Monday, 7 April 2014



The Taliban didn’t get me in the end, the owners wife was delighted by the show and so was a very shocked but a relieved Massood! I’m talking about the appearance of the all male group Climax at the Rivera Club(see chapter 16) In fact so happy was Massood that before I could catch my breath he wanted to know: “ What’s next?” I had promised myself that I would not get totally involved in the day to day management of the club in fact all I promised was to over see the relaunch. I suppose it might have been better if the Climax night was anti-Climax if you see where I’m going, it would have been the perfect excuse to bow out there and then.

Not many people knew it at the time but this was to be my last show after 4 years at Rudys

I had enough on my plate making sure that we continued to hold my radio show audiences. I also now had the extra stress (self-inflicted) of finding guests each week for the Boland Live TV Show, but also to convince them to come over without a fee and to arrange flights, hotels etc. Then there was Rudy’s live shows every Wednesday evening that would follow immediately after my radio
show, thankfully we were still packing them in, but privately I was getting bored with the same routine on every live show and the format was all but impossible to change, it was after all karaoke disguised as a cabaret show. We had semi professional dancers accompanying me throughout the show and what not many people knew at the time I had arranged 'plants' in the audience who were really good singers,of course there were the celebrity guests who had either flown in for my TV show or were on holiday in Marbella. I remember one particular night I got word backstage that the wife of late Eric Morecambe, Maureen was in the audience.(See photo) Another night I noticed Glen Tipton from the zillion selling rock group Def Leppard was enjoying the show, after all I was now entering my fourth year with these shows and I was worried that I would start to see audience support begin to dwindle. A little voice was telling me to ‘quit whilst your on top!’ It wasn’t long after that I decided to call it a day. It was a difficult decision but the correct one I believed. It had been an extraordinary time in my life and I will forever be thankful to Rudy Alice and Li for allowing me the opportunity..

Now with Rudy’s finished I really wanted to concentrate on what I truly loved radio and television. Barry and I were drifting apart, we were rowing constantly. One of the problems was that Barry was now on breakfast radio so finishing The Late Late Show at 10pm then getting home bed and up again was I’m sure exhausting,
we also had personal problems which I have no intention of going into here. It was time that we parted ways leaving me to fly the show solo.

I’m sure the first few shows sounded awful and full of mistakes etc but after a short time I settled into a routine and slowly gained more confidence. I was now loving being in control but starting to think the game show format had run its course, It had nothing to do with lack of audience participation. It just was difficult to keep the shows games fresh after so many years. One evening I was about to play the ‘Guess Who’s Talking’ game where I invite the listener to guess who was talking after playing them a snippet of a famous voice which I had recorded earlier on. I don’t know how but the recording was blank! What to do? I immediately put on a piece of music followed by a commercial break and decided to call David Sutch better known as Screaming Lord Sutch of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
I can’t remember how I happened to have his number, perhaps I was going to invite him on my TV show, anyway David answered and I explained my dilemma and asked would he mind being my ‘Mystery Guest’ Luckily he was well up for it. I asked him to stay on the line until I come back live. I then asked him a few questions like, are you a sportsman, are you a dancer, are you an actor etc, all he had to do was say no to each question without giving away who he was. I would then ask the listeners to guess who I was talking with. It worked like a dream, he was perfect. Once I revealed who he was and then had an interview with him. And that was how I dropped the game shows and the title The Late Late Breakfast show renamed it The Boland Show and changed the format into a talk show.

I designed the format for the radio show somewhat like my TV show which would include one well-known celebrity guest at the top of the second hour and 2 interesting news story guests in the first hour. The TV guests were slightly more difficult as they had to come to the TV studio whereas on my radio show they were on the phone unless, that is, they were in Marbella. Funny thing is I never found finding guests that difficult funny enough especially for my radio show as, as I said, the interviews were done over the phone so they didn’t even have to leave their homes.

