HE’S had fans swooning for decades and tonight David Essex is in Fareham.
He is at Reel cinema at the premier of new Brit-flick Traveller.
Actor David, who plays head gypsy Blackberry, is starring alongside his son Billy Cook, who is making his acting debut playing the lead role of Owen McBride.
The film focuses on the world of the traveller community, with romance, crime, action and drama all thrown into the mix.
‘It is a very powerful film,’ said David.
‘It was a privilege to work with Billy. He was extraordinary in it. I’m very proud of him. He’s a very good actor, a very truthful, focused actor.’
David has an extensive acting, singing and composing career and is well known for playing Eddie Moon in EastEnders, producing his own West End hit musical All the Fun of the Fair and having 19 top 40 singles in the UK.
Not only does David play a lead role in Traveller, he also wrote the film’s soundtrack.
He will be signing copies of this at Reel tonight, along with copies of his new album Reflections.
‘It looks like Billy will be nominated for a Bafta, and the soundtrack has been nominated as well,’ said David.
David’s grandfather was a travelling tinker man, which he attributes to him gaining the trust of the travelling community while filming.
Some scenes were filmed on a real travelling site and with travellers as extras.
‘I had the respect of the travelling community. We had the trust. It’s an insular world. It was great to get that trust,’ said David.
The film has been based on a book called Tribe by John F McDonald. It tells the story of a young man torn between two ways of life.
Reel’s operations director Muhammad Faisal said: ‘We are the largest independent cinema in the UK and because of that we have more flexibility with what films we show.
‘We are very happy to have David come to us. I am hoping to hold more nights like this, to make things interesting for our customers and to make coming to the cinema more than just watching a film.’
David will be at the cinema at 7.30pm tonight, with the film due to start at 8.40pm.