Where are they now? Clodagh Rodgers

Ever won­dered what hap­pened to the stars of yes­ter­year? We take a look at the life of the North­ern Ir­ish hit-maker Clodagh Rodgers, ‘The Best Legs in Show­busi­ness’

YOURS (UK) - - News - By Peter Robert­son

At the height of her fame, Clodagh Rodgers had in­sured her voice for £1 mil­lion pounds, was of­fi­cially given the ti­tle ‘The Best Legs in Show­busi­ness’ and was the best-sell­ing fe­male artist re­leas­ing a non-stop stream of hits.

But for the Ir­ish beauty, show­busi­ness was in her blood from the very start. Born in 1947 in County Down, Clodagh was the daugh­ter of a dance­hall tour en­tre­pre­neur. He brought in artists from Alma Co­gan to Johnny Cash and she made her first singing ap­pear­ance with Jim Reeves on stage in Bal­ly­mena. “As a lit­tle girl I loved singing. I never felt pushed. I felt en­cour­aged,” says Clodagh, now aged 71.

At the age of 15 her fa­ther moved them to Eng­land, know­ing Clodagh’s po­ten­tial to be a star and she be­gan mak­ing sin­gles as well as ap­pear­ing in the mu­si­cal films Just For Fun (1963) and It’s All Over Town (1964). By 1969 she was mak­ing the top five in the charts with hits such as Come Back and Shake Me and Good­night Mid­night.

In 1971 she took her smash-hit Jack in The Box to the Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test in Dublin, where she caused some con­tro­versy by rep­re­sent­ing the UK, de­spite be­ing orig­i­nally Ir­ish. “We did get a cou­ple of threats about it, al­though they were kept se­cret from me at the time. I had two se­cu­rity guards pro­tect­ing me and I was booed, both in the Gai­ety Theatre and when I ar­rived for the af­ter­show party at Dublin Cas­tle. I knew why they were do­ing it but I’ve never said, ‘I’m Bri­tish’, I al­ways say ‘I’m Ir­ish’.”

Clodagh came fourth in the con­test but be­came a house­hold name, work­ing with the likes of More­cambe & Wise, The Two Ron­nies, Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse and Cilla Black.

But de­spite her heady fame, she never turned to the vices many other singers of the time were drawn to. “Drugs never crossed my path. I was so naïve I thought a joint was a Sun­day roast.”

From 1968-1979, Clodagh was mar­ried to her man­ager John Mor­ris and later mar­ried mu­si­cian Ian Sor­bie with whom she ran a restau­rant in Paign­ton un­til they went bank­rupt. Ian died from a brain tu­mour at the age of 45 in 1995.

Her chil­dren have also fol­lowed in her foot­steps as son Matt, from her mar­riage to John, is a movie standin for Brad Pitt while her other son, Sam, from her re­la­tion­ship with Ian, used to work on The X Fac­tor and is a co-or­di­na­tor on films.

As for Clodagh, who starred as Mrs Ri­ley in ITV’s The Bill in 2001, she says she hasn’t sung since she lost Ian.

“I was in Blood Brothers that year and af­ter­wards I thought ‘I’m done with it now… I don’t want this life any­more’. I’ll never sing in pub­lic again. I’ve hung up the dresses and the shoes. I’m too old to do that now, but peo­ple have got lovely mem­o­ries of me in my 20s and 30s.

“I was very lucky I made it – lots of peo­ple who were very tal­ented never made it. I did it all and it was great, but you just move on.”

Clodagh’s amaz­ing singing ca­reer spanned three decades

Clodagh with el­dest son Matt, a body-dou­ble for Brad Pitt!

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