Bobby Crush

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Bobby Crush (born Robert Nicholas Crush, 23 March 1954)[1] is an English pianist, songwriter, actor and television presenter, originally from Leyton in East London.


Bobby Crush first came to public attention after six winning appearances on Hughie Green's British ITV talent show, Opportunity Knocks, in 1972.[2] He received the Variety Club of Great Britain award for 'Best New Artist' of 1972.[2] He recorded for the Philips record label in the UK and his recordings were produced by Norman Newell, who had previously worked with Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis and Bobby's role model, Russ Conway.

At the tender age of 18, Bobby found himself starring at the London Palladium with an album in the top 20 and a single ("Borsalino") in the top 40.

His West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium (guest starring with Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Dame Julie Andrews). As a regular performer at that venue, Bobby's name appears on the "Roll of Honour" at the Palladium's stage door. He also played a year at the Victoria Palace with Max Bygraves in SwingalongaMax, has appeared at The Royal Variety Performance and starred in his own one-man show at London's Fortune Theatre.

Bobby's work overseas includes a tour of Canada with Sir Harry Secombe in "The London Palladium Show", concerts in Australia and New Zealand, as well as performing on the Queen Mary 2, P&O, Crystal and Royal Caribbean cruise liners, where his shows invariably receive standing ovations.

Bobby's television appearances include his own TV series Sounds Like Music (two seasons), Through the Keyhole, When Britain First Had Talent, Celebrity Cash In The Attic, The Unforgettable Hughie Green, Let's Have A Party - the Piano Genius of Mrs. Mills, This Morning, Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, Celebrity Squares, Give Us A Clue, The Talent Show Story, Live from Her Majesty's, Wetty Hainthrop for Comic Relief (with Victoria Wood and Julie Walters), The Antiques Roadshow, Jim Davidson's Generation Game, Noel's House Party, and he was a guest judge on Star Search (Sky TV) and Pot of Gold with Des O'Connor (Carlton TV). Bobby has also recently filmed an episode of the popular comedy series "Benidorm", to be shown in 2015.

Theatrical roles include Liberace in Liberace's Suit (Jermyn Street Theatre), "Dr. Frank N. Furter" in The Rocky Horror Show, "Vernon Gersch" in They're Playing Our Song, "LM" in Pump Boys and Dinettes, "Billy Flynn" in Chicago and Liberace in Liberace, Live from Heaven (Leicester Square Theatre / New Zealand tour / Edinburgh Festival).

His broadcasts include his own week of shows on BBC Radio 2, guest contributor on "Barbara Windsor's Ladies of Song" (BBC Radio 2), "The Ken Bruce Show", "The Bobby Crush 40th Birthday Concert" (Radio 2, nominated for the "Monte Carlo Radio Prize"), "The Gloria Hunniford Show", "Steve Wright In The Afternoon", "John Inman and Friends", "Maestro" and "Loose Ends" (BBC Radio 4, eight appearances)

Bobby's recordings include his debut album Bobby Crush, which reached no. 15 in the UK Albums Chart, and chart singles "Borsalino" and "The Sting". He has made 13 piano albums (not including compilations). His "Double Decker Party Album", which was TV-advertised, sold 100,000 copies and brought him a double gold disc. His "Piano Party" album also went gold in New Zealand. Bobby is featured vocally on Pickwick's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing the role of "Pharaoh" and songs from the musical Hair for Carlton Records.

Following the release of his album Reel Music, Bobby toured with Gene Pitney, playing a total of 30 dates with him including the London Palladium. Other career highlights include "The Stonewall Equality Show" at the Royal Albert Hall and a tour of "Back to Bacharach", Crush's tribute show to Burt Bacharach, for which he also wrote the script.

Bobby has appeared in over 30 pantomimes, starting out initially in "principal boy" roles but is now acknowledged as one of the most accomplished pantomime "dames" in the UK, a role he has taken on every year since 2000. This year, he will be co-starring with Marc Baylis ("Rob Donovan" in "Coronation Street") and Sonia in "Sleeping Beauty" at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley for the 2014/15 panto season.

As a writer, Bobby has written pantomime scores, a musical (Sherwood) and comedy material for Russ Abbot and Les Dennis. His greatest success as a songwriter was penning the music and lyrics for Keith Harris and Orville's hit "Orville's Song", which reached no. 4 in the UK singles chart, sold a quarter of a million copies and brought Bobby a silver disc.[3]

A tour with 4 Poofs and a Piano, took place between February and April 2013.

On March 23rd 2014, Bobby celebrated his 60th birthday with a gala concert at the Leicester Square Theatre, London and received three standing ovations from the sell-out audience. The concert was recorded for a live CD, which will be released Autumn 2014.

Also planned for 2014 is a "Music Hall" tour of the U.K. and the launch of his new show "Bobby Crush - Not Bad For An Old Bag!"

Personal life[edit]

Crush came out as gay in an interview with Gay Times in 2004.[4]

He currently lives in London's West End.

Bobby is currently preparing his autobiography, which has the working title "Not The Boy Next Door".

Chart discography[edit]


  • Bobby Crush (1972) - UK no. 15
  • The Bobby Crush Incredible Double Decker (1982) - UK no. 53[5]


  • "Borsalino" (1972) - UK no. 37[5]


  1. ^ "Crush, Bobby", Film & TV Database (British Film Institute), retrieved 2007-10-25 
  2. ^ a b "Bobby Crush biography". Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 244. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Buckley, Bill, "At Home with Bobby Crush", Gay Times 
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 128. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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