THE Liverpool-born comedian has been a national institution since the 60s.
He was at school with John Lennon and, alongside The Beatles and Cilla Black, put the city on the map.
He has hosted a raft of TV shows over the decades and still performs live, currently touring the country with Des O’Connor.
Des’s most endearing, and annoying, traits?
His charm is endearing, and being with him is the easiest way of going to work I’ve had in 50 years. His worst trait is that he never buys a drink.
Do you worry about mortality?
More and more. I have a theory that God is having a Royal Variety Performance just now upstairs with Cilla, Terry Wogan, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood and the others. How else do you explain the past year?
Which would be easier to give up – golf or performing?
Do I have to? OK. Golf. I love performing because the audiences are so pleased to see you. They came as kids and now they bring their grandchildren.
Are you a trusting person?
Always, but I demand trust in return. If anyone abuses that trust it’s “goodbye”. I will cut them out of my life in an instant.
Are you a lucky person?
Someone has been sitting on my shoulder looking after me. I believe in God, and I’d go to a church, a mosque, a synagogue, the lot. All people who inspire faith must be special whether Jesus or Muhammad, don’t you think?
The one star who you were in awe of?
Elvis. We spent two days together and he was a gentleman. Don’t believe what people write about him. Sadly I didn’t get any photos of us together.
The stars you wish you could have worked with?
Laurel and Hardy. As a 12-year-old boy I saw them with my Dad on stage at the Liverpool Empire. They were my heroes, and I stood just four feet away from them.
Political Correctness. Good or bad for comedians?
A disaster! I just ignore it because what’s funny is funny. But I never go out to upset people, and there are certain words I’d never use.
What other career did you fantasise having?
I wanted to play football for Liverpool and England.
You have 24 hours left to live. How do you spend the time?
I’d spend the day playing golf at the San Lorenzo course in Portugal, then hop over the bridge to Gigi’s restaurant for a dinner of fresh fish. That would do me.
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