Old timers at the Futurist

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IT’S third time lucky for the Futurist Theatre show Hit Parade Heroes on Friday.

The original headliner, Jet Harris of the Shadows, died in March and was replaced on the bill by Craig Douglas.

Unfortunately, Craig broke a hip and has in turn been replaced on the bill by Mike Sarne.

By the time the Evening News went to press, nothing untoward had happened to Mike.

The actor, director and former pop singer, now 71, is best known for his 1962 comedy number one hit, Come Outside, featuring vocal interjections by Wendy Richard.

In the mid 1960s Mike introduced the ITV children’s quiz series, Junior Criss Cross Quiz.

Films he has directed include Myra Breckinridge (1970), an adaptation of Gore Vidal’s book of the same name, starring Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Mae West and Farrah Fawcett in her first big screen role.

The Punk and the Princess (1994) adapted Gideon Sams’ young adult novel The Punk, about the romance between a teenage punk rocker and an upper-class Sloane Ranger. He directed a documentary about the Glastonbury music festival in 1995.

As an actor, he has appeared mainly on TV, in British series including The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, Jonathan Creek and The Bill.

Mike had a relationship with Brigitte Bardot only a few days after her honeymoon with Gunter Sachs.

Hit Parade Heroes also features John Leyton and Mike Berry, whose hit singles, like Mike Sarne’s, were produced by pioneering record producer and songwriter Joe Meek, who committed suicide in 1967, aged 37.

John, who was a top teen idol in the early 60s, had nine hit singles, starting with a number one, Johnny Remember Me, 50 years ago this week.

When John’s chart career fizzled out he turned to acting and had roles in The Great Escape (starring Steve McQueen and James Garner) in 1963, Von Ryan’s Express (starring Frank Sinatra) in 1965 and Krakatoa, East of Java in 1969.

Acting roles became fewer and farther between during the 1970s and by the early 1980s he was no longer active in showbusiness.

In the 1990s, however, he began performing in the Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show with artists such as Marty Wilde and Joe Brown. The 2004 tour featured John, Showaddywaddy, Freddy Cannon and Craig Douglas.

Mike Berry, 68, is an English actor and singer, who had three hit singles in the 1960s: Tribute to Buddy Holly, Don’t You Think it’s Time and My Little Baby.

In the mid-1970s he returned to the charts in Holland and Belgium, as pirate station Radio Mi Amigo played his new record material.

In the late 1970s he played Mr Peters, the father of the two children in the TV version of the Worzel Gummidge books, along with Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs. His character, Bert Spooner, replaced Trevor Bannister’s Mr Lucas in Are You Being Served? in 1981, and stayed until the end of the show’s run in 1985.

The three Hit Parade Heroes will be backed at the Futurist by the Flames.