Cliff's Guest-Appearance on the BBC 'Talk Wales' Web-site

At between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the evening of 20th July 2000, Cliff was the 'Special Guest' on the BBC's 'Talk Wales - Live-chat' Web-site. Surfers were invited to access the site at that time and 'chat live' with Cliff (alternatively, questions could be sent in beforehand for Cliff's response). Here is a full transcript of that session.

BBC Host:
Cliff is now ready to start answering your questions. Here's the first question. Because of his advanced multiple sclerosis, Cliff's wife Pat will be answering on his behalf.

Chris Spedding:
Sorry I'm unable to join in with tonight's chat - I'll be on a plane over the Atlantic. Say hello to Cliff for me. It must be 25 years since we worked together.

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Cliff's sending his best wishes and to remind you that you owe him a fiver!

neil hall:
hi, has any of your songs been at no 1?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No. The highest single was Gaye - it went to no. 8 in the chart.

Toshiaki Nomura:
Hello from Japan. It's great to have an opportunity to contact you. I am a huge fan of Chris Spedding and you hired him on an album "No More Rock'n'Roll" in the mid '70s. I have this album and love it. What do you remember from the recording session?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Cliff enjoyed working with Chris and remembers it with great affection.

Laurence Watterson:
Would you consider having Home Thoughts from Abroad re-released?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
It would be down to the record company. It's out of our hands. The song is still available - titled Gaye And Other Stories.

Cat Thornton:
Did you always want to be a singer and, if so, was it frustrating when you were working in the school?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
His first love is song writing. Singing is the best way of putting them across.

Howard Coleman:
Hi Cliff. Did you receive the framed words to "A Day To Myself" which I sent you as a small pressie for your birthday? Did it arrive in one piece and is it still your own personal favourite song of yours? And why why why has nobody else recorded it? Probably couldn't do it justice!

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, we received it and it's in one piece and has pride of place in Cliff's studio. An Irish singer, Colm Wilkinson will be recording it in the near future.

Don Woods:
I would love to know which one of your own songs is your favourite, and which song is your wife Pat's favourite. Thank you for years of wonderful music

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Cliff's answer - it hasn't been written yet. Pat - can't decide. They're all beautiful.

Mick Armitage:
I have always particularly loved your song 'Water', and admire the way you have expressed your feelings to your own situation in it. But I have always been curious about the last line - what did you mean when you said 'and it's all water' - a very important line, obviously, since you actually titled the song 'Water'?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
It was written shortly after Cliff was diagnosed with MS. We will never, ever know.

Mick Armitage:
Regarding your studio recording 'Supper In Boston' - the studio re-creation of a 'live' performance in America. Was this based on a purely fictional event (I'm not sure I've worded that too well), or was it an attempt to accurately re-create one of the actual live performances you gave over there?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, the latter. It was an attempt to accurately re-create one of the actual live performances you gave over there.

Mick Armitage:
I'd like to say 'thanks' Cliff, for the many hundreds of hours pleasure I have gained from listening to your music, and to state my one regret - that I never got the chance to see you perform live.

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Thanks for all your support. You've done a lot of work on Cliff's behalf. I know you'll never see Cliff perform live but you've still got the music.

Jen Stewart:
What were your influences when you started out recording?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Soul music, rock & roll and later, motown, and black American music.

Huw:
How has MS affected you and your family?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
A very difficult condition for everyone to have to live with. Frustrating for Cliff and myself and impossible to answer in a few lines.

Howard Coleman:
Are there still new songs in your head and are there any more modern songwriters that you admire today?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, I'm sure there must be because of the disability of MS - not able to use the keyboard and a pen and paper but hopefully things might improve. Clifford T Ward, Chris Rea, Sting, Randy Newman, Bet Nielsen Chapman.

William:
Have you ever met Randy Newman?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No, unfortunately, but I'd love to.

Howard Coleman:
Have you ever been stung by Sting?! And if not would you like to be?!

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes and no.

Terry:
Did you have a favourite band in the '70s?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
I honestly can't say. We both liked Carol King and James Taylor.

Jess:
Cliff Richard speaks very highly of you - have you ever met him and if so, was he a nice person?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, we did meet him. Cliff was doing a TV broadcast in Belfast about 5 years ago and Cliff Richard was staying at the same hotel and we had breakfast with him. He was really, really nice. He was saying how honoured he was to meet Cliff. Cliff Richard helped my Cliff into the taxi to go the airport.

Howard Coleman:
Pat, do you play a lot of Cliff's music in the house ? Or have you heard it all so much. I never get tired of it and often find new sounds or meanings when I listen.