One day Pepe called me into his office and asked me if I’d like the 11 to 1pm slot on Saturday mornings for free but as I go to the synagogue every Saturday morning I told him that might be difficult but I’d think about it. There were two problems with this time slot one as I mentioned was my attendance at the synagogue and two there was no way I could call well-know celebrities on a Saturday morning 10am UK time, so If I was going to accept Pepe’s kind offer I would need to reformat the show especially taylord for a Saturday. One evening I was having dinner with friends when one of them asked would I call his mum who was back in hospital in the UK next time I was on the radio, he said it would make her day, I thought nothing of it and of course I agreed. I remember that night very well when I called up my friend’s mother in hospital and told her she was live on radio and that her son and family living in Marbella send their love, and the end of our short chat she told me just how happy the call made her.
It was that very one call that made me decide if a telephone call on radio can make someone that happy perhaps G-d would forgive me leaving the synagogue slightly early so I could do exactly that for others who were living away from their families. I titled Wish You Were Here. During my weekday evening shows I would promote my Saturday Morning show by asking the listeners to fax me requests if they wanted me to call a loved one live on air (very few people used emails then) My radio show in tray would be full every Saturday morning with listeners requests, mostly to call loved ones either in hospital or grandchildren. The show was a smash hit and ran for the next 10 years or so. In fact I did a Wish You Were Here on Christmas Morning almost up to my last radio show in 2013.

There were very many memories of this show, one was a request for a recording of one of my listeners sisters who I spoke to in a hospice in Scotland. He reminded me that for some reason we were talking about custard apples but can't remember why. All I know it made her laugh. He told me just how the call had brightened up her day and made her very happy. Sadly she had passed away and he would have loved a recording of her conversation with me. Unfortunately I don’t recorded the Wish You Were Here shows, so I had to tell him sadly I hadn’t got a recording of his sister chat with me. I could tell how desperately disappointed he was, I told him that there could be a chance in a million someone just might have a recording of that show and I would put a request out next time I was on air. A few days later I did just that and to my amazement a listener in Majorca had recorded that very show as his mum was also on it and sent me a copy! I can’t tell you how happy I felt handing over a copy tape of his late sisters voice.

On another occasion I got a call from a young woman called Linda asking me to call her ex best friend Susan in Inverness, she explained that they had been best friends at school but had fallen out ten years ago and hadn’t spoke since. She went on to tell me that she wrote to her a few weeks ago saying that she thought it time they put the past behind them and thankfully her friend agreed and promised to telephone her the next day between 10 and 11am. Linda said she sat in all day waiting for her friend to call but received no call, so would I call her as she so desperately wanted to speak to Susan and make up for the past. She told me the reason she wanted ME to call was that Susan had a great sense of humor and I could wind her up etc. So, I called Susan from Inverness and this is how it went: She answered in a very gently but prominent Scottish accent: “Hello”
Me: “Is that Susan?”
S: “Aye, who’s that?” she almost whispered
M: “I’m calling on behalf of you friend Linda she said that you had agreed to call her yesterday between 10 and 11am and that poor girl sat in all day waiting for your call, all she wanted to do Susan was make up for the past so you two good continue as best friends as you were 10 years ago and you let her down, I can’t tell you how heartbroken she is.” I continued to wind her up: “She called me knowing Id give you a hard time and knowing that I wouldn’t settle for some feeble excuse. Now Susan why don’t you tell us why you didn’t call and it better be good?” there was a long pause before answering
S crying: "My father dropped dead yesterday.” She continued to sob uncontrollably. Now get yourself out of that Boland!

