David Charles agency stag show organizer

David Charles agency


Over the last 40 years or so David Charles has probably been the biggest and best known organiser of stag shows and the like in the South East of England. Over the years he has booked almost every stand out stripper {male and female} in the country and also gave early breaks to many of the countries top stand up comics. I spoke to him about his long career and the business today.Tyke. How did you get into promoting strip shows, did you start out as a conventional agent?

David’s 65th birthday with { left to right} Kim Hobbs, Tanya, Lisa Meredith, Anya, Alison Brown, and Sammy Jessop.

David Charles. No, quite the reverse really. How I got into the business was quite by accident, I was actually a farmer and gave a lift one day to a girl who turned out to be a stripper. I took her to the pub she was appearing in and the people there were so impressed that they said that if I could find others as good they would book through me in future. The girl was young and attractive and a lot of strippers in those days were in their 40s and a bit past it. That was in 1964 and I realised this was a better way to make a living than farming and soon took it up full time.

Tyke. What was the business like then?
David Charles. Strip shows only really started in the 60s and things were quite tame compared to today, a lot of shows were topless only and some still used pasties. I think the stigma of actually being a stripper was greater in those days, these days nobody really cares. Quite often the shows themselves were kept secret, also in those days we normally used a live band, the girls used to come in with their own sheet music !. The comedians in those days hardly swore at all. Things really took off in the late 60s and early 70s as shows became stronger and lots of pubs and sports clubs started featuring stag shows on a regular basis. At peak I used to do 20 shows a week and had about 40 girls working for me full time.

Tyke. Why were you so successful?

David Charles. I think it was partly because the whole market was so busy but also because I developed a reputation of only using good looking girls who could put on a proper show. As my reputation grew I started to book lots of quite famous models which other agents did not have and that helped me get very good work which meant that the best girls all wanted to work for me.

Tyke. How did things change?
David Charles. Over the years it got ruder and ruder. I got charged once for running a show which would be considered tame now but involved some contact with the audience. I have always been careful since and I have never actually done proper blue shows though I do know that after my official show is finished some of the girls do extra stuff which I have nothing to do with.

Business changed


Tyke. How has the level of business changed?

David Charles. The peak was in the 70s, the 80s were still quite busy but by the 90s there was porn on cable TV in the home and lap dancing clubs opening up everywhere plus people going to places like Prague where it’s much more open so the business started to fall away.

Tyke. What’s it like today?

David Charles. Well I’m 69 now so I don’t chase after business anymore and am semi retired but I still do some shows. These days there are a lot less big sports club type shows with a Compare, Comedian, and 2 or 3 girls putting on a proper show but we do quite a few smaller stag type shows for smaller groups of city types in private rooms. In fact these days I probably book more tribute bands and the like than stag show strippers.

Tyke. You have booked some quite famous girls over the years, who were your favourites?

Famous girls who have worked for David include Candy Davies, Linzi Drew, and Tina Shaw

David Charles.Yes, we have had lots of well known page 3 type girls over the years, I don’t really have an all time favourite but each period seemed to have 1 really outstanding girl. In the early 80s Candy Davies who was later in “Are you being served ?” on the telly worked for me for 3 or 4 years. The audience used to burst into a cheer every time she came on stage she was so sexy though she herself could never understand it. Linzi Drew and her husband Ben Dover both worked for me as strippers for several years then there was Tina Shaw, Marie Harper, Lisa Scott, Louise Hodges etc A more recent girl was Sammy Jessop who left to marry a rich bloke {often happens !}and I have also booked Lynsey Dawn MacKensie though unlike the others I found her a pain to work with. On the male stripper side Chico who did so well in the X Factor also worked for me for 8 years and actually did his first singing on stage at one of my shows.

Girls today


Tyke. Are the girls as good today?

David Charles. There are less really outstanding ones who can put on a proper show. Some of the Eastern European girls you get these days will do almost anything on stage but can’t put on a show for an audience of 2 or 300 like the girls used to years ago. We still get requests for Lisa Meredith and Anya who used to do a terrific lesbian act but retired about 10 years ago. I think one of the changes is that adult models or Page 3 girls are not as famous these days and the few that are like say Lucy Pinder either don’t do stripping or keep very quiet about it if they do.

Tyke. What about comedians?

Comedians used include the late Mike Reid and Jim Davidson. X Factor Chico worked as a male stripper for several years.

David Charles. In the old days stag shows were something that every stand up comic used to do to at some point in their career. Nearly all the famous ones worked for me at one time or another , I remember Mike Reid {of Eastenders fame} was originally a coalman who used to stand at the back making notes while watching comics at my shows and then in the end asked to be put on for a few minutes himself at another of my shows. His career started from there. Jim Davidson and the like were similar, these days though there is much less work for the conventional stand up. There are less stag shows, the old working man’s and cabaret clubs are in decline, and the famous comics these days are people like Harry Enfield or Ben Elton who have come up via a completely different route. A lot of the good old style stand ups like Shane Richie and Bradley Walsh have like Mike Read tried their hand at straight acting as the market for a good old style stand up is so limited these days.

Tyke. You have never booked girls into strip pubs or clubs, why is that ?

David Charles. No, those sort of places don’t want to pay the girls and have them rely on jug collections or private dances. I won’t send girls into places where they don’t get paid.

Tyke. How could we use you for a booking?

David Charles. My web site www.davidcharlesent.co.uk has all my contact details.

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Author: Saxon

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