Valentines in Vegas... in East Grinstead!
It features David Alacey channeling his inner Frank Sinatra, ITV News Central weather presenter Des Coleman in Sammy Davis Jnr mode and Paul Drakeley taking off Dean Martin.
David has featured as Ol' Blue Eyes in BBC1 programme Strictly Come Dancing and the 2004 Royal Variety concert. Jazz great Buddy Greco, who shared vocals with the Basildon-born performer for One For My Baby, said “As for David Alacey, well this guy really is Sinatra! It's frightening.’ The Sinatra Estate remarked: 'His recording of the theme from New York New York for Atari Games is too close for comfort.”
David said: “For the Valentine's shows audiences can expect a night of romance – vintage Vegas style. Although Frank, Dean and Sammy were known for their cool, hip, drinking and swinging personalities, they were also recognised as being amongst the most romantic crooners of their generation. Their songbooks contained the greatest love songs of the 20th century and we have selected the very best of those songs for these shows, from the iconic Rodgers and Hart classic My Funny Valentine to the more recent Something by George Harrison which Sinatra described as the greatest love song of the past fifty years.”
David added: “The Sinatra started for me when I was training as an actor at the time at Italia Conti.
"And I needed an equity card. The easiest way to get one was to do a variety act and work in the clubs and just build up your contacts and I didn't know what to base my act on. But it just happened at the time that my parents had a spare ticket to go and see Frank Sinatra. That was in 1990. He died in 1998. And I also saw him again on his final UK tour in 1992.
“And I was just completely knocked out. He was amazing. I was knocked out by the way that even though he was in his 70s and his voice maybe it wasn't what it was, he was still able to use his acting skills to give a great performance. He was a great actor. He had won an Oscar. And he was using all those skills particularly when he was singing the emotional songs.
“And I was just bowled over by it. I decided to form an act about his life story and little did I know that all these years later I would still be doing it.
“There is still so much interest in him and I think you just have to realise that he was absolutely an iconic figure in the 20th century. You look at Elvis and Sinatra and The Beatles, the complete greats of the 20th century that have lasted the course. He had such charisma. Charisma is a great word for him. He encompassed not just the singing but also the acting and he was also a political figure involved in politics and he obviously had the links with organised crime. The point is he was a really interesting figure who went a long way beyond the music and the performing.”
And, of course, David really appreciates what Sinatra has done for him personally: “Every year on his birthday I celebrate his life because he's given me an amazing career. Who knows what I would have done, which way things would have gone if I hadn't taken this turn but Sinatra has certainly given me a wonderful career in this business. I've been very fortunate to work on this show and the great thing is that there's such a range of his songs. You can keep changing things. You're able to keep it fresh.”