If you happen to be UK based and at home tonight then watch the documentary ’High Society’s Favourite Gigolo’, which will take an in depth look at the meteoric rise and fall of Britain’s first black superstar, Leslie ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.
Up until this point I’d never heard of Leslie Hutchinson.
Hmmmmmmm I wonder why????
He was our highest-paid performer, a singer, pianist and actor whose suave good looks guaranteed invites to the top parties – not to mention the fact he was a wartime entertainer as beloved as Vera Lynn. A friend to royalty, he crossed the racial divide at a time when the N-word was still openly used.
His decline had as much to do with his colourful sex life as the colour of his skin. You see, bisexual Hutch was a premier-league shagger. This chap bedded, and occasionally knocked up, Hollywood stars, princesses, debutantes and duchesses who coveted his “exoticism”. Cole Porter, Ivor Novello and, allegedly, a young Princess Margaret were among his countless lovers.
But sleeping with Edwina, wife of the Queen’s cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten, proved a liaison too far. The couple’s shenanigans were humiliatingly exposed when they had to be physically separated in hospital in a rare case of the medical phenomenon vaginismus.
Nevertheless, their affair continued for 30 years, with Edwina lavishing costly gifts on her lover, including a Cartier-designed diamond-encrusted
With dramatisations and archive footage, this tells the tale of an artist whose achievements have been scandalously erased from the annals. His children speak sadly about a father who coveted fame more than family, while old friends toast a performer who never got the respect he deserved for busting through Britain’s bigoted inter-war class system – while having as much fun as possible.
Tonight (November 25th) - ‘High Society’s Favourite Gigolo’ Channel 4, 9pm