IT is easy to see why Des O’Connor is a national treasure.

He strolled on stage with that trademark twinkle in his eye and opened with a gentle number from the Frank Sinatra song book, Let’s Take It Nice and Easy. He is master when it comes to working an audience and put us at ease with his razor sharp ad-libs.

The 80 year-old entertainer, who this year celebrates 50 years in television, says: “I love concerts. It is when I am on stage that I am at my happiest. I just walk out and be myself.”

That was very evident as he made his Concorde debut in front of a packed house, but if you had gone along to listen to his hits then you might have been disappointed.

For most of his career Des had to put up with wisecracks from Morecambe and Wise about his singing ability, but the veteran crooner, with 36 albums and 16 million record sales to his credit, knows how to deliver a tune.

With his superb band, including his musical director Ray Monk, Des had the audience hand clapping and swaying to his version of Sweet Caroline and New York, New York.

There was also some country and western and a George Harrison classic, along with a nice medley of Buddy Holly tunes. It was certainly a weekend tonic from a star who lived up to his reputation.