Home Money Singer Jay Aston won Eurovision, but tells ME & MY MONEY: ‘I never made the big bucks in Bucks Fizz’

Singer Jay Aston won Eurovision, but tells ME & MY MONEY: ‘I never made the big bucks in Bucks Fizz’

by Elijah
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Eurovision winner: Jay Aston

Eurovision winner: Jay Aston

Eurovision winner: Jay Aston

Jay Aston, 62, rose to fame as the singer of the pop group Bucks Fizz, which won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, writes York Membery.

Their song, Making Your Mind Up, went straight to number one in the UK and eight other countries.

The quartet went on to have two further hits on the British charts, The Land Of Make Believe and The Camera Never Lies, and sold 50 million records worldwide.

Jay left Bucks Fizz in 1985, but in 2009 he returned with two former bandmates to form The Fizz.

In 2018, Jay, who lives in Westerham, Kent, with her husband, guitarist Dave, and daughter Josie, was diagnosed with mouth cancer but has since made a full recovery.

What did your parents teach you about money?

My dad was a comedian and my mom was a singer and dancer, and they had a double act called Ted Durante and Hilda. They played many cabaret concerts and appeared on The Good Old Days (the BBC light entertainment television program which aired between 1953 and 1983), a record 25 times.

They were in fairly constant demand (Dad was even offered jobs when he was later in a nursing home) but they got more work some months than others, so they taught me the importance of having other issues at play when you’re in Show Business.

Dad always had a property on the go, in addition to our house, which he was renovating or selling to supplement the family income. And like them, over the years I bought several houses that were dilapidated, repaired them, and sold them for a profit. I also have an Airbnb that I rent out.

Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?

Oh yes, especially after leaving Bucks Fizz when I faced litigation. At my lowest point, I was on housing benefit and living in a dormitory in Croydon, surviving on cups of tea. The pandemic was also a difficult time financially: The Fizz had to cancel a series of concerts and for 16 months we had no income, while my husband had to return to teaching.

Have you ever been paid silly money?

I got paid well to play covers with my own band, Aston, at corporate events in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t fool’s money. The Fizz also occasionally perform corporate/private concerts as well as ’80s festivals.

But despite receiving a decent fee for such events, any money we make must be divided between the band members and our support team: a two-person tour team, the duo who handle our merchandise, and our PA. There are nine people in total. Being in show business is not for the financially weak.

What was the best year of your financial life?

People think we coined it during our heyday with Bucks Fizz in the ’80s, but that wasn’t the case.

Our first year’s income was around £7,000 each despite having a couple of multi-million-selling singles (we had a terrible record deal), and we were left with just £1,600 each after doing our first tour. Ironically, we’re making more as The Fizz (a slow and steady amount) than we made at Bucks Fizz, but I can’t think of any standout years where money was made.

What is the most expensive thing you have bought for fun?

A black winter coat from Canada Goose, which was on sale but still £700. I bought it a couple of months ago because I’m feeling the cold. It’s very easy to catch a cold when you’re rehearsing in a drafty room and if you catch a cold in my shop, while you’re on tour, then you’ve already had it. My Canada Goose coat may be the most expensive item of clothing I’ve ever bought, but it’s great at keeping me warm, so it was worth every penny.

They can bury me in it because it will last forever!

What is your biggest money mistake?

Probably leaving Bucks Fizz. I shouldn’t have left, but I was hospitalized for my back injuries and was in pain after a bus accident in 1984 that left my bandmate Mike Nolan in a coma.

I probably made the decision to quit smoking when I hadn’t fully recovered. A series of lawsuits were subsequently brought against me for allegedly breaking my contract and, despite winning all the cases which were not settled out of court, I had to sell my house in West Kensington to pay my £400,000 in legal fees. . That house is probably worth a few million pounds now, so he would have had a very different life if he hadn’t left the band.

1708822692 863 Singer Jay Aston won Eurovision but tells ME MY

1708822692 863 Singer Jay Aston won Eurovision but tells ME MY

Return: Jay, top right, with Bucks Fizz in 1984 and more with Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan

Return: Jay, top right, with Bucks Fizz in 1984 and more with Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan

Return: Jay, top right, with Bucks Fizz in 1984 and more with Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan

Best money decision you’ve ever made?

It’s a change between my five property purchases and joining The Fizz. I seem to have the ability to spot a property and know that it will increase in value, and I have made money everywhere I have bought. My husband Dave has also become very good at DIY and learned how to renovate a property, although he couldn’t even fit a shelf when I met him.

Do you have a pension?

I cashed in on a small private pension I had just before Covid because I needed the money, so I’ll only get the state pension when I retire at 67. The only thing I’ve made money from is property.

Do you have any property?

Yes, a six-bedroom detached house set on seven acres near Westerham in Kent that my mum and dad bought for £12,500 in 1976 but pretty much rebuilt.

I bought the property from my brother after our parents died, and Dave, Josie and I have lived there for the past 15 years. We have spent at least £100,000 building an extension and it is now worth around £1.5 million.

If you were chancellor, what would you do?

Oh my gosh, I would love that job. I would increase the tax threshold (currently £12,570) to approximately £18,000. I don’t think people should have to pay taxes if their income is less than that amount, given how much the cost of living has risen in recent years and how difficult it is for young people to move up the property ladder.

What is your number one financial priority?

To pay off my mortgage. I’m getting to that point: we had to remortgage the house to build our extension, but it will take a few years.

  • Jay’s solo releases, I Spy and Alive & Well, are available now across all digital platforms. The Fizz (formerly Bucks Fizz) will play London’s Indigo 02 on June 28. the02.co.uk

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