Madness frontman Suggs talks to Welwyn Hatfield Times ahead of Galleria Christmas lights switch-on

AHEAD of his big Christmas lights switch-on at Hatfield’s Galleria tomorrow (Thursday), we spoke to Madness legend Suggs.

The 50-year-old will be on hand to signal the start of Yuletide celebrations this year.

Suggs, real name Graham McPherson, told the WHT: “I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I like Christmas.

“I always think it’s a great celebration and I always like turning on Christmas lights.

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“I did Regent Street a couple of years ago and where I live in Highbury this year.”

Asked what he’s up to apart from illuminating areas with Christmas joy, he said: “The band are doing some recording and I’m about to embark on a one man show with a little music and with a pianist.”

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Turning back to the festive period he said: “It’s a time for kids and families and friends.

“It’s a time of joy – it’s just a nice time of year.”

Known for a string of ska/pop hits including House of Fun, It Must Be Love, Baggy Trousers and One Step Beyond, Suggs said his favourite Madness song was the lesser-known Embarrassment.

He said the song was a reaction to race issues in a less tolerant time.

“One band member’s sister had a baby with a black man.

“It was a different time then, and it was a clever song about a serious issue.”

On a less serious note, Suggs said how he enjoyed, as much as the rest of us, the famous announcement by Chris Eubank on Top of the Pops, where the speech-impeded ex-boxer was given the sentence from hell to say.

He said: “Not only did Chris say ‘it’s Suggs at number six with Cecilia’.

“Completely off his own bat he decided to say ‘the sensational Suggs’.”

? Get down to the Galleria from 5pm where Suggs won’t be the only Madness member in attendance in a jam-packed line-up.

? The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra features Madness saxophonist Lee Thompson and fellow Madness original Mark Bedford.

? The WGC-based Rock Choir will also be performing, with 200 singers from Hatfield, Letchworth, Stevenage and WGC singing an array of pop, gospel and Motown hits.

? Top Hat Glee Choir, a group of 15 children aged 11 to 16 years old from the Top Hat stage school, will perform a ‘mash up’ of the best songs from Glee including the infamous Don’t Stop Believin’.

? Last and not least Chrissie, a solo artist, has featured as a backing vocalist on tracks by Robbie Williams, Gabriella Cilmi and Olly Murs and performed alongside Beverley Knight for her BBC Radio 2 Gospel Show and Stacey Soloman at the last FA Cup Final.

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