Interview: Faith Brown
FAITH Brown is famous for her big voice, her big personality and her even bigger bust.
And she's back on the variety circuit with the Best of British Variety Tour 2009, where she will perform alongside other classic acts Cannon and Ball, Tom O’Connor, Bucks Fizz and Nookie Bear.
“What's so good about this show is that we’ve all worked together before in the old days — and we all get on great,” said Faith.
“I think Britain's Got Talent has paved the way for this type of show.”
“They asked me four times whether I’d do the show and I wasn't sure initially, but I think people are now ready for this type of entertainment. They've realised what they were missing out on.”
Faith is famous for her comedy and impressions, as well as singing, and she will be bringing all of her skills to the stage.
“I'll be telling all the old stories about who I've met and what I’ve done with my life, but I'll also be singing because I'm a singer first and foremost. For the youngsters I'll be doing some impressions — Winehouse, Duffy and Lily Allen — it's all about striking a balance.
“I've always said you can't please all of the people all of the time, but if I please a few of the people all of the time, that's good enough for me.”
Faith’s TV career was launched with appearances on Who Do You Do (1975-1976), a showcase for a generation of impressionists and comics, and Ken Dodd's World of Laughter.
She was a regular celebrity participant on Celebrity Squares, Blankety Blank and Give Us a Clue in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. In 1996 she appeared as the social climbing Anne Bradley in soap Brookside.
In 2001 Faith starred, to great acclaim, as faded icon Norma Desmond in a touring production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard.
Faith believes this was the role she was born to play.
“I have honestly never had a reaction from the public like I had for that show. Never,” she said.
“It was the most amazing feeling ever.
“When I auditioned for Andrew Lloyd Webber I was so nervous. I dressed for the part. She used to wear this big turban and bright red lipstick, your typical silent movie actress look, so that's what I went for. But when my husband dropped me off for the audition he literally had to push me out of the car. I said ‘I can't do this, I’m too nervous.’ “My mouth was dry and my lips were sticking to my teeth and when I sang Andrew put his head in his hands. I thought ‘I’ve blown it’ but when I'd finished he came to me and said 'Faith, you are my Norma Desmond.' I couldn't believe it. Apparently he's never done that before. It was wonderful and I won three awards for the show.”
But for the time being, Faith is simply looking forward to touring the country with the Best of British Variety Tour and reminding her fans she's still around.
“When people don’t see you on TV they assume you're dead,” she laughed.
“But I’m alive and I'm still working. I'm a stupid old fool but I've had some amazing experiences.”
l See Faith Brown at Blackpool Opera House on Friday, August 14. Call 0844 856 1111 for tickets.
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