Anita Har­ris

Singing leg­end Anita Har­ris is warm­ing up her vo­cal chords as she sets off on tour – at 76!

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Tour­ing again at 76

She may have har­monised with some of the greats, jested with the big­gest jok­ers and had a Carry On or two, but when we sit down for a chat, the lovely Anita Har­ris sings a hum­ble song and is one of the most down-to-earth ladies I’ve ever spo­ken to.

At 76, the songstress is still work­ing hard on a fas­ci­nat­ing ca­reer, one which spans over 50 years, and she sees no rea­son to re­tire any time soon. In fact, she’s about to go on tour!

“A pro­moter came along and said, ‘Come on young lady… old lady… or what­ever I am now! Let’s get a few dates to­gether with Peter Gill.’” Sud­denly, she sings, “My lovely mu­si­cal di­rec­tor and pi­ano player!”

Anita Har­ris In Con­cert is a won­der ful evening of glitz, glam­our, song and sen­ti­ment with a se­ries of nods to all the mag­i­cal folk she’s worked with over the years.

“We’ll en­joy many dif­fer­ent styles of mu­sic! Lovely bal­lads and jazz, but hope­fully a lit­tle bit of rock’n’roll and boo­gie woo­gie as well.” She laughs.

Anita has worked along­side leg­endary names such as Harry Se­combe, Phil Sil­vers, More­cambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, ma­gi­cian David Nixon, Sid James, Ken­neth Wil­liams and Clive Dunn.

“I was lucky enough to work with them, so I don’t want them to be for­got­ten,” muses Anita. “I wanted to find a way to re­mem­ber the glory days of each in­di­vid­ual, and I think it’s lovely that one can just talk about them or bring in a song that cel­e­brates their lives.”

A big star in the sky to whom Anita feels pro­foundly grate­ful is Dusty Spring­field. They met in 1966 at TopOf ThePops re­hearsals and Dusty in­sisted she meet her brother, pop­u­lar song­writer Tom Spring­field. He went on to write Anita her big hit, Just Lov­ing You.

“Af­ter all these years, I look back and I think what a gen­er­ous gift she gave me. That song changed my ca­reer – took me to the Pal­la­dium and all over the world, re­ally! I just look up and say, ‘Thank you Dusty.’

“Such things come into your life when you least ex­pect them. Im­me­di­ately, you’re very grate­ful but as time goes by you be­come supremely grate­ful!”

And even though she’s met a long list of fa­mous peo­ple, Anita says the big­gest in­flu­ence in her life is and al­ways will be fam­ily.

“There’s this showbiz, showbiz, showbiz thing, which is won­der ful – but if all l that stopped, I have a lovely fam­ily life.

“And my dar­ling hus­band! Sadly, we didn’t have ba­bies but you just count your bless­ings and re­mem­ber to be grate­ful for the good times.”

Anita and her hus­band, writer and di­rec­tor Mike Mar­go­lis, have hit some no­table tough patches such as bank­ruptcy in 2015, but their re­la­tion­ship has never wa­vered.

“Bless his heart, he did ask me to marry him a cou­ple of times be­fore I said yes,” Anita con­fides.

“The first time, we were on a boat­boat. He’dHed brought cham­pagne and a lovely food bas­ket. I said I wasn’t quite ready yet and felt dread­ful.

“Then I went to Mar­bella on hol­i­day and I re­ally missed him. I men­tioned that to a friend, who told Mike to ‘Get your der­rière over there!’

“Sitting in a Span­ish restau­rant, I looked at him and said, ‘I will.’ He said, ‘I beg your par­don?’ And I said, ‘I will!’ He said, ‘What are you talk­ing about?’ And I said, “I will marry you!’

“I hadn’t re­alised how loudly I was speak­ing, as ev­ery­one started clap­ping. So we’ve never for­got­ten that lovely mo­ment!”

Anita’s tour runs from Novem­ber 10, 2018 to May 14, 2019. For more in­for­ma­tion and tick­ets visit WWW.ANITA-HAR­RIS.COM

“What a gen­er­ous gift Dusty gave me. That song changed my ca­reer!”

Singing on TV in 1971 With Mike, her beloved hus­band

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