The frontman of the novelty Europop act Black Lace has revealed that he was forced to repeatedly sing his group’s most famous song for his fellow inmates while serving a recent prison sentence.
Dene Michael Betteridge, who was an official member of the still-active pop group between 1987 and 1991, recently served 10 weeks of a six-month sentence at HMP Leeds after fraudulently claiming £25,000 in benefits.
Betteridge, who received an early release on condition that he wear an electronic tag, has now spoken of his experience in prison, revealing that his fellow inmates besieged him with requests to perform Black Lace’s 1984 single ‘Agadoo’.
Speaking to The Sun, Betteridge confessed that he found the inmates’ requests to be “very odd.”
“But these terrifying criminals tell you to do something you do it, so we had a conga of convicts snaking around the jail,” he explained. “They all seemed to find it hilarious and everyone joined in. It lifted the gloom somewhat. All the murderers and drug dealers wanted to be my mate.”
“It was all the time, everyone wanted to sing ‘Agadoo’ with me. It was surreal singing the party song about pushing pineapples and shaking the tree in such grim circumstances, but people were obsessed. At night when we were all in our cells, the entire wing was singing in chorus: ‘Agadoo doo doo’. I thought the prison officers would be angry but they found it hilarious.”
The 59-year-old had been claiming disability benefits after claiming that he couldn’t walk and required a carer, despite giving live performances as Black Lace that involved “vigorous physical activity” on stage. He also auditioned on The Voice, while last year he appeared in a Walker’s advert alongside Gary Lineker.