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Knowing when to quit

(79 Posts)
NanKate Thu 21-Jan-16 20:19:52

I have just been to see the Glen Miller Story on a theatre trip with my WI. Tommy Steele was playing G M.

Now don't get me wrong it was a good show with great music, but I felt Tommy Steele at 79 was just too old to play someone in his 30s or40s. TS's voice was still good but he just looked a bit doddery.

He was on stage nearly the whole show, which showed he had stamina. He danced a bit and had a good stage presence but I felt uncomfortable with him wooing his future wife who looked young enough to be his grand daughter.

I heard Terry Wogan say recently he was looking forward to returning to the BBC after a break. Last time I saw him on a tv programme with a taxi driver visiting local towns I felt he had lost his sparkle.

I don't want to be ageist but I also don't want to see actors/presenters passed their prime still on tv radio trying to recapture how they were.

Having said that I was watching David Attenborough on tv at 88 and he was as good as he has always been, so there are exceptions to the rule.

Deedaa Thu 21-Jan-16 22:12:34

I agree that it doesn't seem ideal casting. I'm quite happy to see someone of his age on the stage, but not trying to lop 30 or 40 years off.

According to David Attenborough he's even better now after having his knees replaced. He says he wonders who the poor old man is who hobbles round in some of his previous programmes grin

obieone Thu 21-Jan-16 22:18:28

According to wikipedia, Tommy Steele was on This is your Life in 1958.
They only missed out the next 58 years!grin

merlotgran Thu 21-Jan-16 22:23:38

David Attenborough clearly still has all his marbles and some but I cringe when presenters like Bruce Forsyth and Terry Wogan come across as though they're on a day out from a home for the bewildered. Brucie has finally hung up his dancing shoes but it seems TW is reluctant to call it a day.

I never have liked Tommy Steele and I just can't picture him playing Glenn Miller.

Indinana Thu 21-Jan-16 23:13:16

We saw Tommy Steele in Some Like it Hot at our local theatre about 15 years ago. He was absolutely dire then I'm afraid to say. We walked out halfway through.

Jalima Thu 21-Jan-16 23:39:39

Yes, they should know when to quit, and the time is not right for David Attenborough to quit yet smile.

Eloethan Fri 22-Jan-16 00:14:43

There is also such a very different situation where women are concerned. Can you imagine a 79 year old woman being engaged to take the lead part in a musical and her "love interest" being a young man?

Synonymous Fri 22-Jan-16 00:57:42

As Burns said, "O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us to see our selves as others see us"

Alima Fri 22-Jan-16 06:58:49

I saw Tommy Steele in The Glenn Miller Story a few months ago. I wanted to go because I have always liked him and I love the music. I was not disappointed. Yes he is old but to be fair his role was mostly to narrate the story. It was clear from the audience reaction that he is held in high esteem. I also like Terry Wogan and would much rather listen to him wittering away in the morning than that idiot Chris Evans. (Stands back and waits for the flack).

Marmark1 Fri 22-Jan-16 07:05:41

Yes, I think they should retire gracefully,most do of course,but who would replace David Attenborough?I think he's marvellous,(lucky of course as well)
It's different for actors,people come in all ages,so,so should actors.Well,they do,the women that complain about no parts for older women,either don't have talent or they're just unpopular.

NanKate Fri 22-Jan-16 07:12:14

You don't have to stand back for flack Alima we are polite to each other on this thread and are allowed to state our own opinions, not like some other threads where the knives are out. grin

Alima Fri 22-Jan-16 07:21:36


M0nica Fri 22-Jan-16 07:44:19

I think every older person, needs a candid friend, who will tell them when to retire gracefully. There is no one size fits all rule, some people can go on forever and remain on top form. Some do not.

DH has always been an enthusiastic (and good) amateur operatic singer. As a tenor he was often cast as the young and handsome hero, but at a certain point, as he reached 45, came the role too far and he put his foot down and said no matter how desperate the casting director was, he would not sing any more handsome hero parts because he simply looked too old. In his 70s he is still singing but limits himself to old men and character roles.

