Category Entertainment News

Chas and Dave: Dave Peacock pays tribute to bandmate

Chas and Dave: Dave Peacock pays tribute to bandmate

Chas and Dave musician Dave Peacock has paid tribute to his “fabulous mate” Chas Hodges, who died on Saturday aged 74.

“I’m going to miss him terribly,” he told BBC News.

Chas recently received treatment for oesophageal cancer but died peacefully in his sleep.

Known for their rock and cockney style, Chas and Dave enjoyed the height of their fame in the 1970s and 1980s with hits such as Rabbit and Snooker Loopy.

The pair have been friends for more than 50 years, forming the band in the 1970s.

Dave told BBC News he would remember the pianist, guitarist and vocalist as a “fabulous musician and a fabulous mate”.

“All he wanted to do was play music. He just couldn’t stop, even when he was eating his dinner he’d be humming a tune,” he said.

“When he was having chemotherapy they couldn’t believe it – he even wrote a song while he was having chemotherapy in the hospital.”

The guitarist said he was still in a “bit of a daze” after hearing of Chas’s death.

“I always say to people Chas and Dave ain’t just a band, it’s a way of life and I’m going to miss him terribly,” he said.

“He was there for me when my wife died. He’s always been fantastic. He’s always been there.”

Chas and Dave’s debut album One Fing ‘n’ Anuvver, featuring Chas on lead vocals, was released in 1975 and they went on to have eight UK top 40 hits.

They also appeared in adverts for Courage beer and Heinz Baked Beans.

In their website biography, the duo said they recorded “witty songs about life in London, performed with a strong affection for all things English reminiscent of many of the great music hall artists many years previously”.

Dave said he felt the duo proved the “doubters” who thought they were just a “pub band” wrong, going on to play worldwide and feature on the 2005 Glastonbury line-up.

“[Chas] used to say to me years ago, ‘They’ll only recognise us when we’re dead, that’s when they’ll cotton on to us,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t really get us, what we are. They just think it’s down the old pub, ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’. It’s not. There’s a lot more to Chas and Dave’s music than that.”

He continued: “We decided to sing in our own accents as opposed to false American ones, which no one was doing at the time, and some record companies said that would never sell north of Watford. But America, Australia, Scotland – they love us.”

Chas and Dave’s greatest hits

Gertcha – No 20 in the UK chart in May 1979

Rabbit – No 8 in Nov 1980

Ossie’s Dream – No 5 in May 1981 (with Spurs squad)

Stars Over 45 – No 21 in Dec 1981

Ain’t No Pleasing You – No 2 in March 1982

Tottenham Tottenham – No 19 in May 1982 (with Spurs squad)

The Bodyguard: Meet the real-life close protection officer

The Bodyguard: Meet the real-life close protection officer

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Ray has protected heads of state and government in his work as a close protection officer.

He lists communication and negotiation as key skills for the job, as well as the ability to work in a team.

So how close is the role to its TV portrayal?

Chas and Dave: Chas Hodges dies aged 74

Chas and Dave: Chas Hodges dies aged 74

Chas Hodges – one half of the musical duo Chas and Dave – has died at the age of 74.

The duo’s Twitter account said he recently received treatment for oesophageal cancer but died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours.

Known for their rock and cockney style, Chas and Dave enjoyed the height of their fame in the 1970s and 1980s with hits such as Rabbit and Snooker Loopy.

They also performed four FA Cup final songs with Tottenham Hotspur FC.

The statement on Chas and Dave’s Twitter page read: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our very own Chas Hodges.”

It said the pianist and vocalist had died from organ failure.

There was also a Twitter tribute from Tottenham Hotspur.

Born in north London in 1943, Chas’s career began as a session musician in the 1950 and 1960s, working with producer Joe Meek and stars including Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent. He was also in the band the Outlaws with Ritchie Blackmore.

In 1966, as a member of Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers, he appeared alongside the Beatles on their final British tour.

Chas went on to team up with guitarist Dave Peacock in the 1970s.

Chas and Dave’s debut album One Fing ‘n’ Anuvver, featuring Chas on lead vocals, was released in 1975 and they went on to have eight UK top 40 hits.

They also appeared in adverts for Courage beer and Heinz Baked Beans.


