March 2020

Firstly, let me apologise for the lateness of this update but the month has been manic to say the least. I’m used to being busy but unfortunately, I got floored by the lurgey at the end of January and didn’t get rid of it as quickly as I’d hoped. I kept thinking it was just a bad cold and friends of mine who had something similar had been told by their doctor to come back in 8 weeks if they got no better so I didn’t bother wasting my time trying to get an appointment at my local medical centre.

The week of 24 February I started getting terrible pains in my chest but they only lasted a few seconds and disappeared but in the early hours of Thursday night I felt enormous pressure at the top of my rib cage and panicked that I might in fact be having some sort of heart episode.

I was very lucky that the doctor saw me first thing Friday morning and the next thing I knew I was whisked to the hospital for bloods, x-rays and an ECG. He was worried about the possibility of a heart attack or a blood clot. Because I’m here writing this, you will know they I survived the episode but it was rather scary.

The chest pain turned out to be costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. Severe cases cause shooting pains down your limbs or unbearable chest pain that interferes with your life and doesn’t seem to go away. I had it once before about 8 years ago but I’d forgotten about it. The other tests showed a lung infection and pleurisy and I’m now downing a daily cocktail of different drugs in a quest to beat it.

I was laid up in bed for several days and my neighbour, as always has been fantastic sending me food over via her husband so I could keep my strength up.

On Saturday I was munching a roast potato when my teeth implants fractured and that caused me to have a mild meltdown. I’d had the work done in London some ten years ago following my car crash and there was no way I was going to be able to get there feeling as low as I did. I was very aware of the publicity campaign that was starting in earnest the following day to ready the new release of dad’s album on 13 March.

My knight in shining armour was Jorge Rodrigues a Portuguese dentist who works alongside Dr Simon Bromley who owns the practice Bridge Dental Smiles in Oakengates, Shropshire. The practice’s diary was full but the receptionist Rose Phillips kept me calm and after several calls managed to squeeze me in because the dentist, she had booked me with had given up his lunch break!


Jorge is passionate about his craft and as well as dental care he has diplomas for Advanced Restorative Dentistry and implantology, just what I needed. Not only is Jorge a really nice guy but my implants were fixed the very next day. I could have wept in relief. If you hate or have a fear of dentists, then this is the place to go. Jorge has a great bedside manner which puts you at ease and produces fabulous results. My thanks to the whole especially Rose who managed to get me in quickly.

With the new album due out in a couple of weeks and the antibiotics and steroids doing there thing I was able to at least honour my commitments to radio that had been pre-booked.

Sunday 1 March - Nottingham Hospital Radio @ 10.30am with Kev Castle (live)

Sunday 1 March - Birmingham Broadcasting Network @ 11.15am with Brian Henderson (pre-record) going out Wednesday 4th at 6.30pm listen live at

Sunday 1 March – Southern Sound Radio @ 2pm with Alan Taylor
Going out Monday 9 March between 8.00-10.00pm

Sunday 1 March – Hospital Radio Basingstoke @4pm pm with Neil Ogden (pre-record) 20 mins (airing on 27 March between 3.30-4.00pm

Sunday 1 March - STA-FM Community Radio, NSW, Australia @ 10.00pm (9am Monday Aussie time) with Lynn Hunt and Mike Penberthy (15-20 minutes live)

Monday 2 March – Conquest Hospital Radio @ 9.30am with Jeff Belton (1 hour pre-record)

Monday 2 March – YO1 Radio @ 11am with Chris Marsden (pre-record) going out as 30-minute special –

Monday 2 March – Woolwich Meridian Radio @ 2pm with Alan King (pre-record 20 minutes)

Monday 2 March – Sunshine Radio @ 7pm with Laura Tremelling (Live)

Monday 2 March – Wolverhampton City Radio @ 8.15pm with Philip Solomon (live 20 minutes)

Tuesday 3 March – Rookwood Sound @ 10am with Charlie Brown (50 mins)
Broadcast TUNELN radio app, link on

Tuesday 3 March - Vinyl Frontier & HBS Glasgow @ 12pm with Mike McLean
Broadcast Sunday 16 March 8.00-9.00pm

