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NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, 22 June 1962


NMExclusive: Wendy Richards [sic], Sarne's partner on this week's No. 1 disc, writes about being . . .

Outside With Mike!

Belt up! Do you mind? Leave off!

Yes, that's right, it's me -- I'm the girl who gives Mike Sarne the brush-off on Come Outside, and then finally relents just at the point when the record fades out! Now all my friends are continually asking me what happened when eventually he succeeded in getting me outside!

Thanks to the disc, I've been out with Mike. Most enjoyable, but strictly career-wise!

Seriously though, it seems most strange to find myself suddenly connected with a hit record -- or indeed, with any record at all! The fact is that, until I actually arrived at the recording studio, I had no idea about it.

You see, my agency had simply given me instructions to go along for the job and I took it that I was required for a "voice-over" -- in other words, the soundtrack of a TV commercial.

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I found I was wanted for a pop record. I was terrified!

Then I was introduced to Mike Sarne. He immediately put me at ease -- quite a feat, when you consider that he was making his first record!

I recognised Mike from television, though I couldn't for the life of me remember in which show I had seen him. My first impression -- that he was an extremely pleasant and friendly young man -- hasn't changed since I've got to know him better over the weeks.

The remarks I make on the disc are "all my own work." At the first run-through, they told me to ad-lib with any remarks that came into my head. Then they proceeded to write them down furiously, and from my off-the-cuff exclamations, they evolved a sort of script for the finished product.

Actually, I'm not a Cockney. I was born in Yorkshire. But I've lived in London most of my life, so the accent wasn't too difficult.

Besides, I suppose you might say that the cautious approach I adopt on the record springs from bitter experience -- especially the bit about "coo, you don't 'arf need a shave!"

Bewildered

That's no reflection on my boy friend, mind you. Poor Harvey -- I'm afraid he's been a bit bewildered by this recording business. He doesn't say much, but I think he's really awfully pleased.

The only snag occurred when one newspaper reported my age as 21, which caused him to phone me and ask: "Here, have you been telling me stories?" Because, you see, I'm really not quite 19!

I wondered what might happen when Harvey met Mike. I thought there might have been an invitation to "come outside" for a punch-up! But Mike took one look at Harvey, goggled in surprise, and exclaimed: "Blimey, it's you!"

Seems they had gone to school together, so there was a big reunion. They both forgot about me!

Most of my work before the record came along was in advertising modeling, but I had done a couple of TV spots. I appeared as Cockney juvenile delinquent in Dixon of Dock Green and I was one of the models in Sammy Davis Meets the Girls last November.

Sammy told me I've got the most perfect nose he's ever seen -- ah, well!

It looks as though I shall be doing quite a lot of work with Mike in future. We're off up north to do a few concerts together, though I don't know exactly what they expect from me. I suppose I'll just do my bit in Come Outside and that will be my lot!

I understand that we are also going to judge a beauty contest and do a television interview with Dan Farson -- and no doubt I shall be doing many spots with Mike this summer, particularly as we will shortly be making another record together. It will be another of these answering-back numbers. Mike seems quite enthusiastic about it.

I've discovered that one of the things connected with making a record is all the publicity that goes along with it. We've had to have a series of publicity pictures taken in Oxford Street, Regent's Park and Argyll Square -- I hate having my picture taken in the street, with all the crowds gathering around wondering what is happening. But Mike always seems quite unperturbed about it.

It was specially funny in Argyll Square. That's right by where I live and it really gave the neighbours something to talk about!

I must say that Mike seems completely unchanged by the success of the record. One could forgive anybody for being a trifle conceited when his first disc is such a hit -- but it certainly hasn't happened to Mike.

The only complaint he makes -- and I must say that I've experienced the same thing -- is that none of his friends will talk to him now. Seems silly, I know, but I suppose it must be some form of jealousy!

In complete contrast, you'd be surprised at the number of people we've met vaguely in the past and who are now phoning us and asking us to dinner. Just goes to prove the power of the gramophone record!

Mike and I were very amused the other day. We were sitting in a coffee-bar and the juke box started playing Come Outside. Two teenagers sitting right next to us struck up an earnest discussion about us, without knowing we were beside them!

Fortunately their comments were favourable! I must say it gave me a great feeling of satisfaction to hear some one actually talking about me like that.

A lot of people have been asking me whether I have got the recording bug. I suppose so, as I'm looking forward to another record with Mike and I admit I'm very happy about the success of the present one (even though, for the benefit of the "Alley Cat", I am not getting a royalty on it!)

But as for being a singer -- don't make me laugh! Nothing is further from my mind. My great ambition is to be [a] comedy actress. I've got the acting bug right now after being at drama school.

I'm continuing to fit in my modeling work along with appearances with Mike, but I got a shock the other day. Because of my brief appearance on a hit record, I've received an income tax demand for 500! Isn't it ridiculous?

I'm going right along to see the tax man now. And do you know what I'm going to say to him? yes, that's right . . . Do you mind? Belt up! Leave off!

Wendy Richard

Webmeister's note:  In 2003, Wendy said that she didn't write this article, though the newspaper clearly credits it to her.  I presume this means her agent or publicist ghost-wrote it for her.


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