Chas and Dave’s greatest hits

Gertcha – No 20 in the UK chart in May 1979

Rabbit – No 8 in Nov 1980

Ossie’s Dream – No 5 in May 1981 (with Spurs squad)

Stars Over 45 – No 21 in Dec 1981

Ain’t No Pleasing You – No 2 in March 1982

Tottenham Tottenham – No 19 in May 1982 (with Spurs squad)

Snooker Loopy – No 6 in May 1986 (with Matchroom Mob)


In their website biography, the duo said they recorded “witty songs about life in London, performed with a strong affection for all things English reminiscent of many of the great music hall artists many years previously”.

Chas disclosed in early 2017 that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus after he struggled to swallow a glass of water.

He underwent chemotherapy and began performing again but in August, Chas and Dave cancelled their forthcoming gigs on doctor’s advice.

In a statement at the time, Chas said: “In my life as a musician/entertainer I would say the most depressing thing to have to do is to have to cancel a gig or gigs.

“Fortunately, throughout my career of thousands of gigs with Dave or in other bands, these times have been very few and far between, and only extreme illness in the past (and I mean extreme) illness has prompted me/us to have to make this decision.”

People who had worked with Chas have paid tribute on social media.

Former boxer Frank Bruno tweeted: “Worked with Chas & Dave loads of times in the 1980’s and had a good laugh with them every time.

“I can still remember I was always driving home from working with them singing Rabbit Rabbit or London Girls.”

Comedian Sir Lenny Henry posted: “What a shame. When they were on Tiswas they were always kind, respectful and played live. RIP Chas.”

The DJ and TV presenter Iain Lee said he was “absolutely gutted”, adding: Chas had always been “a real gentleman to me and very generous with his time”.

Describing him as “one of the best”, he recalled the story of how Chas had played piano as a member of a “spontaneous band” at Eric Clapton’s 1979 wedding to Pattie Boyd – alongside Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

BBC Radio DJ Jo Whiley tweeted: “Oh no. This is the saddest news. Chas was a lovely lovely gentleman & our Maida Vale Xmas show was one of my absolute favourite shows.”

Maniac: The new James Bond director's experimental Netflix drama

Maniac: The new James Bond director's experimental Netflix drama

If you like to unwind with a formulaic drama that you can half-watch while scrolling through Instagram – and still be able to keep up with the plot – Maniac is probably not for you.

Boasting a Hollywood A-list cast led by Emma Stone, Jonah Hill and Justin Theroux, the experimental Netflix series dropped on Friday.

It’s directed by none other than Cary Fukunaga, the new James Bond director who is taking charge following the departure of Danny Boyle last month.

And if Maniac is anything to go by, Bond fans are in for one hell of a ride.

The series is a kaleidoscope mash-up of sci-fi and dark comic dystopia set inside the lab of a drugs trial for a group of pills that aims to eradicate all traces of its volunteers’ past trauma.

Here’s all you need to know about the ambitious new drama.

1. It’s one big rollercoaster

Stone and Hill play two outsiders who take part in a drugs trial testing the ultimate “happy pill” – a three-step drug programme. The combination of drugs is intended to remove traumatic memories from the brain, leaving the patient re-born and joyful. Bye, bye therapy.

Hill’s character Owen is from a successful, wealthy New York family but with a history of mental illness, he’s the archetypal black sheep.

Stone plays Annie, a loner who is already addicted to one of the drugs on the trial thanks to the black market – drug A is a self-sabotaging pill which forces the user to re-live the worst moments of their life. Estranged from her family, Annie finds a strange comfort in frequently going back to a tragic incident she shared with her sister five years ago “because it means she gets to spend time with her”.

But these damaged souls aren’t the only characters the pair inhabit as they experience computer-generated surreal dreams while under the influence of the drugs. Among those are a half-elf, a Gold Coast con artist and a couple living in a trailer.

“I loved getting to go into all these different people even though it was a little challenging, exhausting and confusing but that’s the nature of the show,” Stone says.

“Because all the characters represent an aspect of Annie’s personality, it’s almost simpler than I thought. Or maybe that’s just my limited range of talent!”

2. Friends reunited – Jonah and Emma get back together

Emma was VERY pleased to be back on screen with her old mate, Jonah. Especially in the scenes where he’s dressed like a hick.

