Des O'Connor was born in East London in 1932 and after a childhood in Northampton after being evacuated during the Second World War and being drafted in for National Service, Des has gone on to become one of Britain's best-known light entertainers. Des received his first UK television show The Des O'Connor Show in 1963 and has been on mainstream TV ever since, with talk and game shows including Take Your Pick and Today With Des And Mel. In addition to his extensive TV work he has had a successful career as a recording artist. He has recorded 35 albums so far, had multiple number one singles including I Pretend and sold over 16 million albums, spending a total of 117 weeks in the charts. In 2001 he received the Special Recognition Award at the National TV Awards and his autobiography Bananas Can't Fly was published the same year. He was also awarded a CBE in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to Entertainment and Broadcasting.