British music icon Shakin’ Stevens has described Marlow as a ‘lovely place to be in.’

The 72-year-old, who has lived in the town for ‘around 10 to 20 years’, spoke to the Free Press as his new anthology, ‘Fire in the Blood’ is due to be released at the end of November.

The collection is to celebrate the musician’s career, which started back in the 1960s, with the box set containing 19 CDs with some of his classics, albums and some hidden gems from years gone by, all put together.

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Speaking to the Free Press, Shaky, whose real name is Michael Barratt, said: “[Marlow] is a lovely place to be in.

“You’re spoiled for shops, restaurants, and if you want go outside of Marlow [for shops and restaurants] you can, as it is all driving distance which is like five minutes away.

“It is a nice community, and we like it very, very much and I moved to Marlow around 10 – 20 years ago, so quite a long time.”

The musician is one of many famous names to be living in the town, with the likes of Ricky Gervais, Steve Backshall, Russell Brand, Tom Kerridge and Ross Kemp to name just a few who reside in or near Marlow.

He continued: “It is good to see people smiling across Marlow.

“You’ve got lots of stuff in Marlow as well as the towns close by, it is all there.

“It is a good placed to live.”

Throughout his career, Shaky has toured all over the planet and has achieved great success in the UK Single Charts.

He has scored 15 top 10 hits, with four of those tracks hitting number one.

His last number one single is most probably his most recognisable yet, as his tune ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’, reached the top of the charts in the festive season of 1985 – 35 years later, the song is still played during the holiday period.

He said: “I believed in the song, I really did.

“I’ve done Christmas tracks before I did, 'Merry Christmas Everyone' and when we did the track and I heard it, I thought it had all the makings to be a perfect Christmas record as the words are there, the tune is there - it was perfect.

“I’ve always wanted a number one at Christmas – I always did because you’ll be in people’s heads.

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“We were going to release it in 1984 but that year, Band Aid release ‘Do They Know Its Christmas’ and you can’t compete with charity like that.

“We knew that was certainly going to be number one, and I really believed that, ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ would be a number one record as did several people at the studio.

“So, we held it back a year.

“Band Aid got to number one and a year a later, ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ then got to number one.

“Otherwise it would have been number two so why throw it away!”

The ‘Fire in the Blood’ anthology will be released on Friday, November 27.

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