A BRIEF PERSONAL HISTORY

  • 1964               I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury in Rhodesia), on July 4th, in the middle of the Durban July, I did not bet on the winner that year.

  • 1964 – 1969   The youngest of four children I grew up on a farm near Mazowe (look it up) in colonial bliss. First attracted to music whilst sitting on the potty – critics should be delighted to note this.

  • 1970               My first year of school was a correspondence course with my mother in the back room. Isolated but very enjoyable.

  • 1971 – 1976    Boarding school at Dudley Hall in Norton. Every fourth week when I go home for the week-end  I have piano from a hippie next door neighbour with large unfettered breasts. My musical interest is immediately sparked, and boarding school is great. The food is not.

  • 1977 – 1978    Boarding school in Harare at Prince Edward High School for boys – as close to hell as I wish to get. I get pimples and spectacles around the same time, and curse the name of my prefect daily as I wash his underpants at 4.30 in the morning. Carry on piano studies with the gloriously eccentric Elizabeth de Guigand.

  • 1979 – 1980    Parents sell the farm, move into Harare and I become a day scholar. The 15 km bike trip to school is heaven compared to life in the hostel. I go on international choir tour, finish my grade 8 piano, get drama and music colours, and 8 O levels. Life is looking good.1981 - 

  • 1981 - 1982     Life looks really kuk. We move to Jhb. Two years at St John’s – bleah. In the second year meet Eve Boswell, Judy Page, Keith Galloway, Bess Finney and (most importantly)  Joan Brickhill who persuade me that I might have talent and that doing a B COM might not be the wisest thing.

  • 1983 – 1985   Start studying dancing (jazz, tap, ballet – with ten year old girls), singing (no range, no release, no stamina – otherwise I’ve got it all), and working as pianist, teacher, writing music with Keith and start to perform.

  • 1985 – 1989   Joan Brickhill becomes my mentor and life long friend – and leads me from being a neurotic, fat, pimply, unfocused, ball of energy and doubt – a whirling dervish of potential (disaster) – to a working professional with a sense of belief, vocation, and skill.

  • 1989               Meet Vivienne Lawrence (Scorpio!) and think that this could be the start of something big.

  • 1991                February 21st, marry Vivienne Lawrence – I was right!

  • 1992               October 20th first daughter , Valeska born. Crash course in life.

  • 1994               April  - Valeska diagnosed with MPS 6, a.k.a. Maroteaux Lamy Syndrome.  August 20th – Oscar born, also diagnosed with MPS 6.

  • 1995 – 1997   Grieving, accepting, learning – fundraising for Bone Marrow Transplants for the children.

  • 1997               Uproot and move to Manchester UK for a year, where Valeska has her transplant in July and Oscar in October.

  • 1998              Oscar rejects his transplant in July, and Valeska dies on August 19th of a lung haemorrhage caused by complications from the transplant.  This is as awful and  as devastating as it sounds.

  • 2000              July 10th, Kasvia is born, unaffected by MPS 6 and the result of a vasectomy reversal. A gift.

  • 2002              May, Oscar has a second bone marrow transplant, dies (for ten minutes), survives and comes back – a miracle of charm, delight and the bone marrow transplant works – transforming his life.

  • 2003 – 2005  Back to a life of normal stress and catch-up on the lost years of family, life, earning, career. And a whole new career opens up to me as a TV presenter.

  • 2006             Make a brave and wonderfully rewarding decision to move to a small cottage in a forest in the Eastern Cape. My roots, my family, my creativity, my dogs and my sanity are all greatly improved by this removal from urban stress and our move to the ocean and open spaces

  • 2007             My father dies, after a long, slow descent - a blessed release.

  • 2008             The children join us on stage (at their request) and soon our first full length show  Celebration is up and running away with itself like wild fire.

  • 2009             Busier than ever at 45, living in the country and now a judge on a mega hit television reality series!!!.

  • 2010             We nearly lose the house in a huge fire in January, but the family show thing is really taking off – a joyous addition to my regular busy-ness

  • 2011              The family show pays off and we have an awesome 7 week holiday around Europe – Oscar has a leg op ; Viv has a knee op ; Kasvie has 4 teeth removed – Ian ……. WORKS

  • 2012              2 new adventures – my first original CD and I am diagnosed as bi-polar (type 2)– confirming years of people saying “Eish Ian – you are not normal!”

  • 2013             Oscar leaves home to start work in Joburg. Viv and I nearly lose our marriage, and thankfully find it again. .

  • 2014            January 2014 Joan Brickhill and my elder brother die within 24 hours of each-other. I leave SA's Got Talent and I am fired off Starlight Classics.

  • 2015            Viv and  I start a new career as  a complete duo, both singing and dancing in Fantastic 50.

  • 2016           We are robbed by our gardener in January, and then our home is robbed on the day we arrive in Venice on our first international long  cruise

  • 2017            Our wonderful char, Abigail, dies at the age of 30 - in perfect health. My 53rd year is the most professionally challenging year of my career - filled with disappointment, politics, economic challenges. (BUT we spend 2 GLORIOUS weeks with the kids in Crete)

  • 2018          53 continues to be a year of roller coaster, gut wrenching challenge which culminates in me being bitten by a Zebra!! As I approach my birthday I manage to pull my head out of my arse  and stop drowning and  start making infintismal headway.

  • 2019          With Kasvia's school days over, Viv and I can start our new dream as 'guest entertainers' on ships. Start the year off held hostage in a theatre by 200 rioting students along with 160 audience members

TALENT & EXPERIENCE & ENERGY