Paul O'Grady has been announced as the new president of The British Music Hall Society.
The society was founded in 1963, to remember and celebrate music hall and variety acts and venues. The organisation explains: "Music hall was one of the most popular forms of affordable British theatrical entertainment. It was popular from the early Victorian era, fading away after 1918 and re-branded as 'variety'. The influences of this era of popular entertainment are still very present today in shows like Britain's Got Talent, pantomime, stand-up, drag and sketch comedy."
Paul O'Grady comments: "I'm honoured to be the new President of the British Music Hall Society. I'm extremely flattered to be taking on the mantle of the late great Roy Hudd and realise that I've got big shoes to fill.
"I've always been a huge fan of music hall ever since the day at the ripe old age of nine when I came across an LP called Late Joys, from The Players' Theatre. Listening to it was a revelation but my favourite turn was Stella Moray singing She Was Poor But She Was Honest. I learned the words and I've been singing it ever since. It used to go down very well at the Hackney Empire when I was giving it my Lily Savage on a Saturday night but not so well with my mother when I'd belt it out on my way home from church."
Chairman of The British Music Hall Society, Adam Borzone, says: "Paul started his career in a world not dissimilar to music hall as a 'female impersonator'. He performed at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, only a stone's throw away from Charles Morton's Canterbury Music Hall which is often seen as the place where music hall really established itself. We are thrilled that he has agreed to become our president and look forward to welcoming him at future events."
More information about the society can be found at britishmusichallsociety.com
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