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TONY HADLEY GOLF CLASSIC

Pop reunions are a big thing at the moment. So when ESP’s Mikey Clarke found out Tony Hadley was coming to Peterborough, he took the opportunity to ask the man himself if the return of Spandau Ballet is likely…

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The popular lead-singer came to the Boro (along with celebrity friends) for the ninth Tony Hadley Golf Classic, raising money for Action Medical Research. For over 60 years, the charity’s been saving and changing lives through medical research and has spent over £100million, funding some amazing breakthroughs, thanks to fundraising events such as this.

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The golf day was held at Elton Furze Golf Club followed by evening drinks and dinner at the Marriott hotel and saw a variety of local business people enjoy a game of golf with the celebrities.

The first celeb golfer I bumped into was Ricky Groves (pictured left above)  – best known as Garry on Eastenders. The former Strictly Come Dancing star is no stranger to Peterborough. Not only does he live just done the road in St Neot’s, he performed at the Cresset Panto last Christmas. Ricky told me – “I’m pleased to say I’ll be returning to the Cresset this year for Beauty and Beast. I can confirm that this time I’ll be singing a song more catered to me. During the last Panto, they got me singing ‘Reach for the Stars’. I had to get the audience singing the high notes because I couldn’t reach them!

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“As for today’s golf, considering I haven’t played since February I think I did OK,” said Ricky. “My team shared a hip flask with a little tipple in it and we had a good laugh. I also handed out some lottery tickets. I said to the others that if we don’t do well with the golf, at least there’s a chance of winning some cash!”

On the subject of a Spandau Ballet reunion, Ricky explained – “When I was on Eastenders, Martin Kemp was my mentor for a week. At this point the band weren’t very close, but I hear things are great with them now. They seem to have sorted their differences and will hopefully be back soon to give us music gold.” See what he did there…

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I next grabbed a few minutes with Mark Labbett. The Chaser from ITV’s ‘The Chase’ told me this was his second time taking part in the Annual Charity Golf Event. “On the night before the last Golf Day, organisers put together a Question of Sport style quiz. At first my team seemed thrilled to have me – after all, answering questions is my job. That soon changed when they realised how overly competitive I am. I play to win.”

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Describing himself as a Chaser, Mark said – “There’s a fine line between banter and abuse. I like to be a little cheeky with people but I don’t think I cross the line. In fact, we once had one 80 year-old contestant, who had served in the RAF for 30 years. I spent the whole show calling him Sir as I thought he deserved it.

“I’d like to see a return of Spandau Ballet,” he said when asked about the group. “The creative director behind The Chase is Michael Kelpie, he’s also involved with The Big Reunion. If Tony and the guys ever wanted to reunite, I think I can safely say on behalf of Michael and ITV, there would be great interest.”

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Finally I caught up with Hadley himself. Knowing a lot of people were wanting to speak to the legend I cut straight to the big question – “Will we see the guys back together again?”

“Funnily enough, me and Gary Kemp had lunch the other day,” he told me.  “We agreed it would be lovely to get the team back together again. I have a solo album coming out soon, and said after promoting that, maybe we should announce a reunion. Realistically if it’s going to happen it would be in 2015 – which would be our 35th year anniversary. It feels right and the timing would be right so watch this space.”

If the singer returns for the tenth Tony Hadley Golf Classic next year, let’s hope he has some stories to tell on the guys being together in the recording studio.

Mikey Clarke

Photos: Emma Bothamley

Legend

Written by ESP Magazine

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