Bassey!

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0120091009

There is nothing like a Dame who drags herself from the docklands of Cardiff, to the diamond-studded wellington boots of Glastonbury seven decades later. As Dame Shirley Bassey prepares to release a new studio album, after five decades in the business, The Girl From Tiger Bay" tells her story to Paul Sexton.

In the personal interview that underpins the story, Dame Shirley reveals some of the secrets that have kept her at the pinnacle of her profession for so long, and why she thinks she holds such a cherished place in the public's affection. She reminisces about rubbing shoulders with everyone from JFK and Elvis to Morecambe & Wise.

Throughout the series we hear the memories of those who've worked alongside La Bassey, a varied cast including Don Black, Jimmy Tarbuck, Des O'Connor, Chris Rea and Shirley Eaton (the original "golden girl" of Goldfinger, the title song of which announced the singer's arrival onto the world stage and into 007 folklore).

Many of the artists who've written new material for Bassey also contribute, including Gary Barlow, Neil Tennant, Richard Hawley, Tom Baxter, Kaiser Chiefs' Nick Hodgson, as well as the album's producer - and current James Bond composer - David Arnold.

In part one, Dame Shirley talks candidly about growing up in a mixed-race family in impoverished wartime Tiger Bay. She recalls how her mother said that, as a child, Shirley would often sing instead of crying ("weird kid, I was"), and how her siblings didn't appreciate her constant vocalising around the house ("until I made it, and then they said 'That's my sister'").

From humble early public performances in working men's clubs, we hear about the determination that would take her into the charts for the first time in early 1957, just a few weeks out of her teens. That drive was to bring her nine top ten singles and many hit albums within a few years, as she established a reputation as one of Britain's greatest live entertainers.

Dame Shirley Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about her life and enduring popularity."

0120091009

There is nothing like a Dame who drags herself from the docklands of Cardiff, to the diamond-studded wellington boots of Glastonbury seven decades later. As Dame Shirley Bassey prepares to release a new studio album, after five decades in the business, The Girl From Tiger Bay" tells her story to Paul Sexton.

In the personal interview that underpins the story, Dame Shirley reveals some of the secrets that have kept her at the pinnacle of her profession for so long, and why she thinks she holds such a cherished place in the public's affection. She reminisces about rubbing shoulders with everyone from JFK and Elvis to Morecambe & Wise.

Throughout the series we hear the memories of those who've worked alongside La Bassey, a varied cast including Don Black, Jimmy Tarbuck, Des O'Connor, Chris Rea and Shirley Eaton (the original "golden girl" of Goldfinger, the title song of which announced the singer's arrival onto the world stage and into 007 folklore).

Many of the artists who've written new material for Bassey also contribute, including Gary Barlow, Neil Tennant, Richard Hawley, Tom Baxter, Kaiser Chiefs' Nick Hodgson, as well as the album's producer - and current James Bond composer - David Arnold.

In part one, Dame Shirley talks candidly about growing up in a mixed-race family in impoverished wartime Tiger Bay. She recalls how her mother said that, as a child, Shirley would often sing instead of crying ("weird kid, I was"), and how her siblings didn't appreciate her constant vocalising around the house ("until I made it, and then they said 'That's my sister'").

From humble early public performances in working men's clubs, we hear about the determination that would take her into the charts for the first time in early 1957, just a few weeks out of her teens. That drive was to bring her nine top ten singles and many hit albums within a few years, as she established a reputation as one of Britain's greatest live entertainers.

Dame Shirley Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about her life and enduring popularity."

0120120110

There is nothing like a Dame who drags herself from the docklands of Cardiff, to don diamond-studded wellington boots at Glastonbury seven decades later. Tonight's show marks Dame Shirley Bassey's 75th birthday [January 8], as the first in a two-part revised repeat of Paul Sexton's profile. It first broadcast in 2009, as she prepared to release her most recent studio album The Performance, which featured a starry cast of contributors.

This is Dame Shirley's story, built around a rare and extensive conversation which covers her entire career. For all her undying fabulousness, Shirley is still "The Girl From Tiger Bay", as she sang autobiographically on the album. The series celebrates one of Britain's most-loved and enduring entertainers, whose career as a chart artist now extends to an eye-popping 52 years.

In the two programmes, we also hear the memories of those who've worked alongside "La Bassey" from early times to the present day. Many of the artists who wrote new material for The Performance also contribute, including Gary Barlow, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Richard Hawley, Tom Baxter and Kaiser Chiefs' Nick Hodgson, as well as the album's producer and current James Bond score composer David Arnold.

