My life in showbusiness

Please write to my Manager for more information. God Bless, Tony.

manager@tonydurant.co.uk

My life in showbusiness began at the age of eight. I have always loved all God's creatures and studied them from the age of five. I started performing on stage every fortnight at the Children's Matinee Cinema Club in West Wickham in Kent as a result of winning the talent competition for the novelty section which put me into the all London Final. I then won the novelty section of that. I then was featured on the BBC Carol Levis Discoveries Radio Show which went out nationally and started to do work in theatres. The cinema club in West Wickam supplied my brother and I with plenty of ice creams, chocolates etc'... and we thought what a marvellous life.

I have always felt an affinity with St Francis who also impersonated bird and animal sounds and believe he is one of my guardian angels.

Whilst in the Royal Artillery I continued being an entertainer as I was in army concerts. Whilst in one concert I was spotted by a man that owned a hotel and he asked me to do a regular cabaret of 15 minutes featuring bird and animal sounds ending with whistling to the lovely music of in a monastery gardens and sometimes Sanctuary of the Heart. I do feature many musical things. I got a lot of work from this but was still in the Royal Artillery where I stayed for nine years. When I was at North Wales I met Ken Williams from the RSPB. He asked me to do bird impressions in front of experts. They were very impressed and they gave me a certificate of authenticity and said I am the best they have ever heard. I do hundreds of bird and animal sounds as well as trains, boats, planes etc...

Whilst still in the Royal Artillery I went to Alex Munro's old time musical show at Llandudno. I was asked out of the audience to do some entertainment and I stopped the show. They were very impressed. Alex Munro asked me to be a regular guest on the show. He knew I was leaving the Royal Artillery soon and asked me to do a summer seasonal show the following year of twenty seven weeks. I did two summer seasons and got my equity card. I also worked with Jimmy Clithero as a double act at the Pier Pavilion. I then did work all over the place. I got a regular spot on Magpie Television Show, did bits of acting in films, lots of radio etc ... Eventually I did a summer season at Pontins in 1976 where I did a regular show and was also a swimming instructor. I was a qualified swimming instructor from my Royal Artillery days.

This is for our Prince Charles. Sarah is very very fond of him, knows he is a nice man, and hopes the good Lord will give him a good future for himself, England and the world. She believes the Queen, the Church, Prince Philip and his grandmother give him good advice and that he wants to be a good person and is a kind caring man.

We are featuring these two roses as a tribute to our Queen and our Queen Mother.

We are featuring the candles for Princess Diana and Princess Margaret who are now in heaven.

Subsequent to this I was well established in showbusiness and worked with people like Bob Monkhouse, Leslie Crowther, Roger Whittacker, Simon King and Johnathan King, Des O'Connor, Freddie Star, Jim Davidson, Bobby Davro, and many others and appeared on many television and radio shows and appearing at all the top clubs.  Jim said on tv he is a tiger so this tiger picture is to make him smile and give him good luck in the future.

Sarah Jane did legal and nanny work in Windsor. She wants to say something to Dickie. Well Dickie, the years have been kind to us and we have been kind to them. I will always remember you and what was then your little child Victoria, age 9, from your former marriage very fondly, and I am so proud of how both our lives have turned out. As you were waiting for another nanny when I worked for you, when she arrived I looked after a Bank Managers children near you as you know then went back to legal work for David Grey in London. I always understood, though I missed you both. The dove of peace is for you.

 

Many of the sound effects you hear on television and radio are me. I did all the specialised sound effects for the television series Seagull Island for EMI. All of these sound effects were definitely used and it was great fun to do. I was Dennis the Parrot !! in a BBC play called ' Hey Look There its me Dennis ' which won an award. I was also concord, trains and many other things.

Jim Davidson, Freddie Star and Bobbie Davro are three of the most talented men in showbusiness. Jim's books are very honest and can help others as well as himself learn from his mistakes e.g. drinking. My Manager and I know what a very nice man he is and how he is a good person that wants to stay a good person and improve, as many of us do. No one is perfect and he is one of the people who does a lot for charity and has always kept his promise to his mum who is a decent person and she can be proud of him. We both wish him healthy, wealthy and wise.

