Jake talking about his sons - anecdote

For the first time ever a couple of my sons are here this evening. That's to say it's really the very first time that they've seen me doing what I tell 'em I do. [Shot of sons, looking about 9 or 10.] And it'll be interesting to see what they say tomorrow and in the days following, because . . . in the motor car I get them in the back, with the dog, and I get them in the back and I strap them down, I get the buckles on and I lash 'em all down, lock 'em in, tell 'em it's for their own good, and then we get in the car - "Are you right, dear? OK?", key in the ignition - click - and behind me I can hear pick, click, click-click-click, they're picking the locks and they're out, and they're leaning over the back seat, they're watching everything I'm doing [mimes child peering closely, with thumb in mouth]. It's very endearing when they do this isn't it? [thumb in mouth, other hand on top of head] And when there's a lot of 'em sometimes they get the wrong head [mimes again], you know.

Anyhow, they're watching everything you're doing: "He's going round a corner, he's going round a corner. Daddy! You didn't put your winker on! Aren't you supposed to put your winker on when you're going a -?"

They watch the diagram on the gear lever: "He's into number one. He's into number t- He missed out number three! Daddy! Are you supposed to miss out number three? Tell us." We get into town: "Daddy! Daddy! You're doing thirty-five-and-a-half miles an hour! What happens? You're not supposed to do it! What do we do? Shall we go and tell the police or will you go and tell the police?"

And, anyhow, they're all in the back, and I'm driving down what for me is a difficult street to drive down: it's a terraced . . . it's a row of terraced houses, cars parked on either side, one navigable channel in the middle. And I'm a bit of an agricultural driver and so I'm driving very carefully up there: because of the oncoming traffic; there might be people going in between the cars; balls bouncing across; dogs trotting; so I'm concentrating. And of course they're all [thumb in mouth, peering closely]. And out of a door over here there steps a beautiful-looking girl; she is stunning. And she's dressed in the contemporary gear: she's got the high heels and the tight jeans and the ferrets in the T-shirt. Well, you know - and it's a vison! And so of course I look, and I lose control of the car and there's a bit of a wobble. And when I look back, erm, they're all at it: "Daddy! What's going on! What's going on!" And unfortunately, when I'm lunging back at the wheel I do what I try never to do: I swear in front of them: I say [whispers] "Bollocks". And they're all going "What did he say then? What did he say?" "Horlicks!" "Horlicks?" "Horlicks!" And so it's pandemonium. And I turned round and I thought: Well, there's nothi- there's never anything like a dose of the truth. "Listen boys! Listen! Shut up! Quiet. You know that I love your beautiful mother, I love her neverendingly, enduringly, passionately - you know that. However. Girls are beautiful to look at and I looked at one, she was so beautiful, and I took me eyes off the road and there was a bit of a wobble, you know, and it was wrong of me and I'll never do it again." And so they all look at each other and say, "Well, what d'you think, lads, what do you think?" "That seems fair enough." "That seems fair enough, doesn't it?" "Right." [Thumb mime] And then . . . I think I've cracked that one, but then we get home, we get home, and before I've put the handbrake on - the traitors! They're out into the kitchen and they're dancing about: "Mother! Mother! He's been looking at women all day!

And then - and then for a few days after that, they're all upstairs bangin' about in the bedroom: "Horlicks!" "Horlicks!"

From Jake Thackray And Songs, BBC TV, 1980s.

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jake bbc dvd

The DVD of the BBC series 'Jake Thackray and Songs' is now available to buy online via Amazon. http://tinyurl.com/JakeDVD

'Magnificent' (The Independent)

'Jake Thackray and Songs', broadcast in 1981, captures him at the height of his powers; it paints an intimate portrait of Jake as a live artist, playing to audiences in the small venues where he felt most comfortable.

This BBC-licensed DVD, professionally produced from the original BBC masters, features all of Jake's performances from the series: thirty of his greatest songs, along with his inimitable between-songs chat and storytelling.

Also included are previously unreleased performances by three outstanding guest artists: Ralph McTell, Alex Glasgow and Pete Scott.