Exclusive: How did Bradley Walsh get into big band music?

13 November 2017, 16:30

Bradley Walsh surprised everyone by scoring the biggest-selling British debut album of 2016. Bradley Walsh!

The Chase star is one of many entertainers who have brought the big band and easy listening style back to the album chart, and he's now released his second album.

Speaking to Smooth Radio, Bradley explained how he first got into this kind of music, saying: "I was only young when I got into it. My mum and dad played Sinatra through my formative years. I was in the house listening on my mum and dad’s gramophone to Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, people like that.

"It wasn’t until I was driving to stand-up gig when I was about 25, I had to drop stuff off at my auntie Iris’s house. And she goes ‘where are you going?’. I said ‘I’m going down to Ringmer in Sussex’. She said ‘do you ever listen to stuff in the car?’, in those days it was cassettes, and she said ‘have a listen to this, it’s Tony Bennett’. I said ‘what does he sound like?’.

"I listened to this album and strangely enough I can’t find it anywhere, I’ve still got it somewhere. In those days there was no M25, you had to drive through London to get to Sussex, and I remember I played it three or four times on a loop and I absolutely loved it. Then I got to the gig, and I drove round the block because the album was finishing, so I kept driving!

"At that age, at 25, it was just a complete eye opener for me. Now, I look at that and I hope there are 25-year-olds listening to this album or other music like this and keep it going."

Bradley also admitted that his Chase colleagues give him a bit of stick for his music career, saying: "I get some ribbing. They always say to me that you’re only trying to compete with other people that run other quiz shows, like Alexander Armstrong and people like that. But I take it all in good cheer."

Meanwhile, Bradley also confirmed that his new starring role in Doctor Who will not mean an end to his gameshow The Chase, explaining: "ITV and BBC are working in conjunction to make it happen, so no matter what I am or what I do, the powers that be, powers that are way above my paygrade are really trying to work hard so that everyone is happy with this scenario."

Bradley's second album When You're Smiling is out now.