Downtown show stars singing sensation

Singing sensation Petula Clark
Singing sensation Petula Clark

I Know A Place (reprised here) where northern fans of a true superstar songstress can see, and more importantly hear, the international legend.

Where: Bridgewater Hall Manchester. When: Tuesday October 11. Who: Child star, actress, singer, all round iconic entertainer Petula Clark.

From Now On stage sensation comes to the county as culmination, so far, of an incredible career spanning over seven decades that cemented her as best selling British female artist in recording history with whopping sales of over 68 million records worldwide.

This extensive UK tour accompanies new album, awash with refreshing and inspiring collection of songs that draw upon various influences from Petula's impressive canvas, as well as showcasing all her many memorable hits.

Petula won first Grammy in 1964 for Best Rock n Roll Record with Downtown, reaching number one in the US after selling over three million copies, before securing second such accolade the year after for Best Female Vocal Performance with I Know A Place. A key player in the 'British Invasion,’ she scored 15 consecutive US top 40 hits. As well as being among foremost pop stars of the last half century, she has also starred in more than 30 films.

Born 83 years ago as Sally Olwen Clark in Surrey, Petula began her stage career at the age of seven, making debut broadcast as a singer for BBC Radio Overseas Service in October 1942, before becoming overnight star on BBC National Radio as that year closed.

Star-studded career spans half a century

Star-studded career spans half a century

She was hosting her own regular show Pet's Parlour - a series spotlighting patriotic songs designed to boost the morale of wartime audiences - at the tender age of 11.

Petula made her cinematic debut in A Medal for the General in 1945. Several films followed, including London Town (1946) and Vice Versa (1948), while her first leading role was in Don't Ever Leave Me (1949). In 1951 British film-goers voted her sixth favorite actress, just behind Greer Garson and ahead of Jane Wyman.

Silver screen success did not keep her from pursuing her singing career with 1954's "The Little Shoemaker" becoming her first top 20 single while 1960's "Sailor" was first hit parade-topper while 1961's "Romeo" sold over a million copies.

June 1961 saw Petula marry Claude Wolff, with whom she had children Bara (1961), Kathy (1963) and Patrick (1972). The couple relocated to France, where she established a new fan base with such hits as "Ya-Ya Twist," "Chariot," and "Monsieur." By 1962 she was that country's top female singer.

Petula's popularity crossed the pond with 1965's "Downtown," which became first single by a British woman ever to top USA pop charts and sell a million copies in the States. Her American popularity was bolstered by many well-received TV and concert appearances, continuing to chart on both sides of the Atlantic well into the 1970's.

Other hits during this period included "My Love," "I Know A Place," "This Is My Song," "Sign of the Times," "Don't Sleep In the Subway," and "Kiss Me Goodbye." She also appeared in Hollywood musicals Finian's Rainbow (1968) and Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969).

Although she began scaling back her schedule in the late '70s, she is still an active and popular performer today. Her last movie appearance was in the British production of Never Never Land (1980) while her last television appearance was in 1981 French mini-series "Sans Famille". But she has never stopped recording and still performs before sell-out concert audiences.

Petula has also enjoyed great success on the theatre stage, beginning with her critically acclaimed portrayal of Maria in The Sound of Music" (in London 1981-1982). Other hit stage appearances have included "Candida" (UK 1983), "Someone Like You" (UK 1989-1990) for which she wrote the music, "Blood Brothers" (US 1993-1995) and "Sunset Boulevard" (London 1995-1997 and US 1998-2000).

She received an OBE in 1998 before in 2012 being awarded Commander of Order of Arts and Letters in Paris for her distinguished career in France.

Tickets, costing £27 to £47 (including £2 booking fee), are available from box office on 0161 9079000 for the 7.30pm concert.

See you Downtown for what promises to be spectacular show to remember with everyone's favourite Pet.