The showbiz ego is a frail and a fragile thing. You’d think our children would take note of that, and keep their unwanted opinions to themselves. But no.
Towards the end of my comedy career I had made a pilot programme for the BBC. Thinking he might enjoy it, I decided to show it to my six-year old son. After less than a minute he turned to me and said, “Would you mind if I went away and did something interesting?” His younger brother was just as cruel. Hearing my childhood hero Donovan sing, “First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is,” his response was, “Is this about Donovan on a roundabout? Or is it a song about blinking?” Later, he decided to turn his satirical guns on his own father. A CD compilation of some of my songs and performances had been released and were on sale in HMV. Feeling justifiably proud, I said to him, “HMV have my record in their shop. It’s in the comedy section.” My own son said to me, “What’s it doing there?”
A story too painful (obviously) to be used in my forthcoming memoir The Freewheeling John Dowie.
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