Not all calls were like that of course and the majority were happy, I do remember calling Dallas one Christmas morning to wish the daughter of one of my listeners on the Costa del Sol a Happy Christmas. I did say to her mom that it was only 6am in Dallas and did she not think her daughter would be annoyed at such and early call, her mum assured me she would be up as she had three young children including a 6 month old baby so I wasn’t to worry
So I called the number when a very sleepy man answered the phone. I went it my usual chirpy voiced delivery: “Hi, this is Maurice Boland calling live on my radio show in Spain to wish you all a very Happy Chri s.....” before I could finish he yelled down the phone: “I don’t care who the f**k this is it's 6am in the f**king Christmas morning and you’ve woken everyone up, so a Happy f**cking Christmas to you now f**k off!” and slammed the phone down. Im sure there are plenty more that I have forgotten but as I said this Saturday morning show was a great hit with our listeners both here and abroad.

On my main evening show I continued to draw in some very big names both from UK and America like Rod Stieger, Quincy Jones, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ex Prime Minister Edward Heath and Margret Thatcher , Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and the present day Prime Minister David Cameron. The list goes on into the hundreds if not thousands. One of my fondest memories was interviewing the late Superman Christopher Reeves, It was a difficult interview as I did it soon after his accident and he was on a machine that helped him breath, a lot of the times he had to pause mid sentence to let his lungs fill with air before he could finish what he was saying so I never knew when I could cut in or not. He was a lovely brave man with a great sense of humor.

Another interview that stands out in my mind was with Timothy Knatchbull talking about his book Clear Blue Sky: On the morning of August 27, 1979 Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the great- grandchild of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, took several members of his family including Tim out on a fishing expedition
in Mullaghmore,Co. Sligo. Within minutes of setting out, a 5lb gelignite bomb ripped through the bottom of the boat and the Earl was killed, along with his grandson, 14-year-old Nicholas Knatchbull, a 15-year-old friend and crew member, and the family pet dog. The next day Tim’s grandmother died from her injuries. He and his parents were lucky to be alive, but had been very seriously injured.
Tim Knatchbull was fortunate to have been rescued from the water as quickly as he was, and was taken in considerable pain to the intensive care unit in Sligo Hospital, where he slowly recovered from his extensive wounds. But it was three days before he was able to be told that his twin Nicholas had died and had already been taken to England for burial. After Tim related this part of his story to me I just filled up, I simply couldn't talk and I hung up without saying a word. I played the song; ‘With G-d I Walk’ after I composed myself I called Tim back to apologies for hanging up. He gracefully told me he understood and we carried on with the interview. Tim called me after the show to tell me that it was one of the most moving interviews he had ever done and thanked me. What a brave gentleman he is.

You might think all my interviews were sad, far from it. One of my best known interviews was with Esther Rantzen the British TV star. She had just recovered from a near death experience. She told me it all happened whilst she was out in India making a BBC documentary. She said she stupidly drank some water from a well and within days was taken ill and ended up in hospital for six months after doctors discovered a living organism in her stomach that nearly killed her. I remembered a story that one of the makeup artist that joined Mandy Smith and I in Tobago also had a similar tail, so I jumped in saying
“I know a girl who had that exact same thing happened too her and she ended up with an orgasm similar to yours!” Esther burst out laughing saying; “I think you mean an organism and not a reference to my orgasms?” With that I heard Desmond (Wilcox) her husband ask who was she talking to about her orgasms? I felt like a right a plonker!
A year later I was interviewing Esther again, Desmond had sadly past away by then and a very nasty book written by her step daughter had just been released, I was going to start the interview by making a quote by the Queen who had also had a terrible family year by saying it was an ‘Annus Horribilis’ but decided that I better not risk it remembering what an idiot I had made of myself during the last interview. As the interview progressed and was going well I decided to be brave and risk it by saying; “Esther, it would be true to say this year was an Anus Horriblis for you?” again she burst out laughing: "Last year when I was on your show you made reference to my ORGASMS and now this year your talking about my ANUS what next dear boy?” I will say no more only to add Esther must have taken it all in the best possible taste as she has been on my show many time since.

