Obituary: Hampstead and Kilburn election candidate and Eurovision star Ronnie Carroll remembered
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Former Eurovision contestant Ronnie Carroll has died days after launching his final election campaign to stand as a candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn.
The 1960s singing star, who twice represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, died on Monday at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, aged 80.
Mr Carroll’s friend “Rainbow” George Weiss had only recently handed in his nomination papers to stand as the “Euro-Visionary” candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn.
Despite his death, voters will still be able to put a cross by the Northern Irish singer’s name on May 7 because of a loophole in the electoral system.
Mr Carroll’s close friend Rebecca Miller-Cheevers, 47, of Westbourne Park, remembered: “He was just one of the funniest people, there will never be anyone like him. I flipped burgers with him in Camden Market, and then the next minute we’d be in New York sitting at a top table, but it didn’t matter where we were: he was the same wherever.”
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Mr Carroll, who lived off Prince of Wales Road in Chalk Farm, was born Ronald Cleghorn in Belfast in 1934. He moved to London aged 19.
He went on to twice represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, coming fourth in both 1962 and 1963 with hits Ring-A-Ding Girl and Say Wonderful Things.
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His best known track, a cover of Roses Are Red (My Love), climbed to number three in the charts in 1962.
He was married at one stage to That Was The Week That Was star Millicent Martin, but the couple divorced after six years in 1965.
He later married 100m runner June Paul and Glenda Kentridge, the daughter of a South African nightclub owner, but both marriages ended in divorce.
In later life, Mr Carroll was known for his eccentric forays into politics with Mr Weiss and his Hampstead neighbour, the satirist Peter Cook, as his right-hand men.
His first attempt came in 1997 as a candidate for the Emerald Rainbow Islands Dream Ticket party in Hampstead and Highgate. But his great ambition to enter the record books as the candidate to poll the fewest votes failed, as he garnered 141 votes – far above the fewest ever recorded.
He later tried to bring in no votes as a candidate in the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election. But, to his frustration, he still received 29 votes.
Mr Carroll is survived by his four children: Luke, Jamie, Chloe and Harry.