Soundtrack Of My Life: Bradley Walsh

‘The Chase’ host and monstrously successful solo singer

The first song I remember hearing

The Fortunes – ‘Storm in a Teacup’

“I went into Watford town centre and bought it as a ‘45 single. It was written by a woman called Lynsey de Paul, and strangely enough she became a mate of mine years later. We were doing Jack and the Beanstalk in Oxford in the late ‘80s and we were talking about old songs. She said, ‘I wrote that!’ It was me, Lynsey, Alvin Stardust and Madge from Neighbours in the panto. The dream team!”


The first gig I went to

Randy Crawford

“I used to go to a pub called The Verulam Arms in Watford, on St. Albans Road, and they had a battle of the bands on a Monday night. You’d get people like Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes and The Late Road Lunatics and all these sorts of bands. It was great! But the first real gig I went to was Randy Crawford in 1980. Seeing a big star like that was just fantastic.”

The song I do at karaoke

Frank Sinatra – ‘That’s Life’

“That would also be the song I would have played at my funeral. It says it all about showbiz and life in general. For me, it means: ‘You’ve had your ups, you’ve had your downs, you’ve gotta pick yourself up, get on with it and just crack on’. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too short, you’re too fat, you’re too thin, you’re too ugly – that’s nonsense. For all the ‘No’s, someone’s gonna say, ‘Yes.’ Stick with it.”


The first album I bought

Stevie Wonder – ‘Song in the Key of Life’

“Stevie Wonder is extraordinary. When you hear someone who writes the tune and the lyrics, all of their music is normally along the same kind of path. You can say: ‘Oh, that sounds like so-and-so.” The thing with Stevie Wonder is that every single track is different. There are no two tracks that are the same; there’s no formula to his songs. He’s just a genius.”

The artist that changed my life

Tony Bennett

When I got into show business as a stand-up comedian, I was driving in my little green Mini to perform in Ringma, Sussex at the Roebuck Inn. I had to drop into my Auntie Iris’ house and she asked, ‘Do you listen to music in the car?’, and gave me a Tony Bennett cassette. It had ‘Firefly’ and ‘The Good Life’ on it. It was sensational. I played it and played and played it on a loop. In those days, there was no M25, none of that – there was no ring roads – so you had to drive from Watford all the way through London to get to Sussex and it was probably a three-hour journey. I remember arriving outside the gig and the album hadn’t finished its third play, so I drove around the block until it finished. I was mesmerised by his voice and the arrangements.”

The song I wish I’d written

Neil Sedaka – ‘The Hungry Years’

“Listen to the lyrics. It’s unbelievable. It’s all about the journey to get there and, sometimes, [success] isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That’s the song I wish I’d written because so many people I know in showbiz say, ‘That’s my favourite song’. Once you’ve got [success], you’ve got be happy as well. It’s a very, very poignant song.”

The song that reminds me of home

Christmas songs

“‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, ‘White Christmas’ – anything Christmassy. My 19-year-old son, Barney, plays them on piano at home. I just sit with a glass of wine and listen to him; he’s really good. He actually played on ‘One For My Baby’ on [my album ‘Chasing Dreams’, which became the bestselling debut album of 2016]. Barney’s the pianist I wanted to be.”

The song that makes me want to dance

ABBA – ‘Dancing Queen’

“It’s a no-brainer. How many people have said that? Every time it comes on, I just can’t help it. I can’t dance to save my life really – proper, proper dad dancing – but I was once at a wrap party for a show and, at the end of the night, they still hadn’t played ‘Dancing Queen’. So we extended the wrap party for 40 minutes and played ‘Dancing Queen’ 11 times in a row.”

Bradley Walsh’s new album ‘When You’re Smiling’ is released November 10’


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