Ronnie Carroll (born Ronald Cleghorn; 18 August 1934 – 13 April 2015) was a Northern Irish singer, entertainer and political candidate.
|Birth name||Ronald Cleghorn|
|Born||18 August 1934|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Died||13 April 2015 (aged 80)|
He is the only singer to have represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest two years in succession. Having taken part in the 1960 UK Eurovision selection contest with the song "Girl with a Curl", he returned to win the selection and be Britain's entry in the 1962 contest, and with the song "Ring-a-Ding Girl" shared fourth place, the same placing he reached in 1963 with "Say Wonderful Things". This success was followed by two Top 10 hits during 1962 and 1963, but a lack of good material meant that he could not sustain a chart presence. In 1962 he appeared on the bill of "The Winifred Atwell Show". From Monday, 17 September 1962, for one week only, he gave twice nightly performances at the Brighton Hippodrome.
Carroll subsequently worked on cruise ships, including the QE2, with John Marcangelo who was the drummer with the Ronnie Carroll Orchestra. He played a pop musician named 'Ronnie' in the 1963 film Blind Corner. He had many guest appearances on hit TV shows in the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Morecambe & Wise Show and Sez Les.
Carroll contested his home Hampstead and Highgate constituency seat in the 1997 UK General Election, and the Uxbridge by-election in July that year with the Rainbow Alliance. He stood in the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election as a candidate for Make Politicians History and received 29 votes, despite announcing that he was trying to enter the record books by receiving no votes.
He stood as a candidate (under the name 'The Eurovisionary Carroll') for the 2015 general election, in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency. Nominations had closed on 9 April 2015, just four days before his death, but polling day was not until 7 May. He was standing as an independent so the poll continued; if he had won the election, the ballot would have been re-run at a later date. In the event he polled 113 votes to finish sixth out of seven candidates.
Through work in variety theatre he met his first wife, Millicent Martin, they married in Barbados in 1958, remainining married until 1960. His second wife was the Olympic runner June Paul with whom he ran a successful nightclub in Grenada which failed when there was a Revolution and the Airport runways were dug up, ending tourism for a time. He was first declared bankrupt in 1974 when his second marriage to June Paul ended, Paul went on to own the "Everyman Cinema" in Hampstead. Carroll went on to marry and divorce his third and last wife, South African-born Glenda Kentridge. In 1989 Carroll was declared bankrupt for a second time, at one point, running a food stall in Camden Market.
He lived his last years in Hampstead, north London, and was a regular caller to radio phone-in shows on BBC London 94.9. He died in London on 13 April 2015, at age 80. He was survived by two sons with June and a daughter and son, his children with Glenda.
- "Ronnie Carroll biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- Quinn, Michael (23 April 2015). "Obituary: Ronnie Carroll". The Stage. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- "London Boroughs 1983-97". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "United Kingdom Parliamentary Byelection results 1997". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "A record-breaking by-election?". BBC News. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Haltemprice and Howden: Result in full". BBC News. BBC. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "A Dead Man Is Standing In The General Election". BuzzFeed.
- "Ronnie Carroll, singer and 'Eurovisionary' - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Ronnie Carroll: Eurovision Song Contest singer who later stood for Parliament as a candidate for the Rainbow Alliance". The Independent. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- "Ronnie Carroll: Former Eurovision singer and election candidate dies - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
Media related to Ronnie Carroll at Wikimedia Commons