and there are flamboyant costumes and even a hula hoop routine. Each of the acts has a little story of its own.”

And if you like the look of the outfits and want to dress to impress at a House Of Burlesque show, feel free.

“The audience often dress up,” says Tempest. “Lots of people come in beautiful costumes, and it really adds to the show – but people shouldn’t feel pressurised into doing it. You can come along dressed however you want.”

The House Of Burlesque will present Shipwrecked! at G Live in Guildford on Saturday, July 14.