IT’S not every day that a Hollywood actor walks into Telegraph Towers in Blackburn, and Richard Shelton — the world’s number one Frank Sinatra interpreter — didn’t disappoint with his iridescent, white smile and effortless cool reminiscent of the legendary bratpacker.
Emmerdale fans may remember Richard as the sexy, but sadly, psychopathic Dr Adam Forsythe married to Steph, played by Lorraine Chase, who met an untimely end when guilt got the better of him and he ended it all in a prison cell.
Richard, 52, performed as Frank Sinatra in the West End’s Rat Pack Confidential. He has also sung for the Royal Family at Windsor, Prince Albert in Monaco and was chosen twice by Elton John to appear at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball.
He’s recently moved to Los Angeles where he’s recorded an album — An Englishman in Love in LA — in Sinatra’s actual studio at Capitol Records, backed by some of the remaining Sinatra musicians and even using his personal mic.
Richard, originally from Wolverhampton, has also appeared as Sinatra in LA with actor Jeff Goldblum on piano.
Come again? Sexy Jurassic Park and The Fly actor Jeff Goldblum?
“Yes, he’s a great pianist. I met Jeff through my actress friend Tracey Bennett who played Judy Garland. Jeff belongs to my gym in West Hollywood. After seeing him perform at a show I introduced myself and he said ‘d’you wanna come and sing?’ He’s absolutely charming, not at all starry, just great fun and so very very tall.”
Although Richard never met Sinatra, he feels connected to the star through a series of serendipitous events.
”I have exactly the same physical dimensions as Frank. I’m also 5ft 8½ inches tall and, having pressed my hands and feet into his prints in Hollywood, I can say that even they are identical to his. I was one of the last people to go into his house just before it was demolished, which was quite eerie. But the most unusual thing is that I recently met a TV producer who told me of a shop selling one of Frank’s old tuxedos. I got round there and tried it on and it was as if it had been tailor-made for me. I bought it. I can’t tell you how much I paid for it, but it’s an investment and heavily insured.”
Richard will be appearing in Sinatra: The Main Event at the Globe Theatre, Blackpool, from tomorrow until September 6. The show re-enacts the greatest