My TV life – pop legend Shakin’ Stevens

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What was your first TV memory?

When I was very young, Bill and Ben, The Flower Pot Men, “flobalob!” They had to go back in the pots when the man came down the garden. That was on Watch With Mother. It had a different show every day. Monday was Picture Book, Bill and Ben were Tuesday.

What was your first TV appearance?

It was on a German music programme way back in the early 70s when I was in a band called The Sunsets. Here, it was on Top Of The Pops in 1980 with Hot Dog – my first hit after all those years of touring and sleeping in vans.

Who was your first TV crush?

Ursula Andress coming out of the sea in Dr No, the first Bond film. She was Honey Ryder. I remember my friend’s jaw dropped to his knees when we watched it!

What is your favourite current show?

Would I Lie To You? We find that quite funny and it lifts your mood. The news is pretty depressing. We need more laughter on television.

Which TV show would you take to a desert island?

The Benny Hill Show. Benny’s gags still crack me up. I was very sad at the way ITV got rid of him. It was so disrespectful. He was terrific – the songs, the silly sketches, the characters, the naughty side. Things change I know, but the best of Benny Hill is timeless.

What TV show would you like to put out of its misery?

I don’t like dramas that rely on violence and shock. You see so many horrible things, bloody corpses and so on. It’s lazy and unnecessary. I’m from a different era.

Guiltiest TV pleasure?

Agatha Christie is always a pleasure, the shows are nice and relaxing. I enjoyed Downton Abbey too.

What are you up to at the moment?   

I’ve been working with BMG on what they call a “book pack” – we used to call them box-sets. It’s called Fire In The Blood with19CDs and 266 tracks, from Hot Dog on.

• Fire In The Blood by Shakin’ Stevens and his 3CD singles collection Singled Out are both out now.

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