Return to Northampton for Des O'Connor

Des O'Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck
Des O'Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck

It will be a trip down memory lane in more ways than one as Des O’Connor returns to Northampton later this month.

He appears alongside Jimmy Tarbuck in Des O’Connor & Jimmy Tarbuck Live at the Royal and Derngate on Sunday, September 17.

Des was evacuated to the town during the Second World War, though he jokes people think it was the Crimean War and also played briefly for Northampton Town Football Club.

“I was told by the coaches that I was a really good fast player, and if only I could have taken the ball with me then I would have been better,” he laughs.

But he is determined to make the show in Northampton different from the one he does other nights.

Des said: “I don’t really like doing rehearsals; we will be doing something on the night just for the audience. There are little bits that we have put in and Jimmy said, just do it when I come on, but we allow things to happen.

“I’ve never done that when I have been presenting or done Countdown or when we have done stage work.

“I know that some of the people I’ve worked with were scared of it, there were a lot of nerves around but it all worked out well in the end and we all relaxed and enjoyed it.

“I remember we did a show in Basingstoke and sat there before it and thinking Basingstoke, Basingstoke, always packed with good folk, and the audience laughed.

“But they knew they were hearing something that no one else was going to hear which is what I like doing.

“I might have to think of a load of Cobblers though when I come to Northampton,” he jokes.

But what of working with Jimmy Tarbuck?

This is the second tour the duo have done together and you might be surprised that prior to last year, they had never worked together.

Des added: “We knew each other but the first time we were on stage together was the Sunday Night at the London Palladium when 2,600 people turned up and they all went away with a smile on the face, which was a lovely feeling.

“The show is basically Jimmy does the first half although I come on for a little bit and then I do the second half but he comes on for a little bit as well.

“It seems to work really well and people really love seeing the show.”

There will also be the chance to see some vintage clips from the two legends of entertainment.

Des added: “The clips will stand up for themselves but the reaction of the audience and our reaction is a great thing that makes the show.

“I don’t even do that many jokes preferring to allow them to happen naturally. Although there are a few corny jokes, like when I go to the stage door and you get asked, Mr O’Connor do you have a good memory for faces and I said I do. The stage hand says, that’s good, there’s no mirror in your dressing room.”

But despite reaching the impressive age of 85, he shows no signof slowing down at all.

Des said: “It seems like the older I get, the more shows; I’ve got another one on the road at the moment.

“But I really love doing what I am doing and in show business, there is always something to do which sounds exciting and you can not ask for more than to love doing what you are doing.

“This is going to a great show and one for the entire family and will leave you all full of good cheer.”

The show starts at 7.30pm.

For more information or to book tickets in advance call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit