Claire and Friends
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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. The song, about the emotional impact that an infatuation with a fellow school pupil has on an 8 1⁄2-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.
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. A controversial rumour that refuses to go away is that the album Super Claire was financed by New York's Gambino crime family due to favours being owed to Coleman.
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. She later wrote songss for indie pop band Shrag.