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Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard has carved himself a long and hugely successful music career by taking things which are American – rock ‘n’ roll being the prime example – and recreating them using English ingredients. So it should not come as that big a surprise to discover that he can do much the same sort of thing with actual food too.

Britain’s longest-serving pop star has been recording a new album, entitled “Soulicious” in Memphis, Tennessee. You can probably guess what kind of music it’ll be. But during a break in recording, he stopped by a local restaurant, Gus’s Fried Chicken, with his album-buddies David Gest, Freda Payne and Candi Staton, to get a bite to eat.

David Gest, who is executive producer on the album (no, no idea what that means either), then laid down a mischievous bet. He challenged Sir Cliff to cook for everyone, and put down $500, just to make it interesting.

Sir Cliff, being something of a gourmet, rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in, whipping up chicken and potato salad and serving over 20 customers in half an hour. Wendy McCrory, the restaurant owner, was so impressed she offered him a job then and there.

Candi told Music News: “I have never seen a white man cook Cajun fried rice and southern potato salad like Cliff, he’s obviously got a lot of soul in that rather lean body of his.”

Freda added: “Cliff obviously knows how to make a tender breast. I even ordered a second one!”

Admit it, who sniggered at that last quote? Just me? OK then.

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By Fraser McAlpine