Why Crackerjack star Bernie Clifton was delighted by ovation on The Voice

Bernie Clifton

Bernie Clifton

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EX-CRACKERJACK star Bernie Clifton received a standing ovation despite failing his audition on BBC One’s The Voice UK.

The 79-year-old comedian - who now has a show on Radio Sheffield and who lives in Derbyshire - sang The Impossible Dream for coaches will.i.am, Boy George of Culture Club fame and Brit award winners Ricky Wilson and Paloma Faith.

However, he did not impress enough to persuade the quartet to hit their buzzers and spin their red chairs around.

At the end of Clifton’s audition, two of the panellists still did not recognise him.

The veteran entertainer became a famous face in the 1970s and 1980s for a variety act which featured him astride a comedy bird named Oswald.

He was also a regular on BBC children’s series Crackerjack.

The Voice’s US artist will.i.am did not grow up in the UK, but Faith’s attempt to enlighten Boy George did not work. He still did not remember Clifton.

When asked about his career today, the entertainer sparked much laughter when he said: “There’s not much work about for elderly ostrich jockeys!”

His good humour in the face of rejection won him applause from the coaches and the audience.

Before he left the stage, Clifton delivered a heartfelt message.

“If I can just say, anybody that’s out there, whether you’re 19, 89, 99 - if you’ve got something that you think you ought to work on, you should go out and have a go because if I can do it, anybody can.”

The crowd broke out into deafening cheers and chanted his name.

The Voice’s quartet of coaches are hunting for a new pop sensation for the very last time on the BBC: the show will be broadcast by rival ITV after this series.

“I felt The Voice was a programme that gave the participants a lot of respect. It’s a proper pop vehicle for proper voices,” he said.

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