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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Shock as Kingswood Players' production of Cinderella uses paedophile pop star Gary Glitter’s hit song at Challock Village Hall

13 February 2014
by Samantha Williams

I'm the Leader of the Gang (I am!) – a hit for pervert Glitter in the summer of 1973 – featured in the Kingswood Players' production of Cinderella at Challock Village Hall.

Although it was not Glitter's voice played out to audiences – an actor sang the song live over a backing track – one audience member said he was shocked by the inclusion of the tune considering Glitter's history as a convicted paedophile.

Convicted paedophile Gary Glitter

Convicted paedophile Gary Glitter

The father, who asked not to be named, watched the panto with his wife and two children.

He said: "It wasn't until I was driving home and I was talking to my wife, and we just thought it was a bit inappropriate, especially as who sings it and what he was done for.

"We did really enjoy the show, we just thought they could have chosen a different song. It was probably innocent and they didn't realise."

Was it right for the pantomime to use the Gary Glitter song?

Now show director Tara Vaughan has said she did not mean to offend anyone with her choice of music.

She said: "We did receive one complaint after the Saturday evening performance.

"The song was appropriate for the scene; it fitted what we were trying to do. We even changed some of the words. The audience were part of the 'gang'.

"It was completely innocent – in fact, when I pulled the lyrics up on the internet I found the Spice Girls' version.

"It was never meant to offend anyone. It did upset me when I heard the complaint."

Amy Kempton as Cinderella in the Kingswood Players production

Amy Kempton as Cinderella in the Kingswood Players production

Members of the Kingswood Players cast in Cinderella

Members of the Kingswood Players cast in Cinderella

Scenes from a Cinderalla production at Challock village hall

Scenes from a Cinderalla production at Challock village hall

Mrs Vaughan added: "We had some great feedback this year with people telling us how funny the pantomime was. People seemed to enjoy it.

"We even had two Brownies from the 1st Willesborough Brownies group come on stage to say a line to celebrate the Big Brownie Birthday, as they turn 100 this year."

Glitter – real name Paul Gadd – first came to prominence in the glam rock era of the early 1970s.

Between 1972 and 1995, he had 26 hit singles which spent a total of 180 weeks in the UK Top 100. Twelve reached the Top 10, with three charting at No 1.

Cinderella was staged in Challock Village Hall

Cinderella was staged in Challock Village Hall

I'm the Leader of the Gang was his first No 1 single in the UK, topping the charts for four weeks in July 1973. The Spice Girls covered the song in their film, Spice World, in 1997.

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But his career swiftly ended following his 1997 arrest and 1999 conviction in the UK for possession of thousands of items of child abuse images. He served four months in jail.

In 2006 he was jailed in Vietnam for 26 months for abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11.

Glitter was deported from Vietnam back to Britain at the end of his sentence, where he was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

In October 2012, he was arrested again, and bailed, as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into alleged sexual abuse that dates back to the 1950s, connected to the activities of child abuser Jimmy Savile.


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