For the past fifty years Skellern has bucked the trends and defied the prevailing musical fashions to sustain an endearing reputation for evocative melodies, infused with a gentle romanticism.
His wholly idiosyncratic musical vision has encompassed everything from brass bands to the classics of Fred Astaire, from television mini musicals and theme tunes to the humour of Frank Crummett.
Peter Skellern was born in Bury, Lancashire in 1947. He studied the piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating as a concert pianist in 1968. In 1972, after various jobs including two happy but unsuccessful years as a member of The March Hare pop group, he wrote and recorded the world wide hit You’re A Lady. Over the ensuing years he had several hit singles and albums including Astaire in 1980 and Oasis (with Julian Lloyd Webber and Mary Hopkin) in 1984. Peter’s latest LP, Stardust Memories, features some of his favourite ballads of the 1920s and ’30s.
During the ‘70s and ‘80s he appeared on many television programmes including three television series of his own, Happy Endings perhaps being the most well remembered. He composed theme music for several television series including Flesh and Blood, The Life and Times of Henry Pratt,Me and My Girl and The Local.
For three years in the ‘70s he worked on BBC Radio 4’s Stop the Week writing topical songs, which is how he first became aware of Richard Stilgoe who was doing much the same on TV for Nationwide. They first performed on the same stage, though separated by several other acts, at the 1982 Royal Variety Performance. In 1985 they began an eighteen year collaboration as Stilgoe & Skellern touring their hugely successful two-man show.
In 2001, after an absence of 35 years from the human race, Skellern decided that enough was enough and has now retired from performing. He lives, as he has for the past thirteen years, in Cornwall with his wife Diana. They have two children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, four grandchildren and a tractor.