I open a lot of fetes and like to do the Cheshire Homes one in Timsbury.

I did a festival of Remembrance at the Apollo Theatre at Oxford for the Royal British Legion who I have done a lot for. I did the sounds of the Battle of Britain and Sir Winston Churchill's famous speech amongst other things. I have appeared in cabarets in Spain as well England, Scotland in Wales. I did a pantomime as Tommy Tucker in Edinburgh. I have been in many other pantomimes including one at Cleveland in which I was the Squire.

I have appeared in hundreds of films both as an actor, a horseman, a swimmer, an entertainer, etc as well as doing sound effects for films etc.... Some of the earlier films were marvellous as I worked with Peter Cushing, David Niven, Christopher Lee, Ryan O'Neil, Beryl Reid, Dame Flora Robson, Judy Foster, Hardy Krugger, Jim Dale and so on. Some of the earlier films were Barry Lyndon, Canterville Ghost, Kidnapped with Oliver Tobias Joseph Andrews, Diagnosis Murder, and Moll Flanders, A Horseman Riding By, Moonfleet. In the Horseman Riding By I also did water stunting. A nice production was Howard's Way also White Knights which was a film about a ballet. Witches and Grinigogs was a fun film for children. I speak other languages and films often need bi-lingual people. All of my dogs have appeared in films and always been seen to be in excellent condition. Sarah Jane has helped manage and organise teams of film extras, appeared in films herself like the Russian ballet, and we have had a very interesting life. Sarah has always been treated with great respect as a showbusiness manager and always been very kind, polite, smart, diplomatic and efficient. Sarah Jane was a wonderful ballet dancer herself as a child and could have joined the Ballet Rambert and she is also a champion swimmer, diver and life saver. Her ballet teacher Miss Woodhouse Smith from her prep school always says Sarah would have been one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. She also speaks other languages well, plays the guitar and piano and is far too modest.

One of the nicest thing we have done is do research and swimming with the Dolphins, Also things like helping the save the seal campaign and work for the RSPCA and National Pet Show.

Some festivals of remembrance, cabarets, filming etc are hundreds of miles away and Sarah Jane's father, Terry who is like an uncle to me, has always been happy to fetch us at 3 in the morning ! from miles away if the car's got electrical faults. I think his trout lake which is surrounded by wildlife is marvellous. We also swim in his best friend Ashley's farm at Cheddar. Sarah's father gave a lot of money towards a swimming pool for Sarah's prep school she went to at Beckington Castle and he has always given her lots of time, money and antiques. We were very sad when he needed a heart bypass and are delighted he has recovered so well. He is a confident public speaker and we want to get him a part in a film doing what he does so well and that his valuing and videoing antiques for security etc... His antique shops were visited by thousands of Americans and showbusiness personalities etc and he is a good chap who is knowledgeable and well travelled. He although being a professional man was excellent in local dramatics and now he has had his heart bypass is fit and well again to look to the future. Perhaps there's still time to be a film star Terry !!! keep taking the tablets.

One of many other interesting aspects to my work has been us all dressing up in old costumes and my entertaining at places like Mottisfont Abbey and lots of Banquets as there were bird and animal impressionists in those days.

I have often been asked to call animals out for filming purposes and am very interested in natural history.

I have been interviewed by hundreds of radio stations and worked with Mike Reed Radio 1 at seaside locations which is nice.

Some of the television shows include, a regular appearance on Magpie, Women Only, Cuckoo in the Nest, Points West, Nationwide, The Show Must Go On, Billidowcar, Bath and West Show, No 73, Pebble Mill, Channel 4, BBC Children in Need amongst dozens others. Channel 4 came to interview me and did a days filming at the Rode Bird Gardens in the year 2000 which went very well.

A lot of my showbusiness work has been for charities as with many showbusiness characters and I will write about some of that on my charities page.

I have entertained at many office parties, weddings, children's parties, hospitals, churches, groups such as the Rotary Club etc and many old peoples homes.

At children's parties especially they love all the sounds and music of Born Free, The Jungle Book, Old Macdonald Had a farm, The Onedin line and many others.