Music has always played an important part in Worth’s history and today we recall the time a Radio 1 DJ visited the School to be wowed by a rendition of Crocodile Rock.
In 1976 the School was honoured to have none other than Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale come to judge that year’s music competition and the winning performance was Chapman House’s version of the Elton John classic.
Last Saturday Annie was the main guest on Radio 4’s Saturday Live and Michael Bernard – who was in Chapman and left in 1977 – contacted the show to remind Annie of her visit. Michael recalled: “We played a version of Crocodile Rock and Annie was kind enough to say she thought Elton John would be proud and that if somebody had a recording she would play it on her show, which she did, the following weekend, much to our eternal gratitude.”
Michael added: “I’m still playing guitar in cover bands on the strength of being able to claim (more or less truthfully) to have been on Radio 1.”
Remarkably, Annie Nightingale remembered her visit to Worth ‘incredibly well’ and went on to say that it was one of the joys of her broadcasting career to be able to make somebody’s fantasy come true.
After leaving Worth Michael went to Oxford to study Experimental Psychology and then had a long career in Marketing with IBM. Now retired, he is enjoying his role as a governor at Downside and working with two charities; an NHS Foundation Trust and Exeter Business School. He has also recently joined the board of a social enterprise that provides a mental health app for schools and universities, has found time to write a book on strategy due out next month and, of course, is still playing his guitar.
You can listen to the episode of Saturday Live on BBC Sounds: www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000zkms
The historic picture shows Michael playing in the Chapman House band in the 1970s, but it is not the performance of Crocodile Rock. The other picture shows Michael now – still with his guitar!