Joe Longthorne returns to the Futurist

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SINGER Joe Longthorne returns to the Futurist Theatre on Friday.

During his career Joe, 56, has notched up several platinum selling albums and become a skilled impersonator, with more than 100 of the world’s finest singers in his repertoire including Shirley Bassey.

The legendary songstress once remarked: “Joe can do me better than I can do myself.”

Born in Hull, Joe started performing in talent shows aged four and made a name for himself on TV programmes such as Yorkshire TV’s Junior Showtime.

National recognition arrived in 1981 when he appeared in the London Weekend TV show Search for a Star. Joe’s own TV series soon followed.

Joe, who lives in Blackpool, has shared the stage with many of the world’s greatest artists, appearing in royal variety performances and with Bob Hope at the London Palladium.

He has suffered with various health problems and was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1989.

After responding to treatment, Joe toured Australia and in the early 1990s enjoyed sell-out performances at the Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and the London Palladium.

His music videos were steady sellers in the 1990s, but financial problems from mismanagement led him to bankruptcy in the later part of the decade.

His illness degenerated into leukaemia and he underwent a bone marrow transplant. In 2006, Joe performed again at the London Palladium and in 2007 the Variety Club awarded him its lifetime achievement award; previous recipients included Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald.

The concert is due to start at 8pm.