Tonight in part one, Dame Shirley talks candidly about growing up in a mixed-race family in impoverished wartime Tiger Bay. She recalls how her mother said that, as a child, Shirley would often sing instead of crying ("weird kid, I was"), and how her siblings didn't appreciate her constant vocalising around the house ("until I made it, and then they said 'That's my sister'").

From humble early public performances in working men's clubs onwards, we hear about the determination that took her into the charts for the first time in early 1957, just a few weeks out of her teens. That drive was to bring her nine top ten singles and many hit albums within the first few years of her career, as she established a reputation as one of Britain's greatest live entertainers.

The show features Bassey's first UK No. 1 single As I Love You, from 1959, and her second chart-topping 45, the double-sided Reach For The Stars and Climb Ev'ry Mountain, plus many more of her best-known 60s recordings, such as What Now My Love, I (Who Have Nothing) and This Is My Life.

With such stirring performances, Bassey secured her reputation as an artist who really lived her songs. The triumphs and tragedies of her private life gave her the rare ability to make the lyrics she was singing entirely believable. "There's something about my life in every one of my songs," she says in tonight's programme. "Pain and suffering, love won and lost, and all that. Been there. So I can sing about it."

Dame Shirley also tells us why, when she performed at JFK's inauguration, the audience laughed at her opening song. She memorably describes meeting Kennedy as "shaking hands with lightning." Later, as a regular performer in Las Vegas, she would meet Elvis (with whom she shares a birthday), and she even divulges what they got up to when she went to visit him backstage.

We hear such signature Bassey songs as Big Spender, This Is My Life (much loved by Neil Tennant, as he describes) and, of course, Goldfinger. There are memories of that timeless 007 theme from its co-writer, John Barry, and that "Golden Girl" from the film itself, Shirley Eaton. Also contributing is her longtime friend Jimmy Tarbuck, who recalls playing "over the road" from Shirley in Las Vegas and how she once played Josephine in a TV sketch with Tarbuck, Dudley Moore, Kenneth McKellar and Harry Secombe.

Dame Shirley Bassey tells her story to Paul Sexton

0120120110

There is nothing like a Dame who drags herself from the docklands of Cardiff, to don diamond-studded wellington boots at Glastonbury seven decades later. Tonight's show marks Dame Shirley Bassey's 75th birthday [January 8], as the first in a two-part revised repeat of Paul Sexton's profile. It first broadcast in 2009, as she prepared to release her most recent studio album The Performance, which featured a starry cast of contributors.

This is Dame Shirley's story, built around a rare and extensive conversation which covers her entire career. For all her undying fabulousness, Shirley is still "The Girl From Tiger Bay", as she sang autobiographically on the album. The series celebrates one of Britain's most-loved and enduring entertainers, whose career as a chart artist now extends to an eye-popping 52 years.

In the two programmes, we also hear the memories of those who've worked alongside "La Bassey" from early times to the present day. Many of the artists who wrote new material for The Performance also contribute, including Gary Barlow, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Richard Hawley, Tom Baxter and Kaiser Chiefs' Nick Hodgson, as well as the album's producer and current James Bond score composer David Arnold.

Tonight in part one, Dame Shirley talks candidly about growing up in a mixed-race family in impoverished wartime Tiger Bay. She recalls how her mother said that, as a child, Shirley would often sing instead of crying ("weird kid, I was"), and how her siblings didn't appreciate her constant vocalising around the house ("until I made it, and then they said 'That's my sister'").

From humble early public performances in working men's clubs onwards, we hear about the determination that took her into the charts for the first time in early 1957, just a few weeks out of her teens. That drive was to bring her nine top ten singles and many hit albums within the first few years of her career, as she established a reputation as one of Britain's greatest live entertainers.

The show features Bassey's first UK No. 1 single As I Love You, from 1959, and her second chart-topping 45, the double-sided Reach For The Stars and Climb Ev'ry Mountain, plus many more of her best-known 60s recordings, such as What Now My Love, I (Who Have Nothing) and This Is My Life.

With such stirring performances, Bassey secured her reputation as an artist who really lived her songs. The triumphs and tragedies of her private life gave her the rare ability to make the lyrics she was singing entirely believable. "There's something about my life in every one of my songs," she says in tonight's programme. "Pain and suffering, love won and lost, and all that. Been there. So I can sing about it."

