COMIC, singer, entertainer. It’s impossible to list fully the depth of performer Des O’Connor’s career, but perhaps the word that best describes his legacy in British showbusiness is legend.

Before he takes to the stage with fellow star Jimmy Tarbuck in May at Basingstoke’s The Anvil, the TV star talked of variety, a non-existent film career and which town in the world has the best people.

Within seconds, Des has The Gazette chuckling. “I’m coming to Basingstoke where you always meet the most amazing folk,” he states as he picks up his phone.

For a man who has spent almost 60-years singing, dancing and talking, his infectious zeal for life remains abundantly clear.

But when you’ve sold 10 million records, conquered America and performed the most number of Royal Palladium shows by a solo entertainer, it’s unsurprising Des is a happy man.

Yet, despite a celebrated TV career, which includes The Des O’Connor Show, Countdown and Today with Des and Mel, a call never came from film executives to get him in a movie.

“As you can imagine over the years people have asked what is there left for me to try my hand at,” Des told The Gazette.

“But over my life the one thing I’ve always fancied doing is a film, but it never came through.”

When asked if he would consider playing James Bond, potentially being vacated by Daniel Craig, the 86-year-old said: “Well if they maybe add another five zeros before 007 perhaps. Funnily enough earlier in my career they took shots of me for a national paper in this white jacket but I think I gave up on that some time ago.”

When he takes to the stage with his friend Jimmy Tarbuck, they will reminisce on their careers, accompanied by music and video. But Des fears it’s only a matter of time until the variety performer becomes a thing of the past.

“We’re running out of the all round entertainers,” Des said.

“It’s mainly because there is nowhere for the performers to learn their trade. As a performer you have to learn how to make an audience laugh and make sure that you’re honest with them.

“But the audience aren’t always so forgiving. I remember I was in Taunton and this voice just shouted out to me: ‘That isn’t your own hair. It’s a wig’.

“So I said back to him: ‘What sort of an idiot would buy a wig with a hole in it?’ and showed him the back of my balding head. That shut him up.”

O’Connor and Tarbuck come to The Anvil on Saturday, May 27. Visit