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“This is the first promo photo for ITV’s Fun House, which ran from 1989 until 1999, and was probably one of the most successful kids’ TV shows ever, ratings-wise. Me and my cheerleaders, twins Melanie and Martina Grant, are sitting on a go-kart which the kids participating in the show would use. It was felt that I matched the twins well, partly because of the famous mullet I’d had since 1985. That was inspired by ice hockey players in Norway where I worked a lot from the early 80s when I met my Norwegian wife, Monica.
My mum, Jill Sharpin, who’s now 90, trained at RADA and appeared in early St Trinian’s movies. My dad, Michael, was a marketing consultant.
At prep school I was a gingerbread kid in a production of Hansel And Gretel in which Simon Le Bon, who lived locally [but wasn’t at the school], played the Sandman. I then attended Merchant Taylors’, the public school Michael McIntyre went to years later.
Listening to London’s Capital Radio in the 1970s initially inspired me to be a disc jockey. And DJs I heard in California influenced my fast-operating style and playing of jingles and idents with echo on my voice.
My first show was on Radio 1, sitting in for Steve Wright, when I was 20. I also got to host Top Of The Pops, though I appeared on it more often as one half of Pat and Mick performing charity singles, including I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, which made the Top 10 in 1989. Mick was Mick Brown, a fellow DJ on Capital Radio where I worked for 10 years from 1987. He did most of the vocals on our records and I did the odd ‘wooooo’.
Being a pop star and being on TV were not part of my plans. They were just things I got to do from being in radio.
I had my mullet cut off at Monica’s request in 1994. Three years later I went from Capital Radio to a more grown-up station in Heart, then Smooth, then Greatest Hits Radio where I am now… although I’ve been broadcasting from home since March due to the pandemic.
I’ve been on I’m A Celebrity…, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Through The Keyhole, and done other bits and bobs. I also do a show for Norwegian station P8 Pop.
Monica, who I married in 1986, is now 55 and runs everything. She’s the boss. We live in Bushey, Hertfordshire, with our dog Buster. None of our kids – sons Nicci, 34, and Daniel, 30, and daughter Charlotte, 28 – have gone into show business. Through Nicci, we have a one-year-old granddaughter, Kaia.
I’ve a ton of gold discs in the garage. The only career memento on the walls is a photo of me DJing at a Let’s Rock festival.
Out of all the things I’ve done, Fun House is the show I’m most known and popular for. People say to me, ‘Fun House made my childhood’, which is quite an accolade. I feel fondly cherished by people and I’m often asked, ‘Where’s your mullet?’ to which I reply, ‘In the boot.’
Fun House fan Darren Richman, who I used to drive to school with my kids, has coauthored a humorous fictionalised biography of me called Re-Run The Fun. But I’ve no plans to retire. I’m going to be like Tony Blackburn and keep going and enjoy what I do.
I want to be remembered as the guy who had echo on his mic and bashed out the hits faster than anybody else. But it will mainly be as ‘the Fun House guy.’”
Re-run The Fun: My Life As Pat Sharp by Pat Sharp with Darren Richman and Luke Catterson (Constable, £20) is out on November 5.
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