Pure Imagination: The Leslie Bricusse Story



Following our Friday Night Is Music Night special in December, which marked composer Leslie Bricusse's 80th year, Michael Ball profiles the man behind the music.

Some people may not recognise the name - and that's just the way Leslie Bricusse likes it - but most should be familiar with some of his work. The London-born writer, composer and lyricist has written the book, music and/or lyrics for more than 40 musical films and plays during his long career. He has amassed dozens of awards - multiple Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, and Ivor Novellos - and is one of only a handful of British songwriters to be inducted into the American Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

He has worked with many talented contemporaries, including Anthony Newley, Henry Mancini, John Williams, John Barry, Jule Styne, Quincy Jones, André Previn and his catalogue of songs includes Goldfinger, Feeling Good, You Only Live Twice, Pure Imagination and If I Ruled The World.

There's also Chris Evans' Breakfast Show favourite The Candy Man, My Kind Of Girl for Matt Monro, and the groundbreaking musicals Stop The World I Want To Get Off, and The Roar of The Greasepaint The Smell of The Crowd. And, at the age of 80, he continues to compose words and music with astonishing vitality, while several of his shows are currently being performed around the world, or scheduled for revival.

Contributors include Sir Michael Caine, Michael Winner, Joan Collins, Sacha Newley, Liza Minnelli, Nancy Sinatra, Robert Wagner, Michael Feinstein, John Williams, Julie Andrews, George Hamilton, Petula Clark and Leslie Bricusse himself.

Michael Ball profiles the composer Leslie Bricusse, who turned 80 last January.