Strictly star Katie Derham and her South Shields talisman

Katie Derham with Strictly Come Dancing dance partner Anton Du Beke.
Katie Derham with Strictly Come Dancing dance partner Anton Du Beke.

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Katie Derham should waltz her way through to the finals of the competition now that she has the support of South Shields’ very own man of music, mystery, and rather large false nose – Mr Wavis O’Shave.

For Wavis, who recorded a song as a tribute to the TV and radio newscaster and presenter, has sent a copy to her “as a talisman” during her time on the BBC dance show.

Wavis O'Shave with Anna Ford.

Wavis O'Shave with Anna Ford.

“Actually, I recorded the song ‘Katie Derham’s Bum’ on CD back in 2003,” reveals Wavis.

“But I’ve just sent her a copy as a talisman to help her win Strictly.”

And it’s been a case of so far so good.

Mind you it’s not the first time that Wavis, who along with old friend Gary Craig, spent much of his youth chasing autographs from visiting rock stars, has penned a song to a celebrity.

Back in 1980 he released an entire album of songs called Anna Ford’s Bum, named after the ITV newsreader.

In fact, Wavis even went down on one knee and proposed to Anna Ford when they met. And although she took it all in good humour, she didn’t take him up on the offer.

The album, meanwhile, became a cult classic and cemented his reputation as a zany songwriter and comedian-extraordinaire.

But don’t take my word for it. These are just some of the things that have been written about Wavis and his music over the years:

“I’d never heard such a weird record, and I don’t think anything like it since has ever been recorded, apart from other Wavis songs” – David Quantick, programme associate of Harry Hill.

“Alice Cooper with concussion” – Mojo magazine.

“He was Harry Hill before Harry Hill was Harry Hill” – Garry Bushell, TV critic.

“He is the legendary Lost Fountain of Comedy, an unspoiled comedy genius. Wavis O’Shave is my all-time comedy hero – the greatest comedy unknown I’ve had the privilege to have known” – Chris Donald, Viz comic editor 1979-99.

There’ll be more from Wavis and his wacky exploits later on, so keep reading.

Next though, I promised to let you know how autograph hunter Gary Craig’s mission to meet the Heavy Metal Kids, and their singer Gary Holton, who starred in the hit TV series Auf Wiedersehen Pet, concluded on a cold, cold night back in 1978.

This is how Gary remembers the occasion.

“I had travelled to the gig at Darlington Baths in my first car – a grey Ford Escort with ‘go faster’ black stripes on the sides.

“The car was a very poor starter in cold weather, and at the time it had been snowing, so I parked it on the brow of a hill outside the Darlington hall, anticipating problems!

“At the end of the show, having spent the evening backstage with the HMK and company, I got back to my car and, sure enough, it wouldn’t start.

“I had just begun to single-handedly push it down the bank when the Kids came past in their van and offered to help.

“I foolishly told them I was fine, and jumped into the car as it started to roll down the hill.

“Unfortunately, there was very little traction on the icy road and the car would not bump start.

“More unfortunately, I hadn’t realised that this was a cul-de-sac and I ended up stuck at the bottom of a dead end!

“I only had light clothing on and it was freezing.

“As I had no choice but to wait for the light in the morning I had to ‘sleep’ in the car, but it was so cold that at one point I was clinging to a tea towel I used to clean the windscreen to try to get some warmth or comfort from it!

“By the morning I was virtually hypothermic, and I was at the doors of the nearest garage for its opening.

“I was very lucky to get a mechanic who could obviously see the state I was in, and he came to the car, took away the spark plugs, dried them out and warmed them up, then refitted them and started the car for £15, which was all I had on me!

“I was so grateful I could have kissed him, but I was also so worried that the car would stall with a flat battery that I raced up the hill in true boy-racer style, and back to South Shields, revving the enginelike a Formula 1 racing car at every junction!”