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British Music Hall Society’s New President

The British Music Hall Society is delighted to announce that Paul O’Grady has agreed to become their new President with effect from 1 January 2021. The role of President was previously held by Roy Hudd who died in March 2020.

Paul O’Grady said:

‘Im honoured to be the new President of the British Music Hall Society. Im extremely flattered to be taking on the mantle of the late great Roy Hudd and realise that Ive got big shoes to fill. Ive 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 Ive 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 Id belt it out on my way home from church.’

Chairman of the British Music Hall Society (“BMHS”) Adam Borzone said:

‘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.’

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.

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