Claire and Friends

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Claire and Friends were a UK one-hit wonder, consisting of Stockport schoolgirl Claire Usher and her friends.

Their one hit single was with the novelty record "It's 'Orrible Being in Love (When You're 8½)", released by BBC Records, which entered the UK Singles Chart on 7 June 1986, and reached #13.[1] The song, about the emotional impact that an infatuation with a fellow school pupil has on an eight and a half year old, consisted of several verses on this theme, with a chorus as follows:

It's 'orrible being in love when you're eight 'n 'arf.
I got your picture on me wall
Got your name upon me scarf
Oh it's 'orrible being in love, 'orrible being in love when you're eight 'n 'arf.

On television performances Claire Usher displayed a scarf bearing the name Stephen, which was borrowed from her brother.

The song was written by Mick Coleman and produced by Kevin Parrott (also known as Brian and Michael, the pair who were responsible for the 1978 #1 hit "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs").

Usher submitted the demo to a talent-spotting feature on the children's television programme Saturday Superstore, where it beat a thousand other entries. This was followed by a second single, "Superman" (which continued the story from the original hit), and an album, mostly of cover versions with a few further originals by Coleman, entitled Super Claire, neither of which had the same commercial success.

Claire and Friends' hit was released on both 7" and 12" vinyl; however in January 1987 chart analyst Alan Jones reported in his Record Mirror column that only 0.2% of the sales of "It's 'Orrible Being in Love" were on 12 inch, the lowest proportion of any hit single available on the format in 1986. This equated to fewer than 200 copies being sold on the larger format.

In adulthood, Claire Usher obtained a degree in drama and became a dancer, and appeared in the stage show Riverdance on Broadway in 2000, and in the show's UK tour. According to a caption on the 2006 TV programme It Started With Swap Shop, she is now working as a teacher and is an Irish dance teacher across North West England with her husband Jonathan, whom she met while working on Riverdance on Broadway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 107. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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