Many of us will remember the Winter Olympics of 1988. The year the nation met Eddie the Eagle, and the instigation for the story of – Eddie the Eagle flies in Leicester Square – and the day Locarno Boy fell for a beautiful stranger.
First Leisure had decided to revamp The Empire Leicester Square – partly because it was needed, and partly because those noisy neighbors at the Hippodrome were scrapping it out with them for the extra West End business.
This was how Eddie the Eagle came into the plot. A large ski ramp was built in Leicester Square – albeit largely for the benefit of the press and publicity purposes, and the Dave Dee Agency was contracted to send along a number of celebrities for a set fee. Eddie was to simulate a spectacular ski jump. And everything went well.
Just to keep us all up to speed with Dave Dee; he was part of the 1960s group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich group, who`s hits included “The Legend of Xanadu”, “Bend It”, “Hold Tight” and “Save Me” –
By the 1980s they had other interests – and Dave Dee was running the agency.
The weather was great for “the jump”, crowds swarmed around seeking out celebrity autographs from the VIP area. Dave Dee smiled and chatted with everyone, amid hundreds of handshakes. Joan Collins one time lover Bungalow Bill Wiggins charmed everyone, and came over as a great guy. But the one that charmed Locarno Boy the most was a gorgeous dark haired girl who smiled continually, and genuinely enjoyed meeting the public. She was not too tall, expensively dressed, and had amazing eye contact. WOW.
Inside the Empire Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith sat at one of the balcony tables overlooking the dance floor –
Later in the evening Locarno Boy was approached by a fellow manager who announced “you were doing alright this afternoon”.
“Don`t you know who you were getting along with?”
“No. But she was lovely.”
“That was Page 3 model Maria Whittaker – and you let her get away,” he laughed.