|Kelly Fox at Costa Blanca Blues Picnic 2013 |
with Graham Foster & Working Party Blues Band
click photo to enlarge
Story by Karla Darocas
Now retired to the beautiful seaside resort of Moraira, Kelly Fox started her career as a disc jockey Sandra Broadbent from Rochdale, Lancs – UK. She branched out to singing and for 10 years she was a popular music singer. However, her agent thought she should move into storytelling and comedy.
“I found comedy very difficult,” explains the now 72 years young entertainer. She was always fighting with her manager about doing British style comedy.
“I didn’t like full stand up as it was all men on the circuit and it was all based on jokes. It was so embarrassing when an audience member finished the joke for you.”
So, Kelly went off to American and studied the American comedians and found their style to be fresher.
“The Americans were doing sketches about everything from their own lives, their mothers, fat people, even dead people,” she explains.
“The hostess was Marti Caine and she was from the north of England, like me and Marti was very kind to me,” remembers Kelly about the tv show.
“When they did the pilot show, I came onto the stage on a motorbike wearing a red rocker outfit and presented myself to the panel of judges and 7 million viewers.”
However, her outrageous comedy stunt didn’t go down too well with one of the judges who was in shock. The judge - Nina Myskow, who according to Kelly was “bitchy with everyone” declared Kelly Fox and her act as, “a kind of grotesque approach where a woman has to make a complete fool of herself.”
Kelly Fox’s rebuttal to the cruel words of this judge were simply, “I would like to shove my motorbike in her mouth.”
As the years went by she stopped the comedy however Kelly felt the need to sing again and it was her loving husband – James Broadbent – who suggested that she start to sing blues songs. So off they traveled once again to the USA to New Orleans.
She fell in love with Bourbon street and the songs of the “black people”. Before long, she was jumping up on the stage of any blues band who would have her and belting out blues standards.
While on Bourbon Street she saw the All Purpose Blues Band perform their hit song - "Kiss My Ass Baby." When she returned to the UK, she started to sing that song at ladies nights and it became very popular.
“I thought that I was too old, but my husband said – “GO FOR IT!!” laughs Kelly.
“I was going to sing Purple Rain (made famous by Prince in the 80’s) but while waiting out in the contestants holding room, I tore into my version of Kiss My Ass and the whole room started to laugh and sing along.”
Later, when she got in front of the producers to present herself singing Purple Rain, there was one producer who asked her what she was singing out in the holding room? When she replied ‘Kiss My Ass’, she was shocked to find that the producer loved the idea of such a wild song being presented on their show.
“Of course I pointed out to the producers that the song was kind of risky for British TV as it had the words “ass” and “shit” in the lyrics,” admits Kelly.
But, that didn’t seem to matters as within 9 days – instead of 6 weeks, they called her to say that she would need to go down to Cardiff to sing for the judges and it would be filmed.
So, off she went to be on a highly popular talent show singing an outrageous yet typically American blues song, but they asked her to change the word “shit” to “trash”.
“When I went out on stage and started to sing, I could see that the head judge Simon Cowell was not happy. His face was like thunder. I think the producer knew that the song would upset him, but that is obviously what they wanted to do,” chuckles Kelly.
The theater that was used for the audition was full of university students who adored the fireball woman and her raunchy blues song and they all started to join into the repeated chorus of “Kiss My Ass”. Bowing down to the audience pressure and obvious adoration of Kelly Fox – Simon Cowell turned to another judge Amanda Holden's and kissed her ass.
After Kelly was through and the crowd had gone wild with joy, Simon Cowell announced to Kelly: “You are an inspiration, you really are – I love you. “You’re like a little tiger. I love the song and I’m going to remember you. I think you’re terrific.”
Kelly Fox made TV history again and was chosen to move onto the finals, however that appearance was not meant to be.
“I was thrilled to be chosen. They really wanted me back but I was on holiday and in the end, they didn’t send me a flight ticket, so I just enjoyed my holiday.”
However, her performance was shown at the finals and released on YouTube and now this video clip is reaching 2 million views!