For the Osmonds, there has been and always will be something special about the UK.
They are back this Christmas with their Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza. Brothers Jay, Merrill and Jimmy are sharing the bill with ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and singer Charlie Green on a tour taking in Eastbourne’s Hippodrome Theatre on December 15 at 7.30pm (01323 802020).
As Jay says: “We consider it a second home. We just love this place. We come back every year, sometimes twice a year – since 1972. No, actually, the first time was 1971. I remember the big welcome at Heathrow. It was just crazy! It was amazing. We were not expecting that.
“It was a funny decade, but you ask how did we stay grounded. I think there were two things, our family and our faith, and those two things kept our feet on the ground. When you are a teenager, it can be a very vulnerable time, but we just had such fun, and we have got such fond memories. When you look back at the videos, especially with your kids, it seems a bit surreal, but really I remember it as if it were yesterday. All those images are still very vivid in my mind. It really was a wonderful time. We made a lot of friends, and there are so many fans in Britain that we really call friends, people that have followed us all the way through and that are still with us now. That’s one of the reasons we love the UK so much, the wonderful fans.”
And that explains the Osmonds’ celebrated longevity in a notoriously-fickle business: “You love the people that brought you to the dance. We love the fans. We always have done. But also we try to reinvent ourselves. We try not to go stale. We have tried very hard not to get pigeon-holed and just stay the same. Obviously the image stays the same to a certain extent and the values stay the same, but part of the longevity is always to try to present something new.”
For Christmas though, tradition will be strong as they return for the second year running with their extravaganza, directly from the stage of Branson USA’s Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.
Brother Jimmy said: “The Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza is an American tradition that started in the 60s and beloved around the world. It was Andy’s wishes and now my great honour and privilege to continue his amazing legacy of family, friendly action-packed variety at its best.”
The production will feature nostalgic footage of Andy Williams from Christmases past, plus classics including Silent Night and Merry Christmas Everybody, plus the Osmonds’s own hits such as Love Me For A Reason.
Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?
It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.
There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.