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Reigate Grammar perform Alvin Stardust hit on One Show

Seventies classic My Coo Ca Choo makes TV comeback thanks to head of Reigate Grammar School

Posted by Stephanie Broad | February 22, 2016 | People, policy, politics

When BBC1’s popular One Show wanted to make a film about children of famous parents, it wasn’t long before they came knocking at the door of Reigate Grammar School, whose headmaster is Shaun Fenton. 

Shaun’s dad just happens to be iconic ’70s pop star Alvin Stardust, once described as ‘the Godfather of British Rock 'n' Roll by Rolling Stone Keith Richards.

Reigate Grammar School head is immensely proud of his father’s achievement and had the opportunity to share his memories of him in front of the TV cameras. 

What people don’t often realise is that, behind the glam rock persona, he was a chorister and a grammar school boy from an independent school in Nottingham. This upbringing gave him very traditional values

Shaun said: “Sadly, my father died in 2014, but I have very many happy memories of my childhood and leaped at the opportunity to keep his legacy alive. He was my hero because he was my dad! So I am biased and his biggest fan, of course. I loved his brooding stage persona and think he’s a brilliantly creative part of our musical past. He was also just ‘my dad’ and whilst I grew up sharing him with fans and others, I have many fabulous memories of growing up. Yes – there were champagne moments with limousines but I treasure the times when he was on the touchline cheering me on playing for my school rugby team. 

“What people don’t often realise is that, behind the glam rock persona, he was a chorister and a grammar school boy from an independent school in Nottingham. This upbringing gave him very traditional values. We would often talk about the importance of good manners, of sport and of the difference that a great school can make.”

Alvin’s musical education began when he became a choirboy at Southwell Minster Grammar School. Shaun took the One Show cameras around the school to see the choristers at Reigate Grammar School and to the recording studio.

Alvin and Shaun spent time in his last years talking about life, families and all sorts of things. Shaun reports that Alvin was never short of advice about how to run a successful school and often referred back to his own school days.

During the show, one of the school’s music groups performed My Coo Ca Choo, probably Alvin’s best-loved single, which peaked at number two in the UK singles chart in 1973 and was a world-wide number one record. 

Shaun said: “I was really proud and actually quite emotional that the students had put in all that effort, in honour of my father. I was so grateful that they did that for me and also grateful that no-one turned up wearing black leather or sporting a big black quiff hairstyle – that might have been just too much!” 

He concluded: “Being a star must be a huge thrill, but being a Headteacher allows me to delight in the success and talent of the young people in our care every day. It is a privilege.” 

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