A BRAMPTON crooner has paid a musical homage to entertainer Des O’Connor, whose death has prompted an outpouring of tributes.

Singer Brian James, billed as the “human jukebox”, took to Facebook to speak and sing about the much-loved TV host, vocalist and comedian who died on Saturday.

Brian, who has been a singer and entertainer for 30 years, and turned full-time professional in 2012, sang Des’ 1968 chart topper I Pretend in praise of his hero.

In the video he said: “What a sad day, really really sad day. “One of my entertainment heroes has passed away, much ridiculed by the late great Morecambe & Wise but it was the warmest ridicule that you’d ever find in your life.

“Des O’Connor was the consummate professional. He epitomised what professionalism should be, always smiling. Everybody had a good word to say about him.

“He was one of these people who was an incredible all-rounder - a singer, a dancer, an actor, he hosted chat shows and he performed at the Palladium more than everyone else as a solo artist.

“An incredible person, he brought us joy for well over half a century - he made it big in the states and remained big in the states, especially the chat show circuit over there with the big names wanting him - incredible for an English performer to do that.

“Well this world is a sadder place, if you believe there is a heaven you’ll certainly believe Morecambe & Wise are up there and tonight they’ll be joined by Des O’Connor.

“That is going to be one hoot, heaven is going to be one entertaining place tonight with the three of those.”

Speaking afterwards he added: “I think the entertainment industry is a bit like a swan - serene on the surface but a lot of hard work underneath. Des was hard working and always had a polished edge.”

Before Covid-19 struck Brian had a busy schedule doing gigs throughout Cumbria and southern Scotland. He has a huge repertoire including big band music and songs from the 1960s, 70s and 80s - with a preference for the crooning ballards of artists like Frank Sinatra.

Currently he is offering personalised, and socially distanced, half hour concerts for special occasions like birthdays. For information, or to make a booking, go to: www.brian-james.org.uk To view the video go to: www.facebook.com/BrianJamesSingsUK/videos