Are You Being Served? actor and 1960s singer Mike Berry has said he auditioned for The Voice because he is “singing better now” than during his heyday.

He is the latest familiar face to audition before the all-star line-up of coaches: US artist will.i.am, Boy George, Ricky Wilson and Paloma Faith.

Mike, 73, was signed by British producer Joe Meek and enjoyed a top 30 hit with “A Tribute To Buddy Holly” in 1961.

Mike Berry on The Voice

Mike Berry on The Voice (Guy Levy/Wall To Wall/BBC)


“I was still working in a piano shop in east London earing six quid a week and I remember walking up the road reading a music paper and I was in the hit parade,” he said on the BBC1 talent show.

“I toured with the Rolling Stones in 1964. It was absolute magic,” Mike said.

After a move to acting, he played Mr Peters, father to the two children in Jon Pertwee’s Worzel Gummidge.

During this period, he had a top 10 hit with “The Sunshine Of Your Smile”, produced by his friend Charles Hodges of Chas & Dave fame.

In 1981, Mike landed the role for which he remains best known – Mr Spooner in Are You Being Served? He remained on the BBC sitcom until it ended in 1985.

Chas convinced Mike to try out for The Voice, and the 72-year-old musician is seen on screen accompanying the comedy actor to his audition.

Mike, a father of two, said: “I may be a granddad, but I’m singing better now than I ever did. This is me on my own singing for four very good singers so it’s terrifying.”

Viewers will have to wait to find out whether he impressed the coaches with his rendition of Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways”.

Paul Phoenix is another contestant hoping the talent series can give him one more crack at fame.

Formerly a member of Love City Groove, the pop group represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 with their self-titled top 10 hit.

They finished in 10th place with 76 points. Paul took a break from the music industry after a brain haemorrhage in 2002.

Find out if they made any of the coaches spin round in The Voice, on BBC1 tonight, 7.15pm.