Tuesday 3 March – Radio Redhill @ 1pm with Nigel Gray (pre-record)

Tuesday 3 March – Black Country Radio @6pm with Clive Payne (60 mins) live

Wednesday 4 March – BBC Radio Shropshire @ 10am with Adam Green (live)

Wednesday 4 March – Gateway 97.8 @ 2pm with Danny Lawrence (pre-record)
Broadcast Thursday 12 March 2.00pm on

Wednesday 4 March - Hospital Radio Norwich @ 7pm with David Furse (30 mins) live

Thursday 5 March – Radio West Middlesex @ 6.30pm with James Hoff  (½ hour) pre-record

Friday 6 March – Radio Frimley Park @ 9am with Malcolm Treen (pre-record)
Listen now button

6 March – 103FM The Eye @4pm with Ling Pang
Airing Tuesday 10 March between 6-7pm on and also Bonditunes International at a later date.

Sunday 8 March – 3AW Melbourne 693AM @ 10.15am (9.15pm Australia) with Philip Brady (½ hour) live

Sunday 8 March – Choice Radio @ 11.30am with Pete Phillips (½ hour) live

Sunday 8 March – Harborough FM Radio @ 12.15pm with Chris Jones (25 mins) live


Sunday 8 March – Lake District Radio @ with Martyn Day

Sunday 8 March – Newport Hospital Radio @ 3pm with Ronnie West

Sunday 8 March – Time 107.5FM @ 4.20pm with Eric Hall (Live)

Sunday 8 March – Whipps Cross Radio @ 8pm with Phil Hughes (½ hour)

Monday 9 March – Siren 107FM @ 12.00pm with Tom Stevens

Wednesday 11 March – Siren 107.3FM @ 6pm with Alex Lewczuk (20 mins)

Thursday 12 March -BBC Radio Cumbria at 3.30pm with Harry King

Sunday 15 March Phoenix FM @ 9pm with Chris Hitchcock (pre-record)

Pierre Petrou from Northwick Radio -


On Thursday 12 March I am going to Birmingham to do an ISDN, which is basically me in a radio studio for 5 hours where radio shows ring in to speak to me. They estimate one every 15 minutes so it will prove to be a busy day. Most of the radios I have done can be listened back on by visiting their websites.

If anyone bought the Sunday Express on 8th March you might have spotted a whole page in their Sunday magazine on their ‘My Favourite Photograph’ which focused on the work dad did with the late great George Martin and on Sunday 14 March it will be in the Daily Mail Weekend. Yours Magazine did a great interview but I haven’t been told when it’s coming out so if you see it before me, please give me a heads up.

Click here for full size version

2020 is a very special year for dad what with it being his 90th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of his first hit “Portrait of My Love’ and Richard and I are really excited about this new release, the biggest one in years and Universal are celebrating the fact by doing a television advertising campaign.


Advert for the album released Friday 13th March

Keep an eye out for it.

So, it’s nearly here, the release of dad’s brand-new album: “Stranger in Paradise: The Lost New York Sessions on 13 March 2020 in line for Mother’s Day.



Universal’s Mark Wood has assigned a team of PR pundits who are working hard to get press placements so that I can plug this new album. It is a very important release as its sales will decide the future of Matt Monro recordings. When EMI closed its doors, I had no idea that Warners wouldn’t take up the mantle and has basically left dads achieves to gather dust. For 30+ years I worked closely with Steve Woof at EMI Gold and he generously allowed me to work on the projects that I was passionate about sharing with the fans. It never crossed my mind that it would all come to a complete standstill. I have no idea why Warners bought the catalogue. It isn’t just dad that they have left hanging, there’s a whole stable of great artist’s work gathering dust.

For the first time in dad’s record label history his music has been split across several companies whereas artist Shirley Bassey’s catalogue remains with one company. So, there you have it. For six years Matt Monro has remained in the wilderness because of contractual disputes but hopefully this new release with Universal will help us break free of the legal ropes that have quashed us for more than 6 years.

