Kevin Walsh is the king of karaoke on the London gay scene with nights at the Two Brewers, George and Dragon and Halfway II Heaven, where this Monday (15 Oct) he will be celebrating 20 years of hosting.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I live in a small country village right in the heart of the garden of England, the beautiful Kent countryside, where I’ve lived all my life. I live with my partner of 30 years. We have been married for 26 years and she is the mother to my three beautiful children, one daughter and two sons, along with our cat and dog.
What do you love about working in London?
I have been driving to London since my early 20s, working as a corporate DJ in many top West End hotels. Even though I am a country boy, I am just as at home in London; I love the hustle and bustle, and there is always so much going on.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
Dante’s Inferno in Fulham where I first met Wendy Leston, who a few years later contacted me and asked if I would like to do a Wednesday night at the Retro Bar, which lasted for 10 amazing years.
What makes a great karaoke performance?
I love to give performers a chance to come up onto a professional stage and really try to do the best performance they can. No one enjoys someone that just wants to be a complete idiot, but everyone loves someone that really tries. At the end of the day it’s a show that I am trying to put on and hold together with my singing audience as my guest performers.
What songs do you dread people singing?
I really dread songs that go on forever, especially when the performer doesn’t know it that well.
What was the last theatre show you saw and what did you think of it?
The Lion King and it was outstanding from beginning to end.
I’m not really an extravagant person.
Best gift you have ever received and why?
I don’t really feel that I have received a best gift that has stood out from all of the rest.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
After working in showbiz for 30 years I honestly don’t think it’s happened yet.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
I would love to go back to my late 20s when I was doing so many different things in entertainment. I was a corporate DJ in London West End hotels, a presenter working with radio 210FM, working at the London Palladium, holiday companies, the odd modelling job, walk-on TV work and more. I was all over the place; it was a very exciting time.
What was the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
Honestly I’ve always been too busy hosting parties to actually go to them.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My agent once said to me, “Just do what you do with your act, and if you find yourself not working then you need to work on your act.” Lucky for me I have always been a busy entertainer.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?
I don’t actually follow anyone on social media.
Where in the world would you like to visit?
I lost my mum this year, which left a big hole in my life, but next year I will dust myself off, go out and socialise with family and friends, take great holidays, and catch up on so much that I just haven’t had the time to do in the past few years.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you was younger?
That life wasn’t going to be easy. It’s full of challenges and if you want something bad enough it won’t just come to you, you have to work hard and go and get it.