Jay Hilda Aston (born 4 May 1961 in Purley, Surrey) is an English singer and occasional songwriter. She was a member of the British pop group Bucks Fizz from 1981 to 1985. She was the youngest member of the group's original line-up, aged 19 when they won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest. During Aston's membership, the group had 12 of their 13 UK top 40 hit singles, including three number one hits. Since 2009, she has performed alongside fellow original Bucks Fizz members Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan. The group used to perform under the name the Original Bucks Fizz but are now known as the Fizz.
|Birth name||Jay Hilda Aston|
|Born||4 May 1961|
Purley, Greater London, England
|Associated acts||Bucks Fizz|
Aston was born in Purley, Surrey, and came from a theatrical family. Her father was a comedian, while her mother had been a dancer before becoming her husband's straight man. They also performed as acrobats. Her brother Lance performed at the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest with the band Prima Donna. Aston herself trained as a dancer, singer and actress at the Italia Conti School of Speech and Drama and performed on stage many times in her teens, mainly as a dancer. She was named "Miss Purley" in 1978 and competed in the subsequent Miss England contest, in which she was unplaced. The interval act at the televised Miss England 1978 competition was the group Co-Co, who had just been selected to represent Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 and featured Cheryl Baker in the line-up.
Aston was, along with Baker, one of the four members of Bucks Fizz when they were formed in 1981 to compete in that year's Eurovision Song Contest. They won with "Making Your Mind Up"; the song went to number one in many countries, including the United Kingdom. The group went on to become one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s, scoring many hit singles and albums over the next few years, including two more British number ones: "The Land of Make Believe" and "My Camera Never Lies". Aston designed many of the group's stage outfits. In 1983 she performed the lead vocal on the song "When We Were Young", which went on to become one of the group's biggest hits.
Aston became known for her love of physical exercise, and released a keep-fit album in early 1984 called Shape Up and Dance. She was the victim of an attack while out jogging,[when?] but fought off the attacker and recovered from the incident.
In December 1984, while on tour, Bucks Fizz were involved in a tour coach crash, in which Nolan was seriously injured. By this time, tensions within the group had risen to the point that Aston was eager to leave, but was still under contract. However, the following year, she left the group in acrimonious circumstances. Aston became the subject of many newspaper headlines on her sudden departure where it emerged that she had had an affair with the group's producer, Andy Hill, who was also the husband of Bucks Fizz creator Nichola Martin. The group's management company took Aston to court under the terms of her contract, but later agreed to release her. However, an injunction was placed on her against commencing a solo career, which took two years to settle and resulted in her selling her Kensington home. In addition, all eight cases were settled out of court after the case was investigated by the attorney general.
After Bucks Fizz
Forced to sell her house, Aston was living in a small bedsit in Croydon on housing benefits in the early 1990s. Her brother had married Shakespear's Sister star Marcella Detroit who encouraged her to record new songs. In 1993 Aston released a single, "Naked Phoenix", and recorded an album of songs. This same year she contributed a song to the controversial Michael Winner film Dirty Weekend, although Aston walked out of the film's premiere in disgust. By 1995 she was living with her parents but was still writing and recording music. Around this time she met and began dating guitarist Dave Colquhoun, whom she married in 1999. During the latter part of the 1990s and early 2000s, Aston toured with her band Aston, performing rock and pop tracks, many of which she wrote herself. In 2002 she was involved in a cover band called Monster Boogie, and she also appeared in an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks as one of the mystery guests in the identity parade round. The following year she released an album, Alive and Well, featuring 13 tracks, all of which she co-wrote with her husband.
The glory years of Bucks Fizz, mainly focusing on Aston, were portrayed in 2005 in a drag lip-synch show, Night of a Thousand Jay Astons, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after its début in London. Aston was played by one female and three male performers. The life of Aston was told through an outrageous parody, and was described in review as "hilariously over the top". The show has also been staged at other venues, including the Comedy Theatre in Dublin in May 2006 and the Soho Theatre in London in summer 2007.
In March 2007, she appeared in the Comic Relief video "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" a comic cover version of the Proclaimers song, dancing with the other three original members of Bucks Fizz, and also Shelley Preston, who had replaced Aston in the group in 1985. This was the first time that Aston had met the group since 1985. She said that relations between them had improved, but not the extent that could work together as a group again: "I'm kind of on good terms with all of them individually. But as a band, it just doesn't work, and it's a shame, but it doesn't. There's always been two camps – Cheryl's camp and Bobby's camp, and I was the one in Bobby's camp, and Mike was always in Cheryl's camp."
