Bobby Crush, real name Robert Nicholas Crush, was born 23rd March 1954 and he first came to public attention after six winning appearances on ITV's talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1972. In the same year he received the Variety Club of Great Britain award for 'Best New Artist'. He recorded for the Philips label in the UK and his recordings were produced by Norman Newell, who had previously worked with the likes of Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis and Bobby's role model, Russ Conway.
At the age of 18, Bobby starred at the London Palladium already having achieved an album in the top 20 and a single "Borsalino" (from the 1970 film Borsalino) in the top 40. His West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium (guest starring with Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Dame Julie Andrews). As a regular performer at that venue, Bobby's name appears on the "Roll of Honour" at the Palladium's stage door. He also played a year at the Victoria Palace with Max Bygraves in SwingalongaMax, has appeared at The Royal Variety Performance and starred in his own one-man show at London's Fortune Theatre.
His work overseas includes a tour of Canada with Sir Harry Secombe in "The London Palladium Show", concerts in Australia and New Zealand, as well as performing on cruise liners.
His television appearances include Sounds Like Music, a British game show that aired on ITV from 6 June 1989 to 11 May 1990 and which was hosted by Crush, and various other programmes. Bobby's most recent TV appearances have been in the ITV sitcom Benidorm, in which he played the character "Billy Sparkle". Bobby was recently featured on the ITV series "Last Laugh in Vegas" in which 8 British acts from the 60's and 70's were flown to Las Vegas to make their American debuts.
Theatrical roles include Liberace in Liberace's Suit (Jermyn Street Theatre), "Dr Frank N. Furter" in The Rocky Horror Show, "Billy Flynn" in Chicago, "Vernon Gersch" in "They're Playing our Song", "L.M." in "Pump Boys and Dinettes" and Liberace in Liberace, Live from Heaven (Leicester Square Theatre / New Zealand tour / Edinburgh Festival). Bobby also appeared in the 2018 tour of "Summer Holiday, the Musical" playing the role of "Jerry".
His recordings include his debut album Bobby Crush, which reached no. 15 in the UK Albums Chart, and chart singles "Borsalino" and "The Sting". He has made 13 studio albums as a pianist, not including compilations. His "Double Decker Party Album", which was TV-advertised, sold 100,000 copies and brought him a double gold disc. His "Piano Party" album also went gold in New Zealand. Crush is featured vocally on Pickwick's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing the role of "Pharaoh" and songs from the musical Hair for Carlton Records. Following the release of his album Reel Music, Crush played a 30 date tour with 60s singing star Gene Pitney, including a night at the London Palladium. Other career highlights include "The Stonewall Equality Show" at the Royal Albert Hall and a tour of "Back to Bacharach", Crush's tribute show to Burt Bacharach, for which he also wrote the script.
His greatest success as a songwriter was penning the music and lyrics for Keith Harris and Orville's hit "Orville's Song" (also known as "I Wish I Could Fly"), which reached no. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, sold a quarter of a million copies and brought Bobby a silver disc. A tour with 4 Poofs and a Piano, for whom he also wrote, took place between February and April 2013.
On 23 March 2014, Crush celebrated his 60th birthday with a gala concert at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. The concert was recorded for a live CD.
1973/74 Aladdin - ABC Theatre, Stockton
1974/75 NO PANTO (Swingalongamax -Victoria Palace, London)
1975/76 Aladdin - Barnsley Civic & Theatre Royal St Helens
1976/77 NO PANTO (The Basil Brush Christmas Show - Croydon)
1977/78 NO PANTO (Basil Brush Boom Booom - Victoria Palace, London)
1978/79 Puss in Boots - Cambridge Theatre, Gloucester
1979/80 Little Red Riding Hood – Lewisham Concert Hall
1980/81 Puss in Boots - Library Theatre, Luton
1981/82 Puss in Boots - Assembly Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
1982/83 Cinderella - Connaught Theatre, Worthing
1983/84 Humpty Dumpty - New Theatre, Cardiff
1984/85 Puss in Boots – Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
1985/86 NO PANTO (performing on the QE2)
1986/87 Aladdin - White Rock Theatre, Hastings
1987/88 Dick Whittington - Grand Theatre, Swansea
1988/89 Humpty Dumpty – Millfield Theatre, Edmonton
1989/90 Sleeping Beauty – Theatre Royal, Plymouth
1990/91 Jack and the Beanstalk – New Theatre, Hull
1991/92 NO PANTO
1992/93 Cinderella - Watersmeet, Rickmansworth
1993/94 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Civic Hall, Guildford
1994/95 Cinderella – Millfield Theatre, Edmonton
1995/96 Beauty and the Beast - Ferneham Hall, Fareham
1996/97 NO PANTO
1997/98 NO PANTO
1998/99 NO PANTO
1999/00 NO PANTO
2000/01 Dick Whittington – The Forum, Billingham
2001/02 Aladdin – Charter Theatre, Preston
2002/03 Cinderella – Beck Theatre, Hayes
2003/04 NO PANTO
2004/05 NO PANTO
2005/06 Aladdin – Crewe Lyceum
2006/07 Cinderella – Lighthouse Theatre, Poole
2007/08 Jack and the Beanstalk – Cresset Theatre, Peterborough
2008/09 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The Cresset, Peterborough
2009/10 NO PANTO
2010/11 Sleeping Beauty - Palace Theatre, Newark
2011/12 Jack and the Beanstalk - Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
2012/13 Sleeping Beauty – Connaught Theatre, Worthing
2013/14 Aladdin – Bournemouth Pavilion
2014/15 Sleeping Beauty – Churchill Theatre, Bromley
2015/16 Aladdin – Churchill Theatre, Bromley
2016/17 Sleeping Beauty – Sunderland Empire
2017/18 Beauty and the Beast – Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple
2018/19 NO PANTO
2019/20 Sleeping Beauty – Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford
2020/21 NO LIVE PANTO DUE TO COVID-19 - Bobby appeared in the online pantomime 'Once Upon a Panto' for Anton Benson Productions playing his first ever Ugly Sister.
2021/22 Aladdin - New Theatre, Peterborough