Alima Fri 22-Jan-16 07:59:26

Did anyone see Bernie Clifton on The Voice a couple of weeks ago trying to cut it as a singer? Now that really was sad.

ninathenana Fri 22-Jan-16 08:11:03

I never watch the voice Alima
I have been a Diana Ross fan since the late '60s and have seen her in concert three times. Sadly, I would not pay to see her again as after the last performance DH and I agreed her voice isn't what it was.
DH and I have seen Billy Connolly several times too, but his illness has really taken it's toll on his performance and age doesn't help, we agreed we wouldn't go and see him again either.

Grannyboots1 Fri 22-Jan-16 08:34:09

I saw Tammy Wynette in Birmingham, in the late 90's. She was helped onto the stage and then a high backed chair for the whole performance which was poor. She died not long after aged 55.

annsixty Fri 22-Jan-16 09:12:10

In a nutshell, Paul McCartney.

Greyduster Fri 22-Jan-16 09:34:31

I watched that episode of The Voice, Alima, but only because DS was staying with us for a night and he watches it at home. Bernie Clifton has a programme on our local radio station on Saturdays and i have to say he is very very funny - he is one of the only people who can make me laugh out loud - but i've never heard him sing. I really couldn't see what he was trying to prove.

inishowen Fri 22-Jan-16 09:41:08

I agree, give it up Tommy! We just went to a comedy at the theatre. The actor who was supposed to be flirting and getting dates with nurses, was in his sixties. The role should have gone to a young man. I felt sorry for the actor.

PPP Fri 22-Jan-16 09:46:35

Paul McCartney, Tom Jines, Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart.... The list goes on. Why do they do it? They don't need the money. It must be a power thing. Sad old men.

grandmaz Fri 22-Jan-16 09:47:38

Agreed, annsixty - Paul was my teenage crush and I really loved the Beatles music - still do - however Paul's voice is now weak and reedy and it is almost embarrassing to watch and listen to. Wish that he would stop! He has a wife and family and loads of money...surely it must be time to develop others aspects of his life and keep the singing for close family and friends, at home!

Growing old gracefully is clearly a talent which money can't buy - maybe it's the fear of being 'invisible' which drives these older stars to carry on way beyond the point at which they should be enjoying the show in the audience, not on the stage! After all adulation from the masses must be quite addictive...must be painful to realise that you have had 'your day in the sun' can understand how people would want to cling on to that feeling of being the public's darling. How sad for them.

As others have said, David Attenborough does seem to be the exception to the general rule -I always enjoy his programmes.

grandMattie Fri 22-Jan-16 10:07:04

On the whole, yes! It saddens me that people like John Humphreys and John SImpson, the Dimbleby Bros.however wonderful, are blocking places for someone who might be better than them. There are few enough j obs for young people these days without doddery old people stopping them from joining...

Yes, I'm being ageist, but...

Jalima Fri 22-Jan-16 10:08:16

Alima I agree with you re Terry Wogan
I think his gentle ironic wittering charm is timeless, but perhaps younger people would disagree and prefer Chris Evans' s loud brashness (mind you, he is no spring chicken).
DH says he doesn't mind TW now that he hasn't seen or heard him for some time lol
But he can't stand CE although I don't mind CE in small doses!

Tom Jones' s voice is still powerful - no reason for him to quit - I didn't like him when I was younger but I do now.
I agree - Paul McC just doesn't have it now (but he never could sing anyway) are people frightened to tell him? Stick to the day job composing.

Jalima Fri 22-Jan-16 10:14:06

'Quit while you're ahead' was always a good motto

Dolly was great at Glastonbury though.
And my DD went to see Elton John recently and thought he was terrific!

Anniebach Fri 22-Jan-16 10:25:41

Doesn't mean they continue for money or a power thing, they just want to .

John Humphries is an excellent interviewer , why should he make way for a younger person.

Never been interested in Bernie Clifton , I am sure the man didn't have dreams of becoming the next big pop star, can it not mean singing to a wide audience was on his bucket list so he did it, good for him .

Why expect people to become invisible when they reach their pension age .

Should the queen retire because she can no longer carry out the duties she did thirty years ago?

Comparing Bruce Forsyth with John Humphries !