Five things you might not know about John Shuttleworth

Five things you might not know about John Shuttleworth

The polo-necked Yorkshireman hits the road with A Wee Ken To Remember

1. He's a chart-topper …

The man behind John Shuttleworth, Sheffield’s finest singer-songwriter, is Graham Fellows. At the age of 19, Fellows hit the charts with ‘Jilted John’, met Debbie Harry on Top of the Pops, and appeared in Coronation Street as one of Gail Potter’s early suitors, while his real dream was to end up at the RSC. Instead, in 1985 he stumbled into comedy via the character of John Shuttleworth and has been donning the polo necks, fawn slacks and leather jackets ever since.

2. He tried and failed to enter Eurovision (our loss) …

Among Shuttleworth’s many classic numbers, belted out on his trusty Yamaha PSS portable keyboard. are ‘Relatives in Rotherham’, ‘Pigeons in Flight’, ‘I Can’t Go Back to Savoury Now’ and ‘Austin Ambassador Y Reg’. One of the locations where he pens his new tunes is at an eco-friendly recording studio in a converted church in Orkney. In 1998, he made a BBC film, Europigeon, about his attempts to get ‘Pigeons in Flight’ entered into Eurovision. It didn’t quite work out that way.

3. He once appeared on The Sooty Show, yes that one

Among his more unlikely TV appearances are on CITV’S Sooty in 2011 where he played a policeman (Officer Shuttleworth) and in 1993 he sang ‘The Christmas Orphan’ on a Vic ‘n’ Bob BBC yuletide special. His own small-screen shows have included 500 Bus Stops (a spoof title referencing Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels) and It’s Nice Up North.

4. He recommends avoiding curries before performances …

Fellows’ choice of pre-gig snack is sandwiches with a side order of walnuts. He once accidentally had a curry before a gig in Nottingham and he blamed its heaviness for the lack of dynamism in the subsequent show.

5. He might not be around forever …

How long John Shuttleworth has left in the entertainment world is entirely up to Graham Fellows. He stated recently that John can’t go on forever, and as a way of perhaps easing that moment in, Fellows is planning to do some shows under his own name. He has a raft of songs written at the time of ‘Jilted John’ such as ‘The Paperboy Song’, which recalls his time delivering the Daily Telegraph to Sebastian Coe’s house.

John Shuttleworth is on tour now until 28 Mar.

Pigeons in Flight - John Shuttleworth

John Shuttleworth: A Wee Ken To Remember

Versatile singer/organist, John Shuttleworth, wants to share fond memories of his favourite past weekends. However, a typo on the poster means John is obliged to spend the evening paying homage to his next-door neighbour and sole agent, the diminutive Ken Worthington.

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