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How Bradley Walsh proved his careers officer wrong

From BBC - November 14, 2017

"Absolutely true," says Bradley Walsh. "That's absolutely true.

"Absolutely true. Absolutely true. Ab-so-lutely true."

The thing that is true (and absolutely true, at that) is an anecdote Walsh tells in the song You Know Best from his new album, When You are Smiling.

It goes back to his school days in Watford, when the star was sent to see his deputy headmaster for a bit of careers advice.

"All I ever wanted to do was play football," he explains. "I was never one for revising and I only left school with three O Levels.

"At this point, I was playing for the county at football and I'd been spotted by a couple of clubs. But he said, 'You ca not put all your eggs in one basket, Bradley. You have to think about what you are going to do for a living. A proper living.'

"I said, 'If I do not play football for a living, I am going to get into showbusiness.'

"He went, 'Do not be ridiculous. What as?' And I said, 'Well, I am going to be a comedian'.

"He just looked at me and laughed.

"And I said, 'See? I am good!'"

Of course, Bradley Walsh had the last laugh, literally.

He not only became a professional footballer and a stand-up comedian, but he's also been a Pontins Bluecoat, the boss of Coronation Street's knicker factory, the star of Law & Order: UK, host of Tonight at the London Palladium, Dick Whittington in panto, and quizmaster on ITV game show The Chase.

Next year, he will be the companion to Jodie Whittaker's Doctor (but he's not allowed to talk about that yet).

Oh, and he had the biggest selling debut album by a British artist in 2016.

Yes, you read that right. Chasing Dreams, a collection of big band tunes and swing standards, outsold the likes of Zayn Malik, Jack Garratt and Blossoms - becoming the only debut album to win a gold disc last year.

"I am not sure exactly how that works, but there you are," he says.

Walsh pulled off the feat by selling actual CDs in an era when most listening happens on streaming services.

Walsh, who achieved just 357 "sales" from streams, acknowledges his success comes from appealing to "a certain age bracket" who still buy albums.

"I have not got a problem with that at all," he says. "It just shows you there's a market."

Grime album?

BBC News last bumped into Walsh at the Brit Awards in February.

"I am sitting on Sony Music's table tonight, so I am going to find out if I get a second album," he told us at the time.

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