Stage / Long Live Variety Theatre!

Whilst the hit singles began to dwindle, the theatre and cabaret bookings remained constant.  Eleven years after their last hit, they were back headlining in Blackpool at the ABC. The business they generated there in 1978 extended the summer season for two weeks beyond its planned run and saw them booked to do the same the following year at the ABC in Great Yarmouth. Subsequent summer season bookings then took them to Torquay, Hastings and countless performances as the ‘stars’ for Butlins Midnight Cabaret.

In 1983, having completed yet another summer in Blackpool (their 5th) they were booked by Bill Kenwright to re-open the Theatre Royal in Hanley (Stoke on Trent) as three Chinese policemen in ‘Aladdin.’  Their continued popularity also had them signed up for the 1984 Eastbourne summer season for Bernard Delfont at the Congress Theatre. Things were looking very rosy!

Aladdin and his Magic Lamp at the Theatre Royal

Then it all went horribly wrong.  A professional disagreement within the group, which was meant to remain private, was leaked to the press.  The resulting media frenzy was awful. This coverage flamed the situation even more and later led to the three original ‘Bachelors’  being legally disbanded at the High Court in May 1984.

The majority of their fans thought it a tragedy as Con Dec and John performed together for the last time to a packed theatre in Hanley on 14th January 1984. Many of us had been friends for 20 years (since we were kids) and the atmosphere among us was incredibly sad.

Con, Dec and John sing together for the final time. Hanley, 14/01/84.
Con, Dec and John sing together for the final time. Hanley, 14/01/84.

The events leading to the split and the history of the group members since 1984 are widely covered elsewhere, but have no place in this celebration of their amazing career between 1962 and 1984.

See the links page to follow the careers of Con, Dec and John from 1984 to the present day.

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