‘There’s one indelible memory in my head – the day that changed my life. It was during the Blitz and I was only about ten. Mum said, “Quick, get in the air-raid shelter” and she literally threw my sister and I in and laid over us like a hen with her chicks. Our house had a direct hit and it took four and a half hours to dig us out.
‘When we got out we were just standing there and my father came round the corner on a bicycle he’d borrowed from somewhere. My mother was crying. I remember the skies were red with fires and my mother said to my father, “We’ve lost everything. Everything’s gone.” He said, “No, I’ve just done a head count. We’ve got everything we’ll ever need.” That moment, I think, changed the rest of my life.
Singer and entertainer Des O’Connor in an interview with Daily Mail journalist Rebecca Hardy.