A LO­CAL STAR TURN

It’s a dream come true ev­ery day over Christ­mas for Nor­folk’s Olly Day

Let's Talk - - CONTENTS -

When he was a lad he would wan­der along to Cromer Pier with his grand­par­ents, look up at the names out­side the the­atre and dream that one day ... it could be him.

“It was,” re­calls Olly, ”such a mag­i­cal place.”

He grew up to be­come one of the most pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ers in Nor­folk and Suf­folk and now he is look­ing for­ward to be­ing in his 10th Christ­mas Show at the pier.

And to­day it is his name out­side the the­atre.

“I may be the head­line act but I am not the star,” he says.

“The star is the show it­self and the whole cast. I just love it. This is my Christ­mas present,” says Olly, now a hap­pily mar­ried fa­therof-two, who has be­come a great co­me­dian, singer, ma­gi­cian and all-round en­ter­tainer.

Oh yes, and he has spent those past 25 years putting on hi­lar­i­ous shows with such a se­ri­ous mes­sage to thou­sands and thou­sands of pupils at schools all over Nor­folk.

The Olly Day Road Safety Show has be­come part of life in our schools and is now more vi­tal than ever on our busy and dan­ger­ous roads.

“I still get a real thrill out of do­ing it. I am now per­form­ing to the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of some fam­i­lies. The chil­dren are fab­u­lous,” says Olly.

And he knows you have to be good to grab the at­ten­tion of these young peo­ple.

They are a crit­i­cal au­di­ence and will be quick to switch off if they are bored.

No chance of that with Olly around.

“I try to get the chil­dren laugh­ing from the start, then they re­lax and

take in all the se­ri­ous mes­sages that we have to get across,” ex­plains Olly.

His non-stop, all-ac­tion magic and com­edy show aimed at pri­mary and ju­nior schools cov­ers all as­pects of road safety in a way the chil­dren re­mem­ber.

“I am pas­sion­ate about road safety. From stop, look and lis­ten, to the im­por­tance of wear­ing seat belts and cy­cle hel­mets,” he adds.

He will be back on the road with his schools show next year but be­fore that there is the small mat­ter of a Christ­mas show at Cromer Pier where they stage the only va­ri­ety show of its kind in the world at this time of the year.

The 500-seat Pav­il­ion The­atre is a mag­i­cal place which bursts into colour­ful life ev­ery Christ­mas, at­tract­ing peo­ple of all ages from across Nor­folk, Suf­folk and the rest of East An­glia – in­clud­ing sea­sonal hol­i­day­mak­ers.

“It re­ally is very spe­cial and it is some­thing I look for­ward to ev­ery year. Where bet­ter than Cromer at Christ­mas? We switch on the lights and it ex­presses just how won­der­ful it all is. I love it from the bot­tom of my heart,” says Olly.

Nor­wich born and bred, he went to Nel­son Street School and then Earl­ham be­fore leav­ing to be­come a car­pet fit­ter ... not for long though. Olly went to a tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion at a club in Great Yar­mouth and got him­self a job at Neville Down­ing’s magic shop on Prince of Wales Road – now the club­bing cap­i­tal of East An­glia.

“We had some great cus­tomers – one day I couldn’t be­lieve it when Tommy Cooper walked in ... just like that!”

The boy Olly worked hard. Show­busi­ness is tough and takes no pris­on­ers, but with help and

ad­vice from old pros such as Peachy Mead and the bril­liant ven­tril­o­quist Brian Cham­ber­lain, he made his way up the en­ter­tain­ment lad­der.

This year has been an­other busy one at the sea­side the­atres but it is the Cromer Show that is so spe­cial for him. He will be joined by the world fa­mous ma­gi­cian, jug­gler, co­me­dian and fire-eater Mark James, along with some great singers and dancers and mem­bers of Mar­lenes School of Dance, plus the tal­ents of mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Nigel Hogg.

“It is a lovely fam­ily show. Ev­ery year I am thrilled to be part of it and meet the peo­ple who come to see us. What bet­ter way to cel­e­brate Christ­mas – on Cromer Pier with all the lights twin­kling. It is truly mag­i­cal,” says Olly, our very own mas­ter of mirth and song. As they say: That Olly Day is a “jolly nice chap”.

Nor­folk’s king of squit Keith Skip­per says of Olly Day:

His stage menu of magic, mirth and mu­sic has earned him a strong fol­low­ing over so many years, along with his role as en­ter­tain­ing road safety am­bas­sador in our schools.

Olly Day as pic­tured by Stephen John­son.

It’s the Mar­shal! A young Olly Day, that’s him with the se­ri­ous look on his face next to the lit­tle out­law with the fair hair, watch­ing the late, great Mar­shal Pete Wood, the fastest gun in the east, in ac­tion in Nor­wich ... let’s just say a few years ago!

Olly has al­ways stayed close to his beloved Nor­folk.

Olly Day putting on his Road Safety Magic Show which he has been do­ing in Nor­folk for 25 years.

Olly with the dancers at the Cromer Christ­mas Show.

Hav­ing some fun as a vicar … sur­rounded by show­girls.

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