Regulated by Rics

Oh, Boy! Chance to own suit from world-famous Buddy Holly musical - 31/10/2017

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Right, Clifford Milner in the suit up for auction. Right, Hansons' valuer Sonia Jackson with the fleece also being sold and, below left, suit. Inset, The Big Bopper, J P Richardson.


An outrageous lime green 1950s suit worn in the world’s most successful rock ‘n’ roll musical, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, could be yours.

London-based actor and TV director Clifford Milner, who grew up in Matlock Bath, has donated the suit to the Rotary Club of Church Wilne, near Draycott, to sell at auction and it will go under the hammer in November.

Mr Milner played J P Richardson, known as The Big Bopper, in the show for four years in the 1990s as it toured the country and in London’s West End, where it first opened in 1989.

Since then the show has been seen by 22 million people all over the world, including Broadway, New York, and is still going strong thanks to Buddy’s remarkable music.

If the suit, along with an accompanying Buddy Holly fleece jacket, is successfully sold at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, on December 18, Mr Milner will supply a signed photo of himself wearing the suit to the buyer. The lot has an estimate of £40-£60.

Paul Ramsbottom, secretary of Amber Valley Rotary, said: “Clifford is my son-in-law. He married my daughter, Nicola, 10 years ago. He has always been very supportive of Rotary Club charities.”

Adrian Perkins, president of Church Wilne Rotary Club, said: “The money raised from the sale of the suit will go to the Caanan Trust, a homeless charity in Long Eaton.

“I am also vice-chairman of The Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton and produced a version of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story in September, which raised £10,000 for the many charities Church Wilne Rotary Club supports.

“Clifford came along to the show - which was a big surprise but a very pleasant one. Afterwards, he offered to donate the suit to raise money for the Caanan Trust and we are very grateful.”

The Big Bopper, J P Richardson, was an American musician, songwriter and DJ whose rockabilly style, voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock ‘n’ roll star.

Sadly, on February 3, 1959, he died in a plane crash in Iowa with fellow music stars Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens and pilot Roger Peterson. The accident was famously referred to as ‘The Day the Music Died’ in Don McLean's 1971 song American Pie.

If the famous musical connection isn't reason enough to make you want to own the suit, Mr Milner has appeared in numerous TV shows over the years including Brookside, Drop the Dead Donkey, Poirot, Cold Feet, The Bill, EastEnders, Coronation Street and BAFTA-award winning Middlemarch. He is also a TV director and has worked on BBC series Doctors.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “As a huge fan of Buddy Holly, I am thrilled to be selling this outfit with such wonderful provenance. I am not sure it’s quite right for me to wear on Antiques Road Trip but I am sure a devoted Buddy Holly fan out there will cherish it!”

The generously sized suit – The Big Bopper was big ­– will fit a man who is roughly 6ft 1ins tall and 14 stone.

The Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story suit and jacket will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers on December 18. To find out more, email service@hansonsauctioneers or call 01283 733988.

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