“Superbad [in which she starred alongside Hill in 2007] was my first movie so it was really cool to look over at him again, especially when he was Bruce with the mullet!

“We’ve also had a friendship in the meantime, so it was nice to be with my buddy.”

In fact, it was Stone who got her old mate on board.

Fukunaga, who was announced as the new Bond director on Thursday, explains: “She talked about that her and Jonah reuniting, so I said: ‘Let’s Facetime him right now.’

“He came over, we said, ‘We don’t know what the show’s going to be about but we’re going to shoot in New York, it’s going to be crazy. And he said, ‘Cool, I’m in.’ Then we had to figure out what the hell the show was!”

3. It marks another leap from big to small screen

While Theroux has HBO’s TV drama The Leftovers and NBC’s Parks and Recreations on his recent CV, alongside various film roles, Stone and Hill are making a distinctive leap from film to television.

It’s a road well travelled in recent years, with the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Winona Ryder, Billy Bob Thornton and Anthony Hopkins making the move.

“I was like: ‘If Nicole’s done it, I’m doing it!” says Stone.

But she is keen to point out that she didn’t consciously choose to do TV.

“I just thought it was exciting to explore these people over that length of time. It wasn’t a career decision so to speak.”

And of course she started off in television, with small roles in shows such as Lucky Louie and Malcolm in the Middle.

4. There’s a virtual reality sex scene

Theroux plays Dr Mantleray, who runs the clinical trial, a character the actor simply describes as “an odd man”. His first appearance in the show is, erm, quite an eye-opener. The scene opens with the doctor having virtual sex with a computer game character. Wearing little other than, literally, a sex machine around his waist.

Theroux says: “It’s the best entrance I’ve ever had. It’s… hilarious. I really liked doing it, it’s so stupid. It was the fun prop of the day. It took two days of shooting, I insisted we really get it right!”

5. There’s no such thing as normal

“It’s not a show about mental illness. It’s hilarious we think this particular absurd pill is going to completely rewire people and make them feel better again,” says Theroux.

“The thing that is most beneficial to them [the trial participants] isn’t the tablet or the lab setting, it’s them connecting as human beings and talking about it.”

Stone agrees.

“I hope in general… we understand that there is no normal.

“If you need a pill to help balance the way your chemistry works, fine, if you need to go to therapy, fine.

“It’s about human connection – if we can reach out to each other… I need that. I need to know that in terms of what I’ve gone through. Everybody’s got their own version of what’s going on internally [Stone has spoken openly about handling her anxiety]. I’m glad more people talk about it, the struggles we have.”

6. Cary Fukunaga gives his actors ‘free reign’

Theroux explains that his character “wasn’t that fleshed out on the page” to start with.

“I came in late into the process, we got to try and invent him a little bit, the look and the tone of the character. He’s in this bizarre bubble of neuroses at the lab.

“Cary was very good at letting me go very far with the character and then pulling him back. I really loved that.

Fukunaga adds: “I let Jonah be what Jonah wanted to be, obviously with some guidance, and the same with Emma. Justin came in with his interpretation of Dr Mantleray, I didn’t reign him in.”

Sounds like the next 007 is in for a treat then.

7. The challenge of portraying mental health

“Patrick and I both felt strongly that setting the show in a mental hospital would not be the right choice,” says Fukunaga.

“We wanted to be compassionate to mental illness and not make that the butt of the joke.

“Patrick’s father’s a neurologist and his wife’s a therapist. So he already lives in that world and for me, this is about having compassion for the characters, part of destigmatising [mental illness].”

Somerville adds: “We wanted to be sensitive and make a story that people who have gone through that could sit down and watch and say, ‘Hey, that’s me.'”

Fukunaga concludes: “We want people to walk away with something. It’s not just pure entertainment.”

Crazy Rich Asians: What it's really like being British East Asian

Crazy Rich Asians: What it's really like being British East Asian

After the release of Hollywood’s first ever blockbuster featuring an all-Asian cast, we meet Emma and Mia. They tell us what it was like growing up as a British Asian – and what they’re hoping for next.

Video journalist: Elise Wicker

Additional camera by Elizabeth Ashamu