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ENTERTAINERS HONOUR VETERAN (article first published : 1999-12-10)

One of Amanzimtoti’s most well-known and popular entertainers, Cecil Northcote, celebrated his 80th birthday last month. At a party organised by his daughter Jeanette Clarence, tribute was paid to him in the form of a concert featuring close friends and colleagues in the entertainment business presented by pianist and impresario Colin Penn. Those appearing were singer Miriam Erasmus and her husband, pianist John Erasmus, as well as singers Elaine Dyer, Peggy Timmins and Florence van Niekerk. Also performing were comedian Graham Rich, bass guitarist Berry Taylor, magician Bernard Dyer, harmonica player George Galanos, pianist Jackie Mitchell and ESP magician David O’Connor. “It was absolutely wonderful,” said a proud Cecil Northcote, “because I have worked with most of these people for years, going back as far as 1954.”

A highly proficient entertainer, comedian, singer and MC, Cecil is probably best known for his charity work, in particular the Moths, an organisation for which he has helped raised considerable sums over the past 20 years. Completely bilingual, he worked for many years on Radio Suid Afrika and was heard in numerous plays, serials and series on Springbok Radio and the English Service (now SAfm). He has appeared on film and television and has read many books for Tape Aids, an organisation which presents “talking books” for those who cannot read in the normal manner.

Although he “started late at the age of 58”, as he says, Cecil was a long-time Comrades Marathon runner and only gave up the sport on the advice of his doctor after he suffered a serious heart attack in 1993. He has also given the impressive amount of 628 donations of blood plasma to the Natal Blood Transfusion Services.

What does the future hold? “I’m just going to carry on as long as the voice and body allows!” says Cecil, with a smile.




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