70s star makes comeback at Surbiton talent contest
7:30am Thursday 17th May 2012 in News
A television singing sensation who shot to fame in the 1970s version of Britain’s got Talent and was forced to retire after a routine operation went wrong has made a comeback at a talent competition.
Karl Prinz-Minshall appeared 10 times on Opportunity Knocks in 1969, launching a career that would see him tour the world, but just missed out on becoming the voice of this year’s Surbiton Farmers Market’s Got Talent.
He was forced to give up show business in 1983 after a routine operation to remove a nodule from his vocal chords went devastatingly wrong and left him unable to speak for nearly a year.
Mr Prinz-Minshall then suffered a further set back in 2005 when he was diagnosed with a tumour on his ear and spent the next two years undergoing four major operations and extensive radiotherapy to remove it.
But nearly 30 years after retirement he was back wowing audiences with songs from the musical Oklahoma at the showcase, held at Gordon Bennett’s in Surbiton on Sunday, May 14.
The 76 year old, who has appeared on television in 14 countries, said it felt good to be back working the stage.
He said: “I have not sung in public for nearly 30 years but once I relaxed into I was working the floor like I used to in the old days.
“It was a fantastic day and the young pretty girl who won was very good.
“I was just pleased with the reception I got from the audience because most of the acts were playing very modern stuff and my background is musicals.
On his future career prospects, he said: “It is not like when I was in the business these days. Back then there were hundreds and thousands of clubs up and down the country you can play. Now I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Although impressed by the veteran TV star, judges plumped for 32 year old Tolworth songstress Hannah White, who will now make her debut at this Saturday’s market.
On her win, the mother of two, whose album, Poetry, is available from Amazon and iTunes, said: "I was really surprised to win because there were so many talented acts. It was a great day and real community event.”
Other acts taking part included experienced Wimbledon folk singer Dick Philpot and 14 year old Southborough pupil Rahim Akram.