Jul 31, 2012

The People You Meet: The 1948 Olympian Diver, Actor, Singer, Father, Peter Elliott

If I'm ever fortunate enough to live healthy and strong to a ripe old age, I want to be like the legendary Peter Elliott. I am inspired by Peter Elliott as one of the people that I've met along the way as Peter has the spirit, the energy and the 'groove' of a 30-year old in an 81 year old's body. In fact, when I first met Peter, he was wearing tap-dancing shoes with his black-tie on his way to an Olympic ball. "What do you think" he asked me as he did a full turn with a 'clickety-click' closed out with a dashing smile in our living room.  Charming, sophisticated and a friend to all I can't imagine a better dinner date and dance partner..!  Proud father to DJ Lora, my uber-talented flatmate, I've been fortunate enough to have gleaned from Peter's wealth of experiences, travels, adventures and absolutely brilliant sense of humour.

Among his many accolades including actor, stunt-man, dancer and singer are that at the age of 17, he was the youngest Briton ­in the 1948 Olympics which were also hosted in London. He is only one of a handful of survivors from those Games alive today. I couldn't help but think of Peter as I watched the crowds of athletes walking into the spectacular venue at the opening ceremonies here in London last night... This is how he recalls his experience from 1948 walking into the opening ceremony at Wembley, representing team GB with a blazer that was too tight, an unfashionable beret and frustrated by the long rehearsals for the march-past. As he entered the stadium, he found his partner, a six-foot-six wrestler, crying.

“Tears were rolling down his cheeks. I was thinking, what’s he crying for? But then I heard the roar of the crowd and I started crying, too. In 1948, the nation felt it was a great honour to host the games. We had come through a terrible war and we felt, ‘Wow, we have not done too badly have we?’

Last weekend I went to Malta for a short holiday to meet up with friends including Laura and her father Peter. Once again, I looked on in awe from the comfort of my deckchair as I watched Peter curl his toes on the edge of the pool, hum the tune to, 'Don't worry, be happy' and dive gracefully into the water, resurfacing with a quick flick of his hair and a gigantic smile. It was enough to have me put down my Hello magazine in astonishment..!

Peter has been been a great supporter and a wonderful friend, and, among so many other things, has reminded me of the importance of of believing in yourself, staying fit and healthy and remembering to live each day to its fullest..


Enjoying the sun in Malta with Peter, Tom, Laura and Eloise

8 comments:

  1. An interesting writing, informing many of us who are unaware of Peter's achievements. It's so nice to hear he is still around today. One thing I wish more of us knew was what happened to the songs he recorded as he had a great voice in his day, with classics i.e The End.

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  2. I agree with the person above. This is a nice article which I never thought I'd come to read, as so many people I've spoken to are unaware of some of Peter's great songs ie Your Hand, Your Heart, Your Love and The End. It's just a shame a record company never released a "The Best of Peter Elliott" album.

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  3. Peter the. Co ed locker room at the Olympic Games was one of many command performances that l was privy to. High diver, Stunt man, Pop singer, Tap dancer.All of the above. !!! Peter was and is good looking, talented and above all a great commedian. YEAY PETER AND HI HI HIGHGATE !!!

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  4. I have just had the pleasure of watching Peter co-host a Cliff Richards show from 1960 where he matched Cliff for talent, looks, charisma and then some. What an amazing gentleman who was unfortunate to have not received the notoriety his friend received. Peter if you are ever out in West Texas the kettle will be on I would love to hear more from you. God Bless Sir

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  5. I worked with Peter on a drama, many moons ago and i remember him wanting to kill me daily for ripping out his chest hair when taking his microphone off. We had a lot of fun.

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  6. I worked with Peter on a drama, many moons ago and i remember him wanting to kill me daily for ripping out his chest hair when taking his microphone off. We had a lot of fun.

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  7. I was fortunate to have worked with Peter on the TV show, The Good Old Gold Rush Days way back when in South Africa.

    Very interesting article, thanks.

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  8. I like all of the above. I knew Peter very well, he was one of the best of my friends from the passed, God I wish we'd have seen more of each other in later years. Peter, I have just learned you have slipped out to start a new life; break a leg, see you on the ice. Raymond.

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