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Carol & Erik

 

Sing a song of taxes
But the 'good-bye' man was NOT Josef Locke

By SEAN BRYSON
TENOR Erik Ellison hummed a few bars of "Goodbye" and donned his midnight - blue tuxedo for his act.
But as he left the dressing-room two detectives and an Inland Revenue officer stopped him.
And It wasn't until 20 minutes later that the red-faced official trio were convinced that they'd struck a wrong note.
For they were certain that 6ft, lin., 16ist. Erik was Josef Locke, the Irish tenor alleged to owe £10,500 to the taxman and for whom a warrant was Issued more than two years ago.
The Irishman's double retreated Into the dressing-room at the Theatre Club,' Accrington, as the man from the Revenue office said, politely: —
" Good evening, Mr. McLaughlin (Locke's real name). You remember me (from Blackpool. It's been a long time"
" But my name's Lieson." stammered the 37-year-old London-born Erik.
"An, well, now you are better known as.. Josef Locke," said one of the plain-clothes] men.
The resemblance was striking. Even down to the little clipped moustache. But Mr, Lieson's hair is fair, and the voice so English. ,
"You're mistaken gentlemen," he said lamely as the three men stared at him; Impassively.
Out came his driving licence, his visiting cards, and other credentials. Twenty minutes later they mumbled their apologies, and staved on to hear Erik sing. *
A C.I.D. spokesman at Accrington said last night: " We acted on a tip and went to the club with a Revenue Officer. We believed Josef Locke was appearing there. But it was a misunderstanding."
Mr. Lieson, who is married with a five-year-old son, and lives In Wallasey, Cheshire, said:— .
"I was absolutely astonished when the police came in and said I was Mr. Locke. I know I'm a double of him, but this is the first time I have been mistaken for him.
And at his riverside hotel in  County Kerry, last night the real-Josef Locke chuckled over the police error, and said : " I know this man well—he is my absolute double."
Then he added : " I hope he pays my tax."


SO LIKE JOSEF LOCKE
THE Official Receiver. Mr. James Tye. laughed yesterday when he was told that the runaway Irish tenor. Joaef Locke, had appeared on the TV show " Opportunity Knocks,' on Saturday.
There is a bench warrant out for the arrest of Mr. Locke, who is alleged to owe the income tax man over £10,000.
Said Mr. Tye: "I am not going to be caught again. Mr. Locke has a double. His double tours the halls and sings and looks like Mr. Locke's twin."
Viewers watching the i programme rang the studio, asking whether Mr Locke had made a comeback.
The singer who styled himself Mr. X sang two numbers which Josef Locke made famous.
Mr. X was made more mysterious when the man who introduced him refused to say who he was.
A spokesman for ABC Television said last night: We have had a lot of inquiries regarding Mr. X. It was not Mr. Josef Locke."
And Mr. Locke. :n Dublin, said: It sounds like a cousin of mine."


Mr X unmasked
WE won't be hearing Josef Locke in person again in Blackpool for a while but The Sandcastle has scooped the next best thing.
Special guest on the bill of its Promenade Showbar's pre- and post-peak season Tributes To A Century Of Stars production will be Mr X.
For many years Mr X - real name Eric Ellison - traded on the mystery surrounding Locke's whereabouts. Posters with the question 'Is he or isn't he?' were enough to suggest to many people that rather than being a Locke lookalike and soundalike, Mr X might actually be the real thing.
But Blackpool born actor and director Peter Chelsom's film Hear My Song did more than put Josef Locke back in the headlines - it finally put paid to the Mr X myth.
Now the real Mr X is back on the boards with business better than ever-despite having his cover blown.
Mr X is the special guest star in Mike Donohoe's production every Wednesday evening in May (plus May 18 matinee), every Tuesday and Wednesday in June (plus matinees June 8 and 15) and every Tuesday from September 6 to October 12 (plus matinees every Wednesday).


...and the piece which actually started the whole thing off...

William Hickey

THRILLED Tories thought they were witnessing the comeback of Irish tenor and 'fifties superstar Josef Locke (remember?) Even entrepreneur Eric Morley who was in the audience, must have been impressed by the tenor treating DuIwich Conservatives to classics such as " Goodbye". and the Gondolier Song." But this was not Locke. Nor was it a comeback - it was the latest performance of locke-alike Eric Ellison, who has often been mistaken for this forgotten figure. Thought you'd like to know.


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