We knew Tony Blackburn was an amiable buffoon.
We knew Bernard Manning was a xenophobic slob (mosquitoes and “Spaniards might be spitting in your food and all sorts” are his reasons for never taking holidays).
But we didn’t know much about little Leo Sayer. He’s famous for his high-pitched hits and big, bubbly hair. Now, thanks to the latest TV docusoap, he’s now famous for being as much a loser as David Brent, Alan Partridge and Keith from Marion And Geoff.
What a sorry sight he presented, sitting in his car deluding himself about his failed relationship with sulky girlfriend Donatella. She’s also his manager, though, so she hasn’t quite wriggled free yet. Her eye rolling, sighs and admission that Leo’s an embarrassment suggest it won’t be too long before she moves out of “our humble abode” as he describes it.
Leo is enough to drive anyone mad. He never speaks in a proper voice – it’s all mimicry or bursts of songs (including a bizarre Bohemian Rhapsody). We left him at the airport, threatening to provide the in-flight entertainment for his fellow passengers.
Footage of Leo on stage appears later in the series. In the opener, we had to make do with Blackburn’s medallion-swinging and Manning’s miserable humour as they appeared in clubs so appalling that you had to feel distress that they were forced to make a living in such circumstances.
But at least they seem to enjoy themselves. Leo’s is a tears-of-a-clown life and the way he grasped at the attention of the camera was like a drowning man clutching at a rubber ring.