As I said finding guests wasn’t as difficult as one might think. One of the most difficult was a TV guest, the late ex world snooker champion Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins. Alex, as most of you might know was renowned for his heavy drinking and trouble making, so when he arrived in Spain the day before he was due to appear on my show I sat him down and had a long talk with him asking him to please do me a favor and not drink the day of my show. Alex thankfully took my request in good spirits, if you excuse the pun, and pointed out that he would be in the studios at 12pm for my 1pm show and he never drank in the morning. Thankfully he turned up on time the next day and appeared to be as sober as a judge. My TV show had now moved to much larger studios in Torremolinos so the audience now numbered in
their hundreds. As Alex was still a big star then there was a big demand for audience tickets. I must say Alex was perfectly behaved during the interview and as I said sounded sober. I was told after the show that he had in fact downed a full bottle of Champagne whilst waiting in the Green Room! Once my interview with Alex was over we went into a commercial break followed by Steve Nelson and his bands musical spot and then I introduced my final guest, if I remember correctly was Tony Dali the Italian opera singer who owned a famous restaurant in Marbella set up with Jimmy Tarbuck. During my interview with Tony I started hear a lot of noise off camera and out of sight coming from the back of the studios. As soon as I rapped up the show thanking my guests etc I went running to the back of the studio to find out what happened. Seemingly Alex continued to down bottles of champagne by the neck. When he spotted a sofa to sit down on and climbed over a rope that had a 'No Entry' sign hanging on it. He was informed that this was in fact a ‘Closed Set’ that was been used on a Spanish soap opera and that he had to immediately step off the set. He told them 'f**k off'. With that the studio called security and after politely asking him to please get up on off the set. Again Alex being Alex told the guards to f**k off! As diplomacy wasn't working the security guys had no choice and ended up having to drag nim off !!! I suppose I should have known what to expect when I booked The Hurricane!

Another TV guest who gave me a bit of a hard time was British comedian and Impressionist Faith Brown. She, as most of my guests, flew in on the Tuesday and was invited to my home for dinner, It was a formula I followed for all my TV guests, it was my way of getting to know them when they were at their most relaxed. Faith arrived with her husband Len and all seemed to go well during the dinner. Before leaving she did ask me for a list of the questions that I was going to ask on the show the next day , I told her that I NEVER set questions. Wendy and I were getting ready for bed when the phone rang, it was Faiths manager calling from London informing me that Faith had decided that she didn’t want to do my show! I was gobsmacked to say the least, this was a live TV show that was going to be broadcast in 12 hours and my guest, whom I had flown in especially from UK, wanted to cancel! After asking why, her agent explained that Faith didn’t think my show was professional enough, no scripts had been prepared etc and she wanted to pull out. I explained I NEVER used a script and that never seemed to bother any of my past guests. We chatted for a while when her agent eventually explained the real reason that Faith was worried about my questioning. As many of you know Faith Brown is a well built woman on top and she hated any reference to her breasts etc. If that was all that was bothering her I assured the agent that I would make no reference to her breasts etc the agent in turn said shed call her and comeback to me before the show. I went to bed that night not knowing if I had a star guest for my show the next day. In fact it was only when I was in make up a very joyful Faith Brown bounced in wishing me a very good morning with NO mention of her agent's call etc. I remember introducing Faith that day by saying: “My next guest's husband must has a wonderful sex life.” I could hear Faith Hyperventilating off camera in the guest seat next to me. I continued: “ Because when he gets in bed at night he doesn’t know if its going to be Tina Turner, Cher or Zsa Zsa Gabor ladies and gentleman one of UK best loved comedians and impressionists Miss Faith Brown”. Faith loved that intro, immediately and seductively lay herself across my desk breaking into a brilliant impersonation of Zsa Zsa Gabor saying:”Darlink I love You”. Thankfully all ended well.

Coming up next I get a call from Caesars Palace inviting me to broadcast my radio show live from Las Vegas......Cynthia Lennon talking very openly about her feelings for Yoko and how it all went wrong with Jimmy Tarbuck

To be continued ......

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