So back to the album itself. For anyone that doesn’t know the story dad went into the studio in New York to record an album called Invitation to Broadway. Instead of an orchestra or ready-made arrangements accompanying dad, they chose the songs and did all the arrangements as they went along. The band was made up of just five musicians, piano. Bass, drums and two guitars, electric and acoustic. The majority of the recordings made over the week were from relatively new musicals, many running in Broadway theatres at the time.

However, unbeknown to dad, producer Dave Cavanaugh decided that he preferred him with a bigger sound. He took the tapes back to Hollywood and engaged Sid Feller and Billy May to write brass and string scores for 14 of the songs.

When dad heard the results, he was not impressed and felt that the tracks had been butchered. He made his feelings clear to producer Cavanaugh and the whole project was shelved. This new album sees the first release of all the songs from the sessions in their original un-dubbed form, just dad and some great musicians having a blast in the studio.

This album is a journey, from the opening bars of the unmistakable “Stranger in Paradise” to the haunting melody of Jerry Brock’s “Sunrise, Sunset”. The journey is delicious in its voyage of discovery.  Dad has that genius of making each song his own.
There are so many highlights in evidence here, brimming with distinguished arrangements and superb production values that conjure up exquisite memories of a polished performer, one with feathery velvet tones and unsurpassed excellence.  Here is superb talent with no use of vocal gimmicks or corny catchphrases.  Dad relies only on his solid music ability and brings to life every song in this repertoire with the ease of a born professional.  Of course, I am biased.


Stranger in Paradise: The Lost New York Sessions:

Impossible Dream
Stranger In Paradise
Put On A Happy Face
Hello Dolly
The Apple Tree
If She Walked Into My Life
The Sweetest Sounds
Sunrise Sunset
Walking Happy
I Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her
Come Back To Me
Look For Small Pleasures
The Lady Smiles
Lover's Caravan
Beautiful Beautiful World
What Makes It Happen
The Apple Tree (Alternate Vocal)
The Lady Smiles (Take 5)
Lover's Caravan (Take 2)
What Makes It Happen (Take 5)

The Greatest Hits:

Portrait Of My Love
My Kind Of Girl
Gonna Build A Mountain
Softly As I Leave You
From Russia With Love
Walk Away
Born Free
This Is The Life
On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
Don’t Answer Me
Honey On The Vine
Wednesdays Child
I Will Wait For You
Georgy Girl
Spanish Eyes
When I Look In Your Eyes
Pretty Polly
The Music Played
All Of A Sudden
On Days Like These
Two People
Everybody’s Talkin’
We’re Gonna Change The World
And You Smiled
If I Never Sing Another Song

None of this would have seen the light of day without my partner in crime and sound engineer extraordinaire Richard Moore working his magic. Not only is he incredibly gifted but he happens to be a really nice guy as well. Always passionate about his craft he has written some technical notes in much more detail than in the included album booklet and it makes for a fascinating read.

So, onto other news………………

Dad is finally going to have a Blue Plaque. London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

The site will be in Ewell at 14 Ruxley Lane where dad lived from 1961 until 1965 and the present owner of the house Mr. Sheriff is very happy for the plaque to be put up on the front of the property. We are hoping to have a small unveiling ceremony if any members of this website or Fan Club would like to attend. The timing will depend on everyone’s commitments in the next few months but as soon as I have a date, I will let you know.

Being a special year, I designed something exclusively, the abridged audio of my book: “The Singer’s Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro” on a USB stick.

I like to think that I design my merchandise with style and this time round is no different. Bound in leather and offered in a gorgeous presentation box with a magnetic clasp I am thrilled with the outcome. “Words & Music’ includes the equivalent of 3 CD discs that make up the audio book, 9 music tracks (Babycham jingle, Camay jingle, California Here I Come, Dreamdust, Lazy River, Pennies From Heaven, Star Eyes, The Nearness of You, You’re Driving Me Crazy) and 2 video clips (Born Free, My Kind of Girl)..


Because of its popularity and demand I plan to make this available for the whole of 2020 so if you would like one then please drop me an email. They retail at £15.00 including postage. (UK only).

