Did Elvis set foot on English soil after all? Theatre producer Bill Kenwright yesterday claimed the rocker went sightseeing with Cockney singer Tommy Steele during a trip that took in the Houses of Parliament. It has always been thought the nearest Elvis came to visiting England was a brief 1960 stopover at Prestwick airport in Scotland on his way home from his army base in Germany.
But 62-year-old Kenwright insisted the US legend arrived here in the mid-50s for his trip around the capital and even sparked up a long-standing friendship with Tommy. He told Radio 2's Ken Bruce: "Shall I tell you a little story I know and you don't know and nobody knows? "Elvis came to England. Nobody thinks he did and I hope Tommy doesn't go mad when I tell you.
"Tommy got a phone call one night. It said: 'They tell me you're good' and Tommy replied: 'Who's this?' "The caller said: 'It's Elvis,' and Tommy said: 'Get outta here.' And Elvis said: 'Are you as good as me?' "And they talked and they got a friendship. Elvis flew in for a day. And Tommy showed him round London. "He showed him the Houses of Parliament and spent the day with him." After the show Kenwright, who works closely with Tommy, 71, confirmed the story. He added: "I've known Tommy for years, he's done several shows for me. I often see him and we meet up for dinner. "Whenever I see him I beg him to tell me stories about Buddy Holly and Elvis. "He told me one about Elvis. One night when Tommy was about 17 or 18, he got a phone call and it was Elvis on the phone from Germany where he was stationed. "He couldn't believe it but in the end the two struck up a friendship. "They spent the day in London together. I think it's fantastic."
A spokesman for Elvis's Graceland estate said: "To the best of our knowledge there was only the one stopover at Scotland. "We are researching our archives. There are some un-documented areas of Elvis's life." Tommy had been billed as Britain's answer to Elvis.
Ayr Advertiser journalist and reporter Charlie Bingham, who cwho reported on Elvis Presley’s Prestwick touchdown, died April 4, 2008. He joined the Advertiser in 1955 and reported on a host of exciting stories, including Elvis’ only visit to Britain in 1960, after working briefly at the Prestwick News.
Update April 24:
On the EIN website Marty Lacker commented: Tommy Steele's claim that Elvis contacted him and spent a day in London with him is total bullshit.
It seems Steele is just another person who has come out of the woodwork since Elvis died that has made false claims about themselves and Elvis. They think because he's gone they can get away with it but they forget the that we, the original guys who were close to him for 20 years and more, are still here. At least one of us and most times more, were with him just about everyday for all that time. Many days 24/7. We know what he did and who he did it with. Tommy Steele was never with Elvis in London because Elvis was never in London. The only time Elvis was in any part of Great Britain is when his army plane made a brief landing to refuel in Prestwick, Scotland on his way home from the army in Germany.
Who Steele did meet is Lamar Fike, who says that he went to London back then while he was in Germany with Elvis. He went with a couple of guys and met Steele as part of a group. He spent a few hours with him and the others but he never went to Parliment as Steele claims or any other sightseeing tour with him.
Tommy Steel Confirms the visit:
Former rocker Tommy Steele has confirmed that he took Elvis Presley on a secret tour of London in 1958. In a note given to the Daily Mail, Steele said that he sworn “never to divulge publicly" any information about Presley’s visit.
"I can only hope he [Presley] can forgive me,” Steele added. "It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable."
Previously it was believed that Elvis had only visited the United Kingdom once in his lifetime during a stop-over at Prestwick Airport en route to America in 1960. Steele’s secret was revealed earlier this week by theatre producer Bill Kenwright who made the revelation during an interview with BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce. According to Kenwright, Steele told him that Elvis had taken in the Houses of Parliament on his tour.
Source: Various / Updated: Apr 22, 2008