Phil’s farewell tour

As Phil Cool says, there are plenty of performers who will use the farewell-tour tag as a ruse to get extra punters in.

He solemnly promises he’s not about to do the same.

Phil’s Final Curtain Tour 2013, which brings him to Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on May 17, really will bring down the curtain on his days on the road.

“It really is a combination of just getting older and the travel. The travelling gets harder and harder. I was travelling to a gig the other week, and I was on the motorway going down to Cromer, and I was meeting up with my sound engineer. There was a big smash near Stoke-on-Trent, and we ended up stuck for an hour and a half. That was just typical. The traffic is so bad and dangerous.

“And now motorways get shut at night. We don’t even have the freedom of travelling at night. You get diverted off through small towns.

“I actually had a smash myself last year. I wasn’t hurt at all. I just ran into some debris. It was the tread off the tire of a BP tanker.

“The tyre must have exploded, and I hit the debris in the road. I just ploughed into it.”

And so it has reached the point where he has had enough; and no, he is not frightened that he will miss the touring. He has done it for years. If the local clubs will have him, that’s as far as he will go once his final tour is over.

Also, as he says, the impressions get harder to do: “I don’t know whether it is that you get tired of doing impressions after a long, long time of doing them or whether it just gets physically more difficult as you get older.

“In the main now, I stick to the old classics, your Sean Connery, your Clint Eastwood. I also do David Beckham… and I do David Attenborough.”

But people like David Cameron are just too much of a challenge. As Phil says, if someone threatened to shoot him in a month if he didn’t nail Cameron, he might just get there. But he’s not totally convinced he could find the way in.

“The way I have done it in the past is just casual TV-watching and standing in front of a mirror and seeing if I can make myself look like that person. With President Bush (jnr), I was trying to do him for ages. I just couldn’t get him. It was only in his second term that I managed to do him.”

Not a problem he will have to worry about now. Instead, alongside the final tour, he is putting the finishing touches to his life-story, a tale that won’t be told in the conventional autobiographical way.

“It’s mainly talking about all the breaks that I got in showbusiness, how one thing led to another.”

In between the reminiscences, he will be inserting themed sections: one about material that has failed; one about dealing with drunks and hecklers (the drunks, apparently, you just have to ignore); and one about how to kill time during the day while you’re on tour.

“It’s a format that I wondered whether would work, but I think it does! I think there will be about 15 of these sections in all.

“One on Scotland, one on Wales. And it seems to work to me!”

More details on www.philcool.co.uk. Tickets on 01903 206206.