THE children of Mossley comedy singer Jon Courtenay are providing a vital ‘sounding board’ as he prepares his routine for the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.
Jon has revealed Nathan, 15, a student at Copley Academy in Stalybridge, and Alfie, eight, who goes to Buckton Vale Primary in Carrbrook, as well as wife Emmah are major influences in his work.
And Jon, 46, who recently wowed an audience of millions with his comedy sketch about appearing on BGT, added he was forced back to the drawing board after he was forced to rip up his intended piece of work for the semi-finals because of coronavirus.
Though Jon’s television appearance was in April, the show had been recorded in January and well before Covid-19.
Jon said: “The song I wrote for the semi-finals was long before coronavirus hit us and was influenced by a car narrowly missing us after we left The London Palladium where the show had been recorded.
“The message was don’t die as it would be a waste of the ‘golden buzzer’ and was about all the things that would go wrong if I died tragically.
“It was a comedy song, a bit Pythonesque, but there was no way it could go ahead on the current climate as it would have been tasteless and bad timing.”
Instead, Jon has written a new song about Covid-19 believing it will resonate as the whole country has shared the same experiences.
He said: “It is a delicate position to get the right angle and to make it funny.
“It is the trait of the British to laugh in adversity. You only have to look at the Second World War when we used to laugh at Hitler even though he was killing our people.”
Jon added lockdown has been a completely new experience as life as a full-time entertainer means a considerable amount of time in spent away from his Shire Croft home.
He said: “Normally I do most of my writing when I am away from home.
“It has been nice spending time at home as I am normally in and out of the front door.
“In the last month or so I have had a creative splurge and been able to use my family as a sounding board.”
Jon, who already had a piano at home, has transformed half the lounge at his home into a studio with lighting on a tripod and other equipment.
That has enabled him to continue working as he has made six appearances at private shows, albeit in the new-found virtual world.
And on Friday, May 22, Jon made his first live show since BGT through the online concert venue Stageit.com which has even featured A list Grammy winners performing.
Apart from writing, performing and helping with home schooling, Jon added he has also been checking out the competition for the semi-finals of BGT which hopefully will be screened in September.
Jon, who on Twitter lists himself as a ‘pianist, singer, composer and comedian, occasional magician, father of two, husband of one, lover of laughter and life’, admitted to being “overwhelmed” by the reaction to his appearance on BGT as he looks for a belated big break having been a self-confessed jobbing performer for the last 30 years.
Jon, who learned to play the piano aged five, started out in his teens on the hotel circuit in Cyprus where his parents lived. He also performed in London piano bars and in Covent Garden as a juggling, comedy, magician.
He added he has been fortunate to have worked continuously for 30 years, starting in clubs, pubs and bars, and later performing on many cruise ships.
Jon decided to live in Mossley because it is Emmah’s hometown and many of her family are based there – they met at a holiday park on Hayling Island where she was a dancer.
• Anybody wishing to book Jon can do so online: www.greenfairyproductions.com