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Shoreham boy Leo Sayer “well on the mend” after serious illness

Leo Sayer (contributed pic)
Leo Sayer (contributed pic)

Leo, who was born in Shoreham, has become an Australian citizen in recent years.

Last year he brought his 50th anniversary tour The Show Must Go On to Worthing, a town rich in associations for him. His secondary school was in Goring and he went to art college in Worthing. And it was in Montague Street that he wrote Moonlighting.

Leo confirmed he was recovering on Facebook. He posted: “I haven’t posted anything publicly about this before but I couldn’t fly or make the recent shows in the UK as I became very ill just before the trip. I have been in hospital here for the last 3 weeks in Australia with kidney, bladder and prostate complications. It all happened at the last moment, so it was too late to warn anyone. I’m so sorry to have disappointed my fans but these things can happen to us 75 year olds! I’m still in hospital now but well on the mend. I will take a necessary short break from activities and be back fighting fit for shows in 2024 – particularly my UK and Ireland tour next autumn.”

Last year saw him marking half a century in showbiz. In an interview last year with SussexWorld, he said: “The anniversary is that it was in 1972 when it's started to happen. I had met Adam Faith. David Courtney introduced me to Adam, and in January 1972 we released my first single with David managing me and Adam and David producing. It didn't really do anything. It was called Living In America but we carried on to make the first album that came out the next year.

“And it was during that year 1972 that I met Roger Daltrey and in 1972 Roger released his first solo album with songs of mine on. Roger was singing my praises everywhere and there was starting to be a bit of a buzz about me. It was a crucial time for both of us. Roger really wanted to go solo. He didn't see himself spending all the time with The Who.

“And I hit the ground running in 1973 supporting Roxy Music appearing as the Pierrot character. Somebody said that I should really be doing the Pierrot live and that's what I wanted. Appearing on Top Of The Pops and my gigs as the Pierrot and getting to America, it all really started taking off.”

Looking back, it didn't happen suddenly: “I was waiting on Adam and 1972 was frustrating because he was learning to produce as well as learning to manage as well as me learning to perform. He made me do 100-and-something shows before he thought I was ready so there was a bit of a gestation. And that's what the song Giving It All Away is about, that frustration. It is a song about ‘Let me out, let me do it.’”

And so it all began - though it certainly doesn't seem 50 years ago, he insisted: “When you look back it's like the graph that you see at the bottom of the bed in Carry On films where the graph is going up and down like a Swiss mountain range. There have been ups and downs. There have been rip-offs and disappointments and break-ups and songs I haven't been able to release that I wanted to. There have been difficult situations emotionally as well as physically and all the rest but I do think that all of that fuels you. It makes you more determined to realise your hopes and your dreams. And the lovely thing is I don't regret a thing. Je ne regrette rien. It really has been a marvellous life.

“I live in Australia now and I have lived tin the US and I've lived in probably about 47 different places but I always like to think that my real home is that space between the drum riser and the apron of the stage. That's where I really feel at home. People say don't you feel nervous when you're going on the stage but no I don't. The stage is my home.”