What has 2017 meant to Bobby Mandrell?

Our 2017 project How Do You Have A Happy Life focusses on 12 counterparts in Hull and our sister city Freetown. Hull’s own Ray Millington, and his glitzy stage alter-ego Bobby Mandrell, brought some glamour to the proceedings. Here he reflects on what 2017 meant to him.

How did you feel about being filmed for the Happy Life project?

“I loved it. I just thought it was such a good idea. I’ve been an entertainer for nearly 46-years and I’ve never really done a lot of interviews and I got a lot of pleasure in being involved in this project.”

What reaction did you get from people who saw the film?

“Everybody loved it, including my family, which was wonderful. A lot of people said to me that it was good to see me being celebrated as part of Hull City of Culture, which was great.”

Can you remember what you said in answer to the question, how do you have a happy life?

“I think I said that as long as I can make people happy that’s all that matters. There is a lot of sadness in the world and if you can make someone happy for just five minutes you are making a difference.”

What is the biggest lesson life has taught you?

“Not to take anything for granted. To work hard for what you want.”

How has 2017 treated you?

“It’s been great. I have recharged my batteries on a holiday in Tenerife (my first holiday in over three years). I am in remission from Cancer. The Pride festival was absolutely brilliant, I think I even made some new fans. And I got to take part in the Happy Life film. It has been a good year!

Any favourite moments in the City of Culture celebrations?

“I have a few. I loved Pride, a woman who carried a cardboard icon of me during the parade, loved it so much she took it home on her mobility scooter, which was funny. I loved the Blade and the light show Made in Hull. I also, love it when I’m driving around the town and I see all the murals. I was born on Hessle Road. My family were all fisherman. And when I look up and realise that I recognise the people that have been painted I am wowed.”

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