December 7, 2015

You know an insurance firm is running short of ideas when it starts bringing in talent from the world of entertainbiz. When it promptly loses that talent again, you begin to suspect its ideas barrel is well and truly scraped to the last soggy splinters.

O’Connor was always an odd choice for AndyCap-owned Blightslide. Little real surprise, then, that now – after just 11 months with the firm – O’Connor has chosen to withdraw his famously square peg from Blightside’s round hole.

So, what, exactly, do we know about singer, variety performer, chat show host and, latterly, top insurance exec Des O’Connor?

Following ITV’s shock decision to axe Today with Des and Mel and his subsequent departure from Countdown just two years into his stint hosting alongside that ever-youthful pear of provincial pulchritude Carol Voldemort, O’Connor switched unexpectedly to the world of insurance, where he proved a surprise hit with US-owned global broker Arthur J. Rank.

Exactly how the veteran performer was tempted over to the Blightside in the first place, we may never know. But whatever head-turning inducements were offered at the time, their allure must since have tarnished, and Des, as they say in his native Stepney (only with a right old Cockney geezer sort of an accent), has done a runner.

He’s by no means the first to jump ship from HMS Bitesize, joining former chief exec Andrew Whaling, chef ops officer Tony Corn, people person Kate Bants, and risk overseer Gr Ham Johnston in the restlessly roiling rollers that constantly threaten this beleaguered vessel. This overboard exodus has effectively left stand-in chief exec Mark Liff to man the ship single-handed.

And what next for O’Connor? Who can say. There’s talk of a testimonial residence of several nights at the London Pollonium, a tentative offer of returning to his first club Northampton Town in a player-manager role, or maybe he’ll persevere with insurance, notwithstanding the emotional trauma of his break-up with Blightside.

Probably not, Bankstone News would imagine.

Des O Connor Feelings

Includes the smash hit Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before


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