Dame Shirley also tells us why, when she performed at JFK's inauguration, the audience laughed at her opening song. She memorably describes meeting Kennedy as "shaking hands with lightning." Later, as a regular performer in Las Vegas, she would meet Elvis (with whom she shares a birthday), and she even divulges what they got up to when she went to visit him backstage.

We hear such signature Bassey songs as Big Spender, This Is My Life (much loved by Neil Tennant, as he describes) and, of course, Goldfinger. There are memories of that timeless 007 theme from its co-writer, John Barry, and that "Golden Girl" from the film itself, Shirley Eaton. Also contributing is her longtime friend Jimmy Tarbuck, who recalls playing "over the road" from Shirley in Las Vegas and how she once played Josephine in a TV sketch with Tarbuck, Dudley Moore, Kenneth McKellar and Harry Secombe.

Dame Shirley Bassey tells her story to Paul Sexton

0220091016

The second part of Radio 2's story of the Tigress of Tiger Bay" follows Shirley Bassey through the 1960s, as she takes her chart-topping British success onto the world stage.

Dame Shirley speaks to Paul Sexton about becoming a worldwide star - with a little help from James Bond - and about incredible adventures in America, singing for President John F.

Kennedy and hanging backstage with King Elvis.

Last week's instalment ended in 1959 with Shirley Bassey at No.1 in the UK singles chart for the first time with As I Love You.

Tonight we hear her second chart-topping 45, the double-sided Reach For The Stars and Climb Ev'ry Mountain, and many more of her best-known 60s recordings, such as What Now My Love, I (Who Have Nothing) and This Is My Life.

With such stirring performances, Bassey would secure her reputation as an artist who really lived her songs.

The triumphs and tragedies of her private life gave her the rare ability to make the lyrics she was singing entirely believable: "There's something about my life in every one of my songs," she says in tonight's programme.

"Pain and suffering, love won and lost, and all that.

Been there.

So I can sing about it."

Dame Shirley also reveals why, when she performed at JFK's inauguration, the audience laughed at her opening song.

She also memorably describes meeting Kennedy as "shaking hands with lightning." Later, as a regular performer in Las Vegas, she would meet Elvis (with whom she shares a birthday) and she reveals what they got up to when she went to visit him backstage.

We'll also hear the signature Bassey songs Big Spender, Something and, of course, Goldfinger, with memories of that timeless 007 theme from its co-writer, John Barry, and the film's "Golden Girl" Shirley Eaton.

Also contributing is her longtime friend Jimmy Tarbuck, who recalls playing "over the road" from La Bassey in Las Vegas.

Paul Sexton follows Shirley Bassey's success in the 1960s and her adventures in America."

0220091016

The second part of Radio 2's story of the Tigress of Tiger Bay" follows Shirley Bassey through the 1960s, as she takes her chart-topping British success onto the world stage.

Dame Shirley speaks to Paul Sexton about becoming a worldwide star - with a little help from James Bond - and about incredible adventures in America, singing for President John F.

Kennedy and hanging backstage with King Elvis.

Last week's instalment ended in 1959 with Shirley Bassey at No.1 in the UK singles chart for the first time with As I Love You.

Tonight we hear her second chart-topping 45, the double-sided Reach For The Stars and Climb Ev'ry Mountain, and many more of her best-known 60s recordings, such as What Now My Love, I (Who Have Nothing) and This Is My Life.

With such stirring performances, Bassey would secure her reputation as an artist who really lived her songs.

The triumphs and tragedies of her private life gave her the rare ability to make the lyrics she was singing entirely believable: "There's something about my life in every one of my songs," she says in tonight's programme.

"Pain and suffering, love won and lost, and all that.

Been there.

So I can sing about it."

Dame Shirley also reveals why, when she performed at JFK's inauguration, the audience laughed at her opening song.

She also memorably describes meeting Kennedy as "shaking hands with lightning." Later, as a regular performer in Las Vegas, she would meet Elvis (with whom she shares a birthday) and she reveals what they got up to when she went to visit him backstage.

We'll also hear the signature Bassey songs Big Spender, Something and, of course, Goldfinger, with memories of that timeless 007 theme from its co-writer, John Barry, and the film's "Golden Girl" Shirley Eaton.

Also contributing is her longtime friend Jimmy Tarbuck, who recalls playing "over the road" from La Bassey in Las Vegas.

Paul Sexton follows Shirley Bassey's success in the 1960s and her adventures in America."

