“I was having a drink in the hotel bar with Bobby Davro last night!”
It certainly has been a whirlwind route to fame for 43-year-old Stephen Fox, who is set to embark on a tour with members of eighties pop idols Bucks Fizz, 30 years after he became a fan of their records.
Stephen, who lives in Howden Clough Road, Bruntcliffe, is busy touring around the country with the Eurovision winners, playing hits such as Making Your Mind Up and The Land of Make Believe.
He started working with original member Jay Aston while producing a film before a meeting this year with band member and former Record Breakers presenter Cheryl Baker helped make Stephen’s mind up.
“Cheryl asked me if I wanted to join the band back in February,” he said. “I jumped at the chance, but had to hurry because I only had four days to learn all the songs.”
Since then, original members Cheryl, Jay Aston and Mike Nolan remain from the original line-up, and Stephen began performing with the band, now known as Formerly of Bucks Fizz.
Stephen, who grew up in Morley, fronted local band Plasticine during the 1990s, before directing his own film, The Last Days of Edgar Harding, in 2010. But he said he always had a special place in his heart for Bucks Fizz.
“I was a fan of the band when I was a kid,” he said. “So when Cheryl asked me if I wanted to join the band, I jumped at the chance.”
“I think my favourite song to preform live is The Land of Make Believe – it really gets the crowd going.”
But his introduction to performing with the band wasn’t without the occasional faux pas as he found out during a performance of the famous skirt-rip dance in 1981 hit Making Your Mind Up.
“We were playing to a crowd of about 50,000 at a festival in Scotland. I tore off Jay’s and was horrified – she didn’t have a skirt on underneath, and was just in her hotpants!
“We continued playing the song, then afterwards I apologised to her – she laughed and said ‘that was meant to happen’ – I was so relieved!”
The band will play Leeds’s City Varieties Music Hall in September next year.