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, I do, quite often and never get tired of listening. BBC Host Don't forget to read the brilliant biography of Cliff, Bittersweet.

Graham Lattimore:
hi

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Hello Graham.

Harry:
Does it please you that so many people feel touched by your music?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes. Cliff's always amazed on how people respond to his songs. There's always a story about an event in someone's lives when a song becomes something special. We've even had people write that they've named their child after one of Cliff's songs.

Simon:
What - or who - was Gaye about?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Gaye is an entirely fictional character. No one specific - composite girl.

Gwyn:
We're unlikely to hear your music on Radio 1 these days - but do you get much airplay in other countries these days?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes, on BBC Radio 2 and in Ireland as well.

Howard Coleman:
The Bittersweet biography was fascinating reading. I couldn't put it down. It seemed to pull no punches. Do you both agree it was an accurate account of past and present?

Alan:
How pleased are you with the biography? Did Dave Cartwright do you justice?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes. We were overjoyed with it and it was extremely accurate.

BBC Host:
If you haven't already read it, Cliff T Ward does have a biography published entitled "Bittersweet". Dave Cartwright is the author.

Graham:
Your songs are often incredibly personal. Do you ever find them difficult to listen to?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No, once they're written, they're not difficult to listen to.

Alan:
Are there any unreleased tracks hidden away in the vaults that we haven't heard yet?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes. At the moment someone's here now going through Cliff's songs in the studio copying all the tapes onto DAT. New unheard songs are being discovered. So watch this space!

Gwyn:
Harry Enfield was heard singing your praises on Radio One a while ago - have you met him?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No. We haven't met him.

Natalie:
Excellent news about the unreleased songs, does this mean that we can expect a new release soon?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
A new album was released a few months ago titled Ways Of Love. There is enough material for the release of another album.

Bet:
How do you feel about artists such as Art Garfunkle taking inspiration from your music?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Cliff is entirely flattered when somebody like Art Garfunkle does a cover version.

Billie Goodman:
Why did you choose not to be in the limelight when you started releasing records?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Cliff always preferred to work in the studios. He really didn't choose not to be in the limelight.

Holly:
Do you have any regrets about your career?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
The main regret is that it was cut short because of MS.

Gwyn:
Do you get many visits from fans?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
A few. We do have a convention every year when fans meet and music is played.. This year's convention is on 1st October and it's at the Gainsborough Hotel in Kiddeminster.

Georgia:
When you wrote Gaye, did you think it would be such a big hit?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No. Cliff didn't want it to be a single when it was released. It was the record company's choice.

Gwyn:
Have any of your children gone into the music business?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
One son plays the drums.

Don Woods:
is there a venue set yet for the convention in ireland ?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes. It's on 5th of November but the location hasn't been decided as yet.

Howard Coleman:
When you listen to some of your recorded songs now, do you often wished you'd changed a lyric here or added a different sound there?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No. We wouldn't want to change anything. Once it's written, it's written.

Jeff:
Did you have any other ambitions when you were a child?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
To act.

Eric Fisher:
Why wasn't Home Thoughts released as an a-side single?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
There's a complicated answer to this one - it was out of our control.

Angela:
Have you written many songs linked your illness?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Just the one - Water.

Don Woods:
Can we get any of your albums on CD apart from `Pieces, Homethoughts, Singer and the compilations?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes. There's Hidden Treasures, Bitter Sweet, The Ways of Love and Cliff's first album Singer Songwriter.

Howard Coleman:
Your song "All Modern Conveniences" - was it about anyone you knew in particular?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Yes - about an old lady that Pat's mum and dad knew and we used to go and visit her.

Chris:
I've been to the last few fan conventions, and I'm really looking forward to the next one. Can we expect to hear any of the 'new' songs there?

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
No, I don't think so. I'm sitting on those for a while.

Howard Coleman:
Before you both go, I would just like to thank you again for the many hours of pleasure your words and music has given me, and I'm sure, many others over the past 20 to 30 years. Peace to you both.

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Thank you Howard. That's very nice.

BBC Host:
There's an appreciation society through which you further information about Clifford T Ward. Email talkwales@bbc.co.uk and we'll send you the details.

BBC Host:
Just time for one more comment ...

samuel fitzsimmons:
best wishes to both you and pat

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
Thank you Samuel.

BBC Host:
That is all we have time for. Here's Pat with a final word ...

Pat on behalf of Clifford T Ward:
I've been very surprised about the response. Thank you to everyone that's visited the site tonight. Thank you for your kindness and going to the trouble of getting in touch.

 

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