Feeling reflective

BBC Points' Clinton Rogers at Glastonbury Festival - but as a journalist, not a performer!

BBC Points' Clinton Rogers at Glastonbury Festival - but as a journalist, not a performer! - Credit: Archant

CLINTON ROGERS looks back on the musical career that might have been, and how it steered him to the bright lights of working in television

Television has been very good to me for the best part of 30 years, yet my first experience in front of the cameras could have left me scarred for life.

At the time I was working for a local newspaper but playing regularly in a band. After three separate auditions, we succeeded in getting ourselves a slot on a national TV talent show called New Faces, which was a very early predecessor to The X Factor.

Of course, we were all very excited and thought it might help launch a new career as professional rock stars, so imagine our dismay when one of the judges, Tony Hatch - an eminent songwriter and record producer of the time - gave us his rather frank assessment of our talents. When asked by the show’s host whether this semi-professional band should take the plunge and go fully professional, he replied: “Never in a million years!”

Stardom and bright lights were shot down with one brutal sentence. Thankfully ITV and later the BBC had the kindness to pick me up and give me a career in television - but as a journalist, not a musician!

And what a great time I have had. If I had some magical ability to wind back the clock, I don’t think there is much I would change. It is a career which has taken me around the world, from war zones to pop festivals, meeting celebrities, politicians and ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

Mind you, the musical ambition hasn’t completely disappeared. In the past six months, my brother Stan and I have launched a new musical act, Cleverly Everly - a tribute to the wonderful work of the Everly Brothers. We’re doing pretty well at the moment; pub and village hall audiences in Somerset seem suitably impressed.

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So maybe it’s not too late? They tell me Tony Hatch now lives in Menorca - maybe I’ll pop out to see him...

BBC Points West is on BBC One (West), Monday to Friday at 6.30pm