a very short summary of my story - so far.....
success at last
Tom was born in Bootle, Merseyside. His father was a docker and it was in Liverpool that Tom became a schoolmaster.
Whilst working as a maths teacher and assistant headmaster at St Joan of Arc School in Bootle he developed his unique comedy routines.
In actual fact, the school’s headmaster had a lot to do with the progress of Tom’s career in comedy.
When his pupils showed very little interest in the academic side of mathematics, the headmaster told him,
‘Never mind the algebra and logarithms
just remember you are saving souls’
The Headmasters wise words had a great effect, for Tom found a
distinctive way of teaching his subject and communicating with his
charges. ‘The only way I could think of getting through to them was to tell jokes’, says Tom. ‘It worked a treat…and that’s really how the comedy all started.
Tom actually started his showbusiness career as a singer and would have been quite happy doing that until he found out that comedians got paid more money than singers so he gradually introduced comedy into his act and concentrated on talking to the audience about people,
and observing life.
Real life can be very funny. It really took off from there’.
For several years Tom O’Connor lived a double life teaching his pupils
by day and entertaining club audiences by night. His reputation spread
throughout showbusiness and it soon became obvious that he would
have to make a decision about his future career.
"I was working very late at night, sometimes getting home at three or four
o’ clock in the morning", says Tom. "I had to be up at seven for school.
So I had to decide whether to give up teaching in order to concentrate
on a full time showbusiness career... or forget the entertainment industry
altogether in favour of school.
Actually it wasn’t much of a gamble to take, for when I had twelve months
engagements in my diary,
I took the plunge......
Success At Last
In 1972, Tom hung up his cap and gown for good to become a
professional entertainer. He hasn’t looked back since.
Success rapidly followed success. He made such an impact on television
winning three separate shows on ‘Opportunity Knocks’ – that within a
year of his TV debut, he was hosting the Thames TV series
"Wednesday At Eight", followed by his own series "The Tom O’ Connor
A year later he received the highest accolade in the theatrical profession,
when he was invited to appear in the Royal Variety Show at the
In 1977 Tom was the subject of "This Is Your Life".
Tom’s success, however, has not just been confined to television.
In cabaret he starred at every major nightspot in the country, and headlined his own summer season shows in the country’ s top resorts.
His work has taken him to most English speaking countries around the world including America where he featured at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.
Tom remains very much in demand today either as the Star Performer at
some of the country's leading cabaret venues or a much sought after
Compare and Master of Ceremonies.
He has recently appeared on some of our best loved television programs
like Pointless, The Hairy Bikers, Loose Women, Charity Cash in the
Attic and of course his winning stint on Come Dine with me.
Tom will shortly be appearing in a new peak-time BBC Comedy sketch
show which is currently in production
Watch this space...!
Spotlight on Tom