We gotta get out of this place: Small town boys & the curse of pop stardom
"I used to scrump apples in the grounds here here," says Jim Dale, smiling that boyish smile as we sit for our interview in a grand medieval manor house. Now a country house hotel it used to be a school when he was a boy in the 1940s. It's a remarkable journey. We think of Jim Dale as the young handsome one from the Carry On films, or if you've followed his subsequent career, as an award winning Broadway actor notably in Barnum. But before those films he was a huge pop star in the 1950s. And before that, he was a school leaver from Rothwell in Northamptonshire who turned up for work at a rundown, dark and depressing shoe factory in Corby with a view of a brick wall and realised he couldn't bear it. Dale told the story on the opening night of his one man show in Corby, ahead of its current West End London run. The audience was full of people of his generation, including some who'd known him at school. Though he told the story with humour it was clear what a disheartening experience