“THERE are very few people who could have made me sing again,” says Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council, who 30 years ago was chosen to star in Les Miserables on the West End stage.

But for one night only, Cllr Greenhalgh will remove the chains of office and take to the stage once again as he joins performers for a evening of music at the Albert Halls to raise money for the mayor’s charities.

The Bolton News:

Cllr Greenhalgh said his big break was wrecked by illness.

He said: “The tragedy for me was I had just got into ‘Les Mis’, it was probably my first big break.

“I had done quite a lot of touring and I was just coming into the West End, and got the part of Grantaire in Les Mis.

“I had just literally started rehearsals and then unfortunately I started to feel ill.”

The Bolton News:

Tests revealed he had end stage renal failure and was admitted to hospital. He returned to London and together with fellow performers started to do comedy cabaret, performing in some of the best hotels in London.

It was as they were getting a show together to take to Edinburgh, Cllr Greenhalgh developed peritonitis four times in as many months and was again forced to ‘break contract’ ­— with one of his fellow performers going on to be part of comedy show League of Gentleman.

He made the decision to leave the stage because of ill-health and family reasons.

He said: “People say ‘why are you not involved in the amateur scene’ and I just decided ‘no’. I just think I have to make a clean break because it would always be there. There are very few people that could have made me sing again. But the mayor Hilary Fairclough ­— we are very close friends ­— asked if I would do it for her charity.

“I love doing it but it’s not a comfortable place for me because all the ‘what ifs’ come back.”

Cllr Greenhalgh said he is performing in a personal capacity.

“It is another life, I can’t even relate that much to it anymore it seems so long ago and the only thing that keeps me attached to it are the friends that I know from those days,” he said.

On Thursday, Cllr Greenhalgh will join 16 other performers, including professional singer Carolina Garcia-Cox.

“We have got a lot of modern stuff, there won’t be many tunes that people won’t know, and those they won’t know are fantastic songs,” said Cllr Greenhalgh. Speaking after his first rehearsal he said: “It felt good, ­— I can’t wait to get in there!”

The Bolton News:

Cllr Fairclough said: “Once again I have been offered the humbling opportunity to raise funds for my chosen charities and I hope people are able to support this wonderful event and the mayoral charities.

“I am very grateful that David has agreed to sing for us and absolutely delighted that Bolton’s newest special event singer, Carolina Garcia Cox, is performing at the show and sponsoring the whole event which is so kind and generous of her.”

The money raised will go to the mayor’s charities.

The event starts at 7.30pm in the Albert Halls. Tickets start from £7.50. To book email mayorsoffice@bolton.gov.uk or call 01204 334159.