Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let Me in before I Go Go; Doormen at Tramp Allegedly Failed to Recognise Lionel Richie - until He Crooned Hello. Could Charlie Skelton Jump the Queues with a Fake George Michael?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let Me in before I Go Go; Doormen at Tramp Allegedly Failed to Recognise Lionel Richie - until He Crooned Hello. Could Charlie Skelton Jump the Queues with a Fake George Michael?

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLIE SKELTON

LONDON. A hotel room, softly lit. White silk sheets. All Night Long playing on a loop on the stereo. A soft, insistent creaking from the giant heart-shaped bed.

Suddenly, the creaking stops.

Lionel Richie, the honey-voiced Motown legend, pauses in his lovemaking. A frown creases his brow.

"Hold your horses, sweet cheeks I've had a thought. I rather fancy going out to a club for a bit of a dance." "But Lionel," objects one of the 17 exhausted girls strewn about him, "you know full well that if you don't make sweet love for 18 hours a day your ears fall off." Lionel tuts.

"Don't worry, I'll make it quick.

Have a game of Jenga or something, I'll be back in a tick."

So that's how it came about that Lionel Richie was trying to jump the queue at Tramp. In a marvellous act of doormanship, or so the story goes, the doormen claimed not to recognise him, and told him to sling his hook. "But you don't understand: I'm Lionel Richie,"

My orders were clear: "Get a Lionel Richie lookalike, go round some trendy clubs and see if you can sing your way in." Fantastic. I picked up the hotline to Derrick's Doubles.

"Sorry love. We've got a Lionel Richie singalike, but he's got the wrong hair and he's a bit on the fat side." Damn. But they gave me a choice of three other singing looka-likes. Elton John, Cliff Richard or George Michael.

I would have preferred a Bono, but under the circumstances plumped for George.

It turns out that I'd worked with John Kerr, the George lookalike, before - on a couple of performance pieces that I did with Peter Holmes, the avant-garde artist and entertainer. John is still the best protested the honey-voiced Motown legend. "If I don't hurry up and get back to my hotel for my 11.30 lovemaking, my ears will fall off." The doorman shrugged. "That's as may be, buddy. But frankly, I still don't believe that you're the honey-voiced Motown legend, Lionel Richie."

So that's how it came about that Lionel Richie performed Hello to the bouncers at Tramp, and got in to have his boogie. And no sooner was Richie stepping through the rope chain, than the Evening Standard's world-renowned Quirky Celebrity Story Quick Response Team was being scrambled. …

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