Tom O’Connor – Comedian, Quiz Host, Author and After-Dinner Speaker.
Tom O’Connor has become a household name through the realms of television, hosting his own shows Tom O’ Connor, Wednesday At Eight, Night Out At The London Casino, London Night Out, The Tom O’Connor Show and The Tom O’Connor Roadshow. He has emerged as one of the most popular entertainers in the country and one of Britain’s funniest comedians.
Not only that, Tom O’Connor has carved a fine reputation for himself as a most accomplished quiz and game show host with no less than eight successful series to his credit including:
- Name That Tune
- I’ve Got A Secrets
- A Question Of Entertainment
- That’s News To Me
- Cross Wits
Tom O’Connor was born in Bootle, Merseyside. His father was a docker and it was in Liverpool that Tom became a schoolmaster. Whilst working as a maths teacher and assistant headmaster at St Joan of Arc School in Bootle he developed his unique comedy routines.
In actual fact, the school’s headmaster had a lot to do with the progress of Tom’s career in comedy. When his pupils showed very little interest in the academic side of mathematics, the headmaster told him, ‘Never mind the algebra and logarithms – just remember you are saving souls’ It had a great effect, for Tom found a distinctive way of teaching his subject and communicating with his charges. ‘The only way I could think of getting through to them was to tell jokes’, says Tom. ‘It worked a treat…and that’s really how the comedy all started.’
Tom actually started his showbusiness career as a singer and would have been quite happy doing that but he soon found out that comedians got paid more money than singers so he gradually introduced comedy into his act and concentrated on talking to the audience about people, and observing life.
For several years Tom O’Connor lived a double life – teaching his pupils by day and entertaining club audiences by night. His reputation spread throughout showbusiness and it soon became obvious that he would have to make a decision about his future career.
‘I was working very late at night, sometimes getting home at three or four o’ clock in the morning’, says Tom. ‘I had to be up at seven for school. So I had to decide whether to give up teaching in order to concentrate on a full – time showbusiness career… or forget the entertainment industry altogether in favour of school. Actually it wasn’t much of a gamble to take, for when I had twelve months engagements in my diary, I took the plunge’
In 1974, Tom hung up his cap and gown for good to become a professional entertainer. He hasn’t looked back since. Tom’s success, however, has not just been confined to television. In cabaret he starred at every major night – spot in the country, and headlined his own summer season shows in the country’ s top resorts. His work has taken him to most English speaking countries including America where he featured at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.
Tom O’Connor is in constant demand for corporate functions both here and abroad and his client’s list includes many multi-national companies where his ability to mix with and relate to people from every station in life from the M.D. to the tea lady coupled with his hilarious and scrupulously clean material has placed him firmly at the top of the Premier division of after – dinner speakers.
No mean golfer, Tom took the literary world by surprise in 1992 when his first humorous golf book, From The Wood To The Tees made the best seller’s list. Subsequent successful books include One Flew Over The Clubhouse, Take A Funny Turn, Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You and Eat Like A Horse… Drink Like A Fish.