IT is nearly 40 years ago that I saw British crooner Matt Monro at a Channel Island cabaret spot.

Jersey’s Watersplash is still on the island’s entertainment map as is the magical Monro music which still gets regular air play on national and local radio.

Forty years on from when I saw his dad I am sat at Eastleigh listening to Matt Monro junior reprising those classic tunes which made his dad a global household name.

The Matt Monro Story is in its fourth and final year. Matt junior’s showbiz career spans more than 30 years and started with him sharing stage with his famous father.

He has devoted his career to singing those Monro songs which made the world sing.

Before stepping onto The Concorde stage Matt told me: “I felt I never really said goodbye to my dad and that’s why I have gone on stage to sing his songs.”

Now that job has been done he has revealed that he is hanging up his microphone and he said: “It is very emotional for me because I shall be retiring after this tour.”

It was 33 years ago that the life of one of the nation’s most popular singers was cruelly snatched away after he lost his brave fight against cancer at the age of 54.

“I am now the same age as when my father died. It is time to move on and open a new chapter in my life,” said young Matt who got married last year.

As he travels the length and breadth of the United Kingdom Matt junior’s swansong has showcased the tunes, which in the words of Frank Sinatra, made the British crooner the singer’s singer.

The treasure trove of hits included the Oscar winning Born Free, Portrait of My Love, From Russia With Love, If I Never Sing Another Song and Softly As I Leave You.

His pride in his dad bursts through in every number he delivers. In his top pocket is the handkerchief that his dad wore throughout his stage career and even his trademark wooden stage stool is part of this nostalgia filled show.

Monro's best showbiz pal was American crooner Sammy Davis Junior and film beamed onto the back of the stage showed him brushing shoulders with a galaxy of stars in the golden age of celebrity.

Matt junior learned his stage craft from the master and clearly inherited his dad’s boyish charm as he mingled with the audience, snatching kisses from ladies who were of an age when Matt Monro was a sixties pop idol.

Brilliant audio visuals, including footage of iconic performances by Matt senior, along with narration by talented singer Danni Bentley, documented the former Cockney bus driver’s route to fame.

It portrayed his rollercoaster career from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the pie and chips cabaret circuit in Northern working men’s clubs.

As I left the club I could hear the Matt Monro fan club humming Portrait of My Love. Those magical Monro sounds will never fade from the musical map.

Duncan Eaton