LIFE is a Cabaret, sang Liza Minnelli, and crimper Paul Jerrard knows all about that. For the past seven years he has been living the dream in the Spanish sunshine island of Gran Canaria where he was running a cabaret club and putting on glamorous productions with a line of showgirls, music and glitzy costumes.
But the 48-year-old from Tynemouth has decided to leave his show business life behind to return to Tyneside and go back to his hairdressing roots.
He says: "I'm happy to be back in the North East although I do miss that little link with the showbiz world. I really miss the gusto of the shows when you see all the girls on stage performing and the props and the costumes and everything that comes with that.
"I am looking to the future now. I never say never. In the words of Frank Sinatra, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again."
Paul decided to move to Spain after making friends with dancers and singers who worked the clubland circuit in the North East.
He developed a strong friendship with someone whose dream it was to present and put on a big show so in a 'now or never moment' the hairdresser decided to take a break from cutting hair and go and live abroad.
"My desire to tick another box and live in the sunshine made me go to Gran Canaria," he explains.
"I decided to take a break from hairdressing and give it a go.
"I'd done fashion show work, styling competitions and studio work so I could use that experience for a cabaret show."
In the early days Paul and the team of showgirls would put on productions in five-star hotels in Gran Canaria every night and he would provide the voice-overs and look after the technical side.
"We still had the intention of opening up our own cabaret evening and ultimately the dream did come true when we got the opportunity to present a show in a new casino in Gran Canaria," he says.
"We went from a cast of five to one of 14 and employed 43 people."
Paul worked as a general manager overseeing everything to do with the show including making sure the costumes were made and arrived in time from Bangkok, a place he dubs 'the sequin capital of the world.' On the cabaret club's opening night, singer Bonnie Tyler opened the show and performed.
"The contact for Bonnie was made through local clubland star Lorraine Crosby, who is huge in the North East, and is very good friends with Bonnie.
"It was fantastic. I got to work with the most stunning showgirls in the world.
"We employed a lot of showgirls who were dancers from the North East and our choreographer was also from the region. …