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Hi Everyone, 

I know it’s been a while since my last newsletter, but, as they say, better late than never. A lot’s happened in the last year and perhaps now is a good time for a quick up-date:

1: Videos and Rob n John’s Day Job.

I’ve been uploading quite a few videos onto YouTube in the last few years and have recently ordered/arranged everything into one channel. Please check it out. (All links on this newsletter open in a new window)

Rob’s YouTube Channel

You’ll find everything here including original songs, Duelling Pianos videos and videos featuring my new group: Rob n John’s Day Job.

R n J’s Day Job is a project designed to showcase new songs using different and interesting videos with the aim of generating interest from TV, radio, record companies and professionals in the entertainment business. In this project I’m joined by the wonderfully talented singer and guitarist, John Mycroft. I’ve known John for many years, going back to the early 90s when he sung on the demo version of my musical: The Garden of Eden. I’ve always loved his voice, admired his professionalism and musicianship and counted him as a good friend.  

As this year is the centenary of the outbreak of WW1, we’ve made our priority project a re-recorded and re-videoed version of ‘The Tipperary Song’. Please check it out and while you’re at it, why not also have a look at our latest offering: Gumboots (The Miner’s Song), a story which takes you down the deepest gold mine in the world.

The Tipperary Song

Gumboots (The Miner’s Song)    

2: Britain’s Got Talent.

Back in 2012 I caught the patriotic British spirit sweeping the nation (The Olympics, The Queen’s Jubilee etc…) and put together an arrangement of some of the famous war movie songs. You remember them… The Great Escape633 Squadron and, of course, The Dam Busters! The Duelling Pianos (Craig Michael and myself) then put together a bit of a crazy but hopefully fun video which we called For Queen and Country.

Early in 2013, the production team at Britain’s Got Talent contacted us and invited us to audition for the competition. Thinking that this was one of the early auditions in front of the junior producers, we turned up in Manchester and were immediately filmed, interviewed, photographed and…well… you name it. Then, to our horror, we found out that we’d completely by-passed all the early auditions and were about to be put straight in front of the famous four: Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden and a huge audience.

With no rehearsal time to really get the live arrangement together, we weren’t at our best, but overall, they seemed to like us finding the idea loads of fun and with a bit of fun and drama, put us through to the next stage. Here’s the audition:

The Duelling Pianos Audition on Britain’s Got Talent

After the audition and with the ‘reveal day’ looming (where the judges knock the final 200 acts down to 48), Craig then decided that he didn’t want to continue in the competition for personal reasons and because he didn’t think it was right for him. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing between the producers and me ensued, and it was eventually decided that I could continue on my own. I went down to London for the ‘reveal day’ to find out that I’d made the live semi-finals. 

The semi-final week in London was great fun and an experience not to be forgotten. With hindsight, I think I shouldn’t have attempted a medley in the 2 minute time-slot allocated and from a talent point of view it probably wasn’t wise to go with the producer’s idea of descending from great heights in a rickety mock-WW1 bi-plane attired in flying helmet, scarf and goggles. But hey… it was great fun… and who else can claim to have done this on prime-time telly! The judges had a bit of fun with me, but it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to get any further.

(I poke a little fun back at them in this video: Rob’s Duelling Pianos / It’s a No From Me.)

Keep in mind that I considered myself quite lucky to even be allowed to stay in the competition once Craig pulled out – they would have had every reason to pull the plug once the act had changed. In a nutshell… great fun, although I would like to try it again with something a bit more serious. Think grand piano, John singing and one of my original songs. To that end, I did submit ‘The Tipperary Song’ for consideration this year, but so far have heard nothing back.

3: Live Work.

I’m still gigging around the UK as Rob Russell with most of my work being on the weekends in clubs and cabaret venues which all helps to pay the mortgage. Although still friends, Craig and I have wound The Duelling Pianos act down and at the moment have no plans for any future work.  

4: ReverbNation.

Rob n John’s Day Job have started a page on the music website: ReverbNation. Here you can hear our songs as they’re recorded, see the videos, look at the pics and catch up on any news. Please check it out and become a fan.

Rob n John’s Day Job on ReverbNation

5: Other Sites

Please keep in touch with me on the following sites.

Rob on Facebook

Rob’s Duelling Pianos on Facebook (A page which carries news about all my musical projects and ideas. Just ‘like’ the page to join in.)

Rob on Twitter (This is the only account I’m using now after quite a few people started following me on it during and after BGT)


Yes I’m still writing fiction, although had to put it on the back-burner last year with the BGT thing. I’m currently busy doing a final check on ‘A Little Town in Africa’ and hope to have it online as an e-book in time for the European/US summer. (I’ll do hard copies of the book if and when I can afford them!) A quick description of the book… a nice feel-good tale set in a hot country – maybe the perfect holiday read? I’ll let you know when it’s available to download on your Kindles, IPods, I-books, tablets, phones, microwave ovens etc.

I’m also working on a new one, a drama/black comedy set in the ‘murky’ world of 70s bands on the Durban beachfront. (Don’t worry, no recognisable names mentioned!)


With the agreement of songwriters George and Graham I’ve recently uploaded 2 of our better videos from the late 80s onto YouTube. You can find them here:

Wozani Videos on YouTube

So that’s it. Hopefully not too long – I’m trying my best to learn to cut to the chase.

All the best and chat again soon,

Your friend,