'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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The Ukulele Orchestra

The members of the Ukulele Orchestra...



Kitty Lux

Founder member and director of the orchestra. Born and grew up in London. Studied in Leeds. Started playing the ukulele in 1982. Founded the ukes in 1985.

Has worked with Impact Theatre, Brendan Croker, The Mekons, The Gang of Four. Performed and recorded with her bands: Sheeny and the Goys, Really, The Sirens. Has released several CDs. Worked in engineering and architecture gaining a Queen's Award to industry. Lives in London.

George Hinchliffe

Founder member and director of the orchestra. Born and grew up in Sheffield. Studied in Leeds. Started playing the ukulele in 1960. Founded the ukes in 1985. Has worked with Michael Nyman, Mary Wells, Brian Eno, The British Youth Choir, Ron Geesin, The Anjaana Asian Music Group of Bradford, Snake Davis and the Alligator Shoes. Was a noteur for Fairground Organs. Writes and arranges for the orchestra, including the original music in "Ukulelescope", and "Dreamspiel". Has recorded several solo CDs. Lives in Kent.

Richie Williams

One of the original members of the orchestra, and also the one of the latest additions to the line up, having had over a decade of absence. "Time off for good behaviour". Born in Bootle. Grew up and studied in Liverpool. Started playing the guitar aged 6. Played at the Cavern Club with Thin Lizzy. Joined the ukes in 1986 and again in 2003. Was a roadie for Frank Zappa and Status Quo. Has worked with Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, Edwin Starr, Ben E King, Snake Davis and the Alligator Shoes. Worked with many other bands including his "Three Men and a Bass". Lives in Dorset.

Dave Suich

The member of the orchestra with the longest hair. Born in Erith, Kent. Grew up in London. Studied in Leeds. Started playing the ukulele in 1980. Joined the ukes in 1985.

Has worked with Rik Mayall, Malcolm Hardy. Also known as "Joe Bazouki", a Glastonbury Festival compere over 20 years. Fronted his own groups including "Friends of the Monster" and "The Missing Puddings", and supported "Screaming Lord Sutch". Has released several solo CDs. Lives in London.

Will Grove-White

The youngest member of the orchestra. Born in London. Grew up in Sheperd's Bush, London. Studied in Manchester. Started playing the ukulele in 1986. Joined the ukes in 1991.

Had to have written permission to take the day off school to appear on TV with the ukes. Has won several Royal TV Society awards for his documenaries. Fronts his own "Will Grove-White and the Others" band. Has released several solo CDs. Lives in London.

Hester Goodman

The member of the orchestra whose ukulele playing father met her piano playing mother at Cecil Sharp house in the 1950s (where the ukes had a residency decades later). Born in Kent. Grew up in Totnes, Devon. Studied in London. Started playing the ukulele in 1980. Joined the ukes in 1990. Has worked with "The Hairy Marys", Charmian Hughes and "Elvenbitch" and appeared on TV as an actress. Won the Totnes Pavement Artist competition aged 8. Wrote original music for the ukes film show: "Ukuklelescope". Has released a solo CD. Lives in Dorset.

Peter Brooke Turner

The tallest member of the orchestra. Born in Lisbon, Portugal. Grew up in the Soviet Union, Brazil, America, Finland and Italy. Started playing the ukulele in 1989. Joined the ukes in 1995.

Has worked with Des O-Connor, Jules Holland, Shaking Stevens and Vic Reeves. Lent his uke to Tiny Tim for a London gig. Usually enters the Eurovision Song Contest. Fronted his own "Ukulele Kings" uke rock group. Has released several solo CDs. Lives in Kent.

Jonty Bankes

The member of the orchestra who in addition to playing the bass ukulele, whistles virtuosically. Born in Branston, Lincolnshire. Grew up Lincolnshire. Started playing the ukulele as a youngster playing George Formby.

Joined the ukes in 1992. Has worked with Ray Davis, John Mayall, Lousiana Red and Chuck Berry. Was a London Bus driver. Plays with his own rock group in Hamburg where he lives. Has appeared on numerous CDs with other artists.

David Bowie

The member of the orchestra who started on flute, graduated to baritone sax, then to electric bass, then to double bass. Born and grew up in London. Started playing the bass in 1977.

Joined the ukes in 1985. Has worked with Martha Reeves, Edwin Starr, Blue (boy band). Is reputed to be more intelligent than a double bass player needs to be. Has released several CDs: The Burden of Paradise, The Alligator Shoes, Really, Maggie Boyle, Steve Tilston. Lives in Leeds.

Leisa Rea

The member of the orchestra who has also trained doctors in the theatre of the patient encounter. Born and grew up in Manchester. Was educated in Wales and Yorkshire. Started playing the ukulele in 1990. Joined the ukes in 2005 as deputy.

Has worked with many comedy greats. Was originally a guitarist. Has appeared in comedy and music shows including Adams and Rea. Lives in London.