Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North-east drama group pay tribute to David Gest

Post Thumbnail

Tributes have been paid to reality TV star David Gest, the former husband of Liza Minnelli, who was yesterday found dead in a five-star London hotel.

Police and paramedics were called to the luxury Four Seasons Hotel, in Canary Wharf, at around 10.20am and the 62-year-old’s death is being treated as unexplained.

The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant was married to Minnelli from 2002-2003, but they only officially divorced in 2007.

The American personality gained a following in the UK for his appearances on celebrity TV shows, and was known for being a close friend of Michael Jackson.

His memory will burn brightly in the north-east as one of the creative forces behind a musical about Robert Burns, which was transformed into a reality in Moray.

Mr Gest and singer Jackson devised a production based on Scotland’s bard in the 1990s.

But the enterprise suffered some setbacks, and was placed on the shelf until he relocated from Hollywood to London after his marriage to Liza Minelli ended.

Upon deciding to revive the idea, he was put in touch with Tish Tindall, co-owner of the Lossiemouth-based Rock Academy drama school.

Ms Tindall first met Mr Gest in a casino in Leeds in June, 2014.

She said: “He was larger than life, and very confident, but polite as well.”

Later that summer Mr Gest visited Lossiemouth to see how the production was shaping up, and said he felt a “real affinity” with the people there.

He was offered a part as Burns character Tam O’Shanter in the fledgling production, and took the role very seriously.

Ms Tindall added: “I would be walking the dog along the beach at Lossiemouth and David Gest would be phoning asking for advice.”

Ultimately, filming commitments prevented the star from participating in the show.

But Ms Tindall says its growing success will serve as part of his legacy.

She added: “It’s a huge gift to be able to say that you are working on an idea that originally belonged to him and Michael Jackson.

“We will make sure this show goes from strength to strength in honour of the two names that are attached to it.

“I’m heartbroken for his family, he was a true character.”

While in Moray, Mr Gest also opened a family fun day for the Logan’s Fund children’s cancer charity.

Already a subscriber? Sign in