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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Ulverston musicians to help Bill Maynard get Christmas number one

Musicians and business people from Ulverston have come together to help make a TV legend’s lifelong dream come true.

Star of stage and screen Bill Maynard, best known for his role as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass in the hit ITV show Heartbeat, has released an album which he hopes will help him achieve his goal of having a Christmas number one.

The Wonderful World of Bill Maynard was recorded with the help of Ulverston-based musician and T-Rex drummer Paul Fenton and Maynard’s manager, Bardsea-based David Blain.

Maynard hopes his musical offering will take him all the way to the festive top spot.

He said: “For someone of 85 to want to record an album is rather unusual.

“I do want a Christmas number one. It would be incredible and you never know it could happen.

“You only need a bit of luck and of course, if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the raffle.”

The record features covers of old favourites including Three Times a Lady, Somewhere over the Rainbow and the Nat King Cole classic The Christmas Song.

Mr Blain said: “It’s great working with such a big star like Bill.

“The album really grows on you and it’s rather emotional stuff.”

The production has been a strictly local affair with promotional merchandise provided by Finger Prints of Barrow and the album art produced by local graphic artist Tony Wareing.

Ulverston Post Office has been overwhelmed by copies of the CD bound for Norway, Sweden and Denmark, where Heartbeat is fast becoming a cult hit.

Maynard, who celebrated 60 years on TV this year, is thrilled to be back in the spotlight and thanked his Ulverston-based benefactors for making it happen.

He said: “I had a massive stroke about 14 years ago which knocked me off Heartbeat. They brought me back to be on The Royal [Heartbeat spin-off show], but since then I haven’t had much of a chance to perform.

“This was a great opportunity to perform again.”

The album is available from www.billmaynard.co.uk and Ulverston Indoor Market.

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