02 LAST20120117

The story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion, in a revised repeat of Paul Sexton's 2009 series, now airing to mark Dame Shirley's 75th birthday.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire and such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never.

The entertainer also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s - Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews also contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007, and find out what happened with some reindeer on the set of her Christmas commercial for a well-known high street retailer. Also in tonight's programme, La Bassey talks about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Episode two also features several tracks from Dame Shirley's 2009 album The Performance, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs and Richard Hawley, plus producer David Arnold.

The story of the Welsh singing legend, who turned 75 on January 8, reaches its conclusion.

02 LAST20120117

The story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion, in a revised repeat of Paul Sexton's 2009 series, now airing to mark Dame Shirley's 75th birthday.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire and such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never.

The entertainer also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s - Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews also contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007, and find out what happened with some reindeer on the set of her Christmas commercial for a well-known high street retailer. Also in tonight's programme, La Bassey talks about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Episode two also features several tracks from Dame Shirley's 2009 album The Performance, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs and Richard Hawley, plus producer David Arnold.

The story of the Welsh singing legend, who turned 75 on January 8, reaches its conclusion.

0320091023

Friday Night is Bassey Night as the story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion with a double bill, just before Dame Shirley Bassey takes to the stage for a dazzling headline performance at the BBC Electric Proms.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire, plus such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never. She also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s; Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007 and find out what happened on the set of a high-profile commercial for a well-known high street brand. Also in tonight's programmes, to preview the much-anticipated live performance that follows, La Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Her Electric Prom marks the live debut of several tracks from her new album The Performance and the documentary will set the scene by featuring several tracks, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature in the programme, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson, Richard Hawley and producer David Arnold.

The story of multi-million-selling Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.

0320091023

Friday Night is Bassey Night as the story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion with a double bill, just before Dame Shirley Bassey takes to the stage for a dazzling headline performance at the BBC Electric Proms.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire, plus such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never. She also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s; Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007 and find out what happened on the set of a high-profile commercial for a well-known high street brand. Also in tonight's programmes, to preview the much-anticipated live performance that follows, La Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Her Electric Prom marks the live debut of several tracks from her new album The Performance and the documentary will set the scene by featuring several tracks, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature in the programme, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson, Richard Hawley and producer David Arnold.

The story of multi-million-selling Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.

04 LAST04 Last20091023

Friday Night is Bassey Night as the story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion with a double bill, just before Dame Shirley Bassey takes to the stage for a dazzling headline performance at the BBC Electric Proms.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire, plus such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never. She also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s; Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007 and find out what happened on the set of a high-profile commercial for a well-known high street brand. Also in tonight's programmes, to preview the much-anticipated live performance that follows, La Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Her Electric Prom marks the live debut of several tracks from her new album The Performance and the documentary will set the scene by featuring several tracks, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature in the programme, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson, Richard Hawley and producer David Arnold.

The story of multi-million-selling Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.

04 LAST04 Last20091023

Friday Night is Bassey Night as the story of the multi-million-selling, world-famous Welsh vocalist reaches its conclusion with a double bill, just before Dame Shirley Bassey takes to the stage for a dazzling headline performance at the BBC Electric Proms.

Before addressing the entertainer's modern-day renaissance, the documentary features Bassey's best-loved songs of the 70s, including vibrant covers of Something and Light My Fire, plus such ballad favourites as For All We Know and Never Never Never. She also talks about her gay following, her hilarious comedy sketch with Morecambe & Wise, and reveals surprising feelings about the songs that brought her to a new audience in the 80s and 90s; Yello's Rhythm Divine and History Repeating with Propellerheads. Chris Rea talks about working with the singer on a 90s film project and Cerys Matthews contributes her Bassey memories.

We hear Dame Shirley's recollections of her headline-making Glastonbury Festival appearance of 2007 and find out what happened on the set of a high-profile commercial for a well-known high street brand. Also in tonight's programmes, to preview the much-anticipated live performance that follows, La Bassey talks to Paul Sexton about the art of performing live and how she goes about building a set list for her show, carefully positioning newer songs among classic hits.

Her Electric Prom marks the live debut of several tracks from her new album The Performance and the documentary will set the scene by featuring several tracks, including Gary Barlow's This Time, Tom Baxter's Almost There and the Pet Shop Boys' The Performance Of My Life. Barlow, Baxter and Neil Tennant all feature in the programme, along with fellow contributors to the album, Nick Hodgson, Richard Hawley and producer David Arnold.

The story of multi-million-selling Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.