Suggs made his name as front man of 80s pop phenomenon Madness and impressed a whole generation with his unique style of singing, silly dancing and fondness for making the mundane the subject of his songs, such as Baggy Trousers, inspired by memories of school. Although his cockney accent is part of his singing style, he was actually born in Hastings and moved to London as a child. His singer mother was perhaps a subconscious inspiration, but Suggs didn't have any particular ambitions in his teens. He dropped out of school and did what a lot of teenage boys do - formed a band with his friends.
Madness, a seven-piece gang of friends, became a huge success. Their first single 'The Prince' went to number 16 in 1979 and three years later they had a number one with House of Fun. In seven years they had 20 singles in the top twenty UK chart and travelled the world playing to large audiences. Now Madness occasionally meet up and play their hits list, and Suggs has launched a successful solo career and is also working in TV, hosting Night Fever on Channel 5 and captaining a team on BBC1's A Question of Pop.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: Is That All There Is? by Peggy Lee
Book: A concise book of Italian verbs
Luxury: A nucleus of bees
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