Spotlight On: Kenny Everett
Comedian, radio DJ and television entertainer. Everett was a controversial and complicated figure.
Born Maurice James Christopher Cole in Seaforth on Christmas day 1944, Everett’s first break as an entertainer came in 1962 when he sent a tape to the BBC.
The corporation were impressed but Everett turned down the opportunity at the BBC in favour of the world of pirate radio where his career began as a DJ for Radio London.
Everett’s irreverent style and sharp humour became his trademark. It was his technical mastery as a DJ that made such an impact on the radio industry throughout the 1960s and 70s. Everett’s quick wit and outspoken and rebellious nature made him a household name but also led to him losing his job on more than one occasion.
It was in 1978 with the launch of the Kenny Everett Video Show that his career in television really took off and Everett’s characters had the opportunity to flourish.
The show initially featured Everett in the role as DJ linking between live performances from musicians, the resident dance troupe Hot Gossip and comedy sketches.
Numerous TV and pop stars made guest appearances on the Kenny Everett Video Show including Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, Billy Connolly, Kate Bush, Cliff Richard, Freddie Mercury, Terry Wogan and Suzi Quatro. Everett counted many of these amongst his closest friends.
Everett had married Audrey ‘Lady Lee’ Middleton in 1969 but they had divorced ten years later. Everett had struggled with his sexuality, coming out as gay in 1985 and revealing that this had led him attempting to take his own life on more than one occasion.
In 1987 Everett was diagnosed as HIV positive and on 4 April 1995 died of an AIDs related illness at the age of 50.
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