THE last time Adam Ant performed in Portsmouth he stunned fans with a foul-mouthed tirade during a Christian charity concert – but he’s now set to return to the city.
The 1980s pop star has announced that his first official tour in 15 years will bring him back to Portsmouth to perform in the Wedgewood Rooms, Albert Road, on May 18.
Appearing alongside the star will be Georgina Baillie, the 25-year-old dancer and model who is the granddaughter of actor Andrew Sachs and was the subject of crude messages left of the actor’s phone by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.
The 15-date tour will feature Ant’s new band, The Good, The Mad And The Lovely Posse, playing a selection of his greatest hits and some new material.
The May date will come a year after the star, who has long battled with mental illness, verbally abused his audience throughout a 30-minute show at the Oasis Centre, a Pentecostal Church on Upper Arundel Street, Landport.
He repeatedly swore, performed offensive songs in front of children, and made it clear Christians were not welcome.
He then baffled the small crowd by spending most of the gig teaching song lyrics to a four-year-old boy he had invited up on stage.
Promoter Nick Courtney, who organised the infamous appearance – which raised £1,500 for children from the Philippines – said he was surprised the star was coming back to the city.
‘People will vote with their wallets this time,’ he said. ‘If they buy tickets then it will be clear what happened last time hasn’t had a big effect.
‘The man has a mental illness, and from what I understand he hadn’t been taking his medicine when he was last here. It wasn’t his greatest moment – but he has sold millions of records, and that has to count for something.’
The star, who won international fame with hits such as Prince Charming and Stand and Deliver, has struggled with bipolar disorder since a young age and was taken to hospital after his last Portsmouth performance.
Mr Courtney added: ‘I personally wouldn’t work with him again, because it is very difficult to work with someone who has a mental illness.
‘But we need to remember that he did agree to do a charity gig for no money.
‘I can’t knock him for that. No one wants to see him crash and burn, it is not a nice thing to witness.
‘Especially when he’s doing something for the right reasons.’