Would you believe the 27th January marked 10 years since the book launch of “The Singer’s Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro”? That is incredible and I have to admit to being really proud that so many of you were interested in learning about the man behind the voice.

What is so unbelievable is that the book is still selling by the box full. I kind of feel everyone in England must have bought a copy by now, lol. Each year I think about whether to take the books on the ships with me, assuming that demand would have diminished but I have been proven wrong several times over. Let’s hope the same runs true with my new publication.

Yes, finally after three years of blood, sweat and tears the first in the series of cruise port guides for independent travellers and disabled people is just 5 days away from the finish line. I can’t believe it myself. Every time I have thought I was there something would rear its ugly head that meant a re-write, Brexit being the latest. I know a book is technically always out-of-date by the time it gets published but the changes needed were too many to ignore.

Having cruised for the last 42 years I have continually been disappointed at what was available on the market. My biggest bugbear is that the cruise line doesn’t inform you where you are docking until the night before, which of course is a sneaky move to stop you being able to organize any independent tours. They constantly use scare tactics saying that if you don’t make it back to the ship before it sails it will go without you. Whilst it might be prudent to take a ship’s tour in Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome because of a 90-minute train transfer, the same cannot be true of Madeira, where the town sits on your doorstep.

Another niggle I have heard constantly over the years is insurance. People over 70 and those with pre-existing medical conditions couldn’t find cover or at least affordable cover. It was also difficult to find a policy that would cover you for over 30 days let alone a world cruise.

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world. This equates to approximately 15% of the world population having a physical, mental or sensory disability but why should that present barriers when it comes to travel.

The world should be accessible with every person having the same opportunity of experiencing what other travellers, taste, feel, smell, hear and witness. Everyone should have the right to enrich their lives and the able-bodied should do everything in their power to make this a reality.

Now here is the shocker; new research commissioned by the European Commission, has found that the European tourism sector is missing out on up to 142 billion Euros every year due to poor infrastructure, services, and attitudes towards travellers with special access needs.

Cruising is a wonderful way to see the world and being disabled is not a stumbling block but you need to have the correct information at your fingertips. Yet another thing missing in the marketplace.

You could argue that you don’t need a book when the Internet has everything you need. The trouble is the Net is not policed. Some articles have been up years and the reader is unaware that the information is out-of-date. One example is a lady who wanted to surprise her husband, a wheelchair user, with a trip to Venice. She spent weeks doing research checking what times the bridge lifts were operational and the routes needed to see everything on her husband’s bucket list. Off they went and it was a disaster. Why? Because the bridge lifts had been deactivated two years previously.

Why print reams of paper to take on a trip when you can have everything at your fingertips within a book? That is just a few of the reasons why I decided to pen these books. “Travel Yourself: The Cruising Guide for Independent Travellers and Disabled Cruisers” is just weeks away from being a reality, followed closely by “Travel Yourself Norway; A Port Guide for Independent Travellers and Disabled Cruisers”.

It’s now been put to bed and is being edited and printed as we speak before going to the publisher in a couple of weeks. I don’t have the exact timetable as to how long each stage will take but suffice to say it is coming soon.

I have changed the name of the book and will release all the details in next month’s updates.

STOP PRESS>>>>> Richard and I are working on something very very special for this anniversary year, something I think you will enjoy but I can’t say too much for the moment as it has to be kept hush hush. There are too many idea thieves about.

Cruise/ Work Dates 2020

16 May -30 May – Celebrity Silhouette
30 May – 13 June – Celebrity Silhouette
13 June – 27 June – Celebrity Silhouette
4 July – 18 July – Celebrity Silhouette
18 July – 1 August – Celebrity Silhouette
1 August – 15 August – Celebrity Silhouette
15 August – 28 August – Celebrity Silhouette

Cruise/Work Dates 2021

4 May – 22 May – Fred Olsen Black Watch

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month; I know so many of you enjoy them. This month we look in on the ever-popular Neil Young

Have a fabulous month and I hope you enjoy the excitement leading up to the album’s release and more importantly put your pre-order request in now. See you in April.

Michele xxxx

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