Rothwell’s most famous son is making a surprise return to his home county in April for a two-night one-man show at the Corby Cube.
As an actor and singer, Jim Dale has graced stages across the world, rubbed shoulders with A-list stars and appeared in a string of popular films.
Dale is bringing his critically-acclaimed one-man show – which tells the story of his life and career, including tales of his time as part of the Carry On team – to London’s Vaudeville Theatre for a month between May and June.
But first, the 79-year-old will be appearing at the Corby Cube for two nights on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12.
The show, called Just Jim Dale, will mark the entertainer’s first appearances in Northamptonshire since he was in the early stages of his career and appearing in shows in Kettering.
Speaking to the Telegraph this week from his home in New York, Dale said he was looking forward to his return to the UK.
He added: “I think a lot of people in the UK will remember me from the Carry On films, but this show isn’t necessarily Carry On Jim Dale, it’s also about my work in other fields, such as on the stage.
“Instead of coming out afterwards saying, ‘that was a funny joke’, I hope they are coming out and saying ‘I did not know he did this, that or the other’.
“There are funny parts, but the pressure isn’t on me to be funny all the time.”
Dale said the show has been more than two years in the making.
He added: “I performed the show in a few theatres outside New York and Nica Burns, who owns a number of theatres in London, saw it and suggested I come to the UK.”
While Dale may be best-known for his appearances in almost a dozen Carry On films, he is also an award-wining stage actor, singer and dancer, winning a Tony when he played showman PT Barnum in the musical Barnum.
He is also very well-known to millions of children in the US for his role as the “voice” of Harry Potter, as he narrated all of the seven audio book versions of the popular children’s series.
That narration, as well as his work narrating a number of other children’s books, led to Dale being awarded the MBE in 2003 for services to children’s literature.
Dale said he rarely returns to the UK now. Instead, his four children, who have children of their own, tend to visit him in the US.
He added: “The reason I am bringing the show to Corby is partly because of my brother Mick.
“He has always been one of my greatest fans and I invited him over to the US when I was performing the show here. I wanted to perform it near to where I grew up and Corby has a great theatre now.
“I am hoping that everyone who remembers me from the old days might show up and that I see a few familiar faces.”
n Dale’s one man show is on April 11 and 12. Tickets cost £22.50 and can be booked online at www.thecorecorby.com or by phoning 01536 470470.