Rocker Marty collects gong on Wilde day at the Palace

Date
Published in
Daily Express (UK)
Written by
Giles Sheldrick

Fifties rock'n' roll star Marty Wilde, whose biggest hit was Teenager In Love, received an MBE from the Queen yesterday for services to music.

Marty, 78, said it was "totally awe-inspiring" after picking up his gong at Buckingham Palace with wife Joyce and 1980s pop star daughter Kim. The self-confessed royalist told the Queen how, as a young boy, he had waved a flag as she drove through Greenwich, south London, with Prince Philip.

"She'd not been long married, so it was fantastic to see her again, she's got a lovely smile", he said.

Describing the moment he found out about his honour, he joked: "I thought it was a tax form because it was a brown envelope. I thought my wife was going to say we'd been done for tax but it was a letter from the Prime Minister."

He added: "I was spotted by Larry Parnes, who was Tommy Steele's manager. He was like the Simon Cowell of his day. I was born Reginald Smith but Larry changed my name to Marty."