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WOS TV: Up Close With ... Peter Straker

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After the critical success of his cabaret show at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, Peter Straker is returning to Scotland with trusty director Mel Smith by his side. The action will be transplanted to a new festival venue - Ghillie Dhu – and the lone keyboard replaced by a five-piece band.

Straker has had a delightfully varied 40 year career in showbusiness with numerous roles on stage and television. He was also a close friend of Freddie Mercury and featured as a backing vocalist on many of Queen's albums.

It's windy afternoon in the garden of Mel Smith's house in north London. Rehearsals are taking place inside, and I sit waiting for Straker on a damp deck chair as he sings Mika's 'Grace Kelly' and Smith wanders about smoking a cigar.

When we eventually get to chat, Straker refuses to reveal his age, and because he is in such great physical shape it is difficult to guess. He speaks honestly and thoughtfully, coping expertly with the occasional off-camera heckling from Smith.

Peter Straker's show I'm Still Here is at the Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu, 4-30 August at 18.00.


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