• Kate Clarke

Tommy Steele

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

When Terry and I first met we spent a lot of time apart. I joked that we should get tattoos, as a sign of our belonging - perhaps half a sixpence each. If you know the film, you'll understand the significance of this image. He laughed and seemed to find this a charming idea.

However, I learned later that he had never seen the film, he was simply humouring me with that laugh. When I was six I was obsessed with it. I would sing myself to sleep with repeated renditions of: 'If the rain's got to fall let it fall on Wednesday...etc, etc." I shared a room with two older brothers at the time. I don't know why they didn't smother me with my pillow.

A couple of months ago I came home from work and Terry said: "Guess what I watched today? Half a Sixpence." I was a little nervous he'd hate it and crush my childhood self. It is as daft as can be. It is as light as a feather. It's Tommy Steele.

Of course, he adored it. Terry was too cool to worry about being uncool.

Speaking of cool, Ronny Elliott told me that, aside from Benny Joy, Terry was the only man he knew who could wear his shirt collar turned up without looking daft. Terry would have laughed hard at that. (And he would have been delighted.)

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