Born Michael Scheur, 6 August 1940, Paddington, London, England

Mike Sarne was born in Paddington, but moved back to the family home in Czechoslovakia soon after the war to retrieve some of their property. During the following years he learnt to speak fluent Czech, German and French and then returned to England at the age of 18 to enter London University. Being a brillant linguist, Mike was soon speaking fluent Russian, Italian and Spanish. His multilingual skills would not only serve him later as an actor but also brought him into the music industry. Sarne was responsible for providing the phonetic transcriptions that were used to guide such singers as Adam Faith, Billy Fury and John Leyton in cutting German versions of their hits for that market. Sarne, who also played guitar and sang, was signed by Leyton's manager, Robert Stigwood. His first record, for Parlophone in 1962, was an immediate # 1 in the UK. Few people on hearing 'Come Outside' would have believed that the 'cockney lad' singing it was an expert in Russian. This first disc featured the voice - though not the singing - of 15-year old Wendy Richard, who would later become a familiar TV actress (Are You Being Served?, Eastenders). Mike's second disc 'Will I What' (which peaked at # 18) featured another girl, Billie Davis. She was on her way to become a pop star in her own right when she was involved in a serious car accident with her then-boyfriend, Jet Harris, in September 1963. Mike's attempts to repeat his success using the same cockney novelty formula gradually grew less successful, but he squeezed four chart appearances from it, staying in the public eye for just about one year. Even a change of accent and the addition of another girl - this time (Liverpudlian Vernons Girl) Margo't Quantrell - on the supposedly Beatles sounding 'Hello Lover Boy' didn't help. Although he would appear on records again, he turned his career towards the stage and films. With rather less hair than he had in his youth, Mike Sarne still appears occasionally in TV acting roles, particularly those requiring language or dialect skills. He has also appeared in and directed several moving pictures since ceasing to be a pop star.

CD: Come Outside With Mike Sarne (RPM, 2002, 28 tracks).

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