A new Bucks Fizz CD with a bonus DVD, The Very Best of Bucks Fizz, was released in May 2007. Aston appeared alone on the National Lottery to promote the album. In August 2008, Aston once again joined up with Bucks Fizz members Mike Nolan, Cheryl Baker and Shelley Preston, when she appeared on a television show celebrating 1980s acts – with one episode devoted to the reuniting of Bucks Fizz. This programme was shown on Living TV in March 2009.
In May 2013, Aston appeared on the second series of UK singing talent show The Voice, singing Muse's ""Time is Running Out"", but was not chosen by any of the judges. Aside from her duties in the Fizz, Aston has also appeared in pantomime a number of times. In 2019 She appeared as the Wicked Step Mother in Snow White at the Queens Theatre Barnstaple.
In 2004, Bucks Fizz members Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Shelley Preston reunited to form the Original Bucks Fizz and performed in concert throughout the UK. In April 2009, Preston announced that she was leaving the group and Aston agreed to join – the first time she had been a part of Bucks Fizz since 1985. Since then, they have toured the UK extensively and have released three albums to date, one of them, The F–Z of Pop, becoming a top 30 hit in the UK Charts. They currently perform under the name the Fizz.
Before Bucks Fizz, Aston had ambitions to become an actress, but her career in this field encompassed only minor roles in To the Manor Born and Citizen Smith. In 2008, Aston was cast as Claudia Brite in the film The Last Days of Edgar Harding which was shot in August 2008 and screened in 2010. The film has never seen a mainstream release.
Aston married guitarist Dave Colquhoun in August 1999 in Greenwich, London. They have a daughter, Josie Alexandra (born 2003, Bromley, Greater London). In 2011 they lived in Tatsfield, Surrey. Aston's mother Hilda died in 2007, while her father Ted died in 2009. Aston continues to teach dance and performance at her performing arts school in Kent. She was diagnosed with mouth cancer in June 2018. Since then, she has had surgery, and the outlook is said to be "positive". In January 2021, Aston announced that she had been diagnosed with Covid-19 but was recovering.
On 27 August 2019, the Brexit Party announced that Aston would be standing as its candidate in the London constituency of Kensington, at the time held by the Labour Party. She came fifth after receiving 384 votes (0.9%).
- Solo albums
- 1984: Shape Up and Dance
- 1993: Lamb or Lizard (briefly sold on Aston's website)
- 2003: Alive and Well
- 2006: Lamb or Lizard (3-CD retrospective)
- 2016: I-Spy
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. p. 2942. ISBN 9780857125958. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "Bucks Fizz – the Band". BBC. 3 July 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
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- Fawcett, Sally-Ann. Mis-3-Meanours – Second Runner Up. Lulu.com 2 October 2017. ISBN 978-0244936808. Page 171
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- Archived 1 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Lamb or Lizard CD sleeve notes by Jay Aston, 2006". Raffem. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Alive and Well review". Musical Discoveries. 19 April 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "Night of a Thousand Jay Astons". Broadway Baby. 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- Scott, Darren (25 August 2005). "A Night of a Thousand Jay Astons". Edinburgh Evening News. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "A Night of a Thousand Jay Astons (Irish Premiere) Camp Attack!: Eurovision Double Bill". Gay Theatre, Ireland. 2006. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- Rampton, James (28 July 2007). "Jonny Woo's Night of a Thousand Jay Astons". The Independent. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "the last word". Positive Nation. No. 126. October 2006. Archived from the original on 17 August 2007.
- Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Bucks Fizz in panto". pantoarchive. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- "Anne Carlini – Exclusive Magazine". www.annecarlini.com. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- "FIZZ | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- "The Last Days of Edgar Harding – Cast". Digital Ghost Films. 2008. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
- David Patton. "www.jay-aston.co.uk". www.jay-aston.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Ex-Bucks Fizz star's window shot". Daily Mirror. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "School Info". 220.127.116.11. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Bucks Fizz star has mouth cancer". BBC News. 26 June 2018.
- Savage, Mark (12 July 2018). "Bucks Fizz star 'positive' after surgery". BBC News.
- "Jay Aston says 'progress is slow' amid Covid-19 battle". 19 January 2021. Cite journal requires
- "Bucks Fizz singer to stand as Brexit Party MP". BBC News. 27 August 2019.
- "UK: Bucks Fizz singer Jay Aston fails to get elected for the Brexit Party in general election". wiwibloggs. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Kensington parliamentary constituency - Election 2019 - BBC News". Retrieved 7 March 2021.
- "Jay Aston discography". Raffem. Retrieved 31 May 2012.