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Stilgoe, Richard

After 40 years in show business, composer, songwriter, and entertainer Richard Stilgoe inspires great affection.

His own generation remember him on Today, Nationwide and That’s Life, combining humour and melody to add tuneful gaiety to the nation. The next couple of generations loved the results of his collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber, writing lyrics for CATS, STARLIGHT EXPRESS and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

And for today’s young people Richard is doing more than ever. He is the founder of the Orpheus Centre, a performing arts centre for young disabled people at Godstone, Surrey, he presents the Music for Youth School Proms every year and runs Stilgoe Family Concerts at the Royal Festival Hall. His works for children—BODYWORK, BRILLIANT THE DINOSAUR and, most recently, a set of songs about clean water and sanitation for WaterAid, are widely performed, and in 2007 he was appointed Chair of the National Foundation for Youth Music.

As a teenager himself, Richard grew up in Liverpool, England (although he was born in Camberley and today lives on the opposite side of Surrey, near Oxted). He was High Sheriff of Surrey in 1998.

Merseyside rocked and so did Tony Snow (aka Richard Stilgoe) and the Blizzards. They were regulars at the Cavern Club, playing twice with the Beatles. Richard, who had shown early talent, read music at Cambridge where he was in the John Cleese generation in the Footlights revue.

In more recent decades he toured extensively as a double act with Peter Skellern. They were persuaded to come out of retirement to perform on stage at Windsor Castle for the Queen’s 80th birthday party in April 2006 with apprentices from the Orpheus Centre.

Richard is the recipient of two Tony nominations, three Monte Carlo Prizes, a Prix Italia, two honorary doctorates and an OBE.