Grease is the Word
ITV’s Grease Is the Word was the UK version of NBC’s Grease: You're the One that I Want! It aired during May and June 2007, and was produced by Syco TV and Talkback Thames.
The judges were David Ian, David Gest, Sinitta and Brian Friedman. The main ITV show was presented by Zoë Ball, and Holly Willoughby presented Greased Lightnin’ on ITV2. Greased Lightnin’ showed extra unseen auditions and exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants. Simon Cowell was an executive producer of both shows.
After the traditional televised auditions and bootcamp, the final sixteen were paired up. In the live shows each couple had to sing a duet, based on a theme. The two couples that gained the least votes, each week, had to sing again, this time a Grease classic. The judges then eliminated one of those two couples.
Bradley got through the televised auditions and was paired with Michelle Antrobus during the bootcamp stage, which they completed successfully and were put forward as two of the final sixteen for the live shows. In the first show they sang Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind and Fire, and were saved by the judges after singing You’re the One that I Want from Grease.
In the second live show they sung a duet version of Phil Collin’s Against All Odds. In the third live show Bradley and Michelle performed Abba’s Does Your Mother Know from the musical Mamma Mia. Once again the judges saved them after giving a fine rendition of Summer Nights from Grease. After that show the couples were controversially swapped around, Bradley being paired with Lauren McConnell. Both went out with a bang in the fourth live show singing You’re the One That I Want from Grease, after performing their final duet, which was Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston’s ‘It Takes Two’.
History: 25-year-old Bradley was born and raised in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, where he lives with his parents and sister Lydia. Both his parents have been in the music industry, his Dad has always been in a band (doing 50’s + 60’s rock and roll) His mum was a backing singer. Single, he is currently studying musical theatre at Mountview.
What made you audition for Grease?
“When I was in panto in Grantham the director mentioned that I would make a good ‘Danny’. My mum urged me to do it and stood over me while I made the phone call to make sure I did! What’s funny is that I almost missed my audition because the letter sat in our house unopened for two weeks inviting me to audition! We only opened it on the day I was meant to come! I used to work as an usher handing out ice creams in one of the West End theatres. My life has come full circle with the chance to be back but on stage!”
What experience have you got in the business?
“I used to be rocked to sleep as a baby to Status Quo! My father is an excellent guitarist and used to get me on stage with his band. My speciality aged six was ‘Livin’ Doll’ by Cliff Richard. I used to sing at old peoples homes and WI meetings, school plays, local stage school.”
How does it feel to have got this far?
“I feel so privileged and it has been such an experience. I have to say that my London audition was one of the best days of my life. Everything went so smoothly it was almost magical! My friends and family have been with me every step of the way, both encouraging me and grounding me. I know my dad would have always liked to become a professional musician, but he sacrificed that ambition to settle down and have children and support us.”
What makes you think you can be the next Danny?
“I would make a good Danny because I have worked on finding the truth behind the facade. It’s really important to sing and dance and be ‘too cool for school’ – but there is that sensitive side to the kid too, the bit that Sandy falls in love with and that is conveyed in a couple of his numbers. Apparently I have that ‘Danny’ sound to my voice too – fingers crossed.”
What does this mean to you?
“I have loved Grease since I was a kid and my sister Lydia and I can even now recite most of the film script. Lydia once decided to pierce my ears – it was almost a re-run of Sandy and Frenchie. I didn’t even want them done and she got the ear-piercing gun stuck actually in my ear. I had to wait an hour with this thing dangling off my ear bleeding until my mum arrived home!”
“Grease is accessible to all – to be part it, with the opportunity to entertain millions singing songs from the UK’s favourite musical – it’s the biggest break I am going to get!”
What do you think of the judges?
“David Gest said I should go away and get a bit more strength in my voice but that I had the perfect look and presence! When I performed with Michelle there was proper chemistry there and the judges have not split us up. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the finals. My showbiz friends Rula Lenska and Sheila Ferguson have both offered me great advice and have told me just to be myself and enjoy everything!”
Who is your idol?
“My Grandad Bill Clarkson died when I was only seven in May 1989. He is my hero. I always think of him whenever I am nervous and I am sure he is with me in everything I do.