Max Boyce to continue performing next year after success of lockdown poem

ITV Wales Face To Face photo
Max Boyce has been speaking to Adrian Masters on Face To Face Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Welsh legend Max Boyce has spoken about the impact of having Covid and how he thinks his lockdown poem, which went viral, is the best thing he has written for a long time. 

The entertainer from Glynneath is a guest on Face to Face with Adrian Masters on Thursday (November 25).

In the programme, he looks back at his early life and career but also talks about how he has weathered the pandemic and what it feels like to be planning to go back out on the road for the first time in two years. 

Last year his poem 'When Just the Tide Went Out' captured the feelings of a lot of people about the challenges of lockdown. It went viral and a video of him reading it has, he says, had five million views. He says that some people ask for permission for it to be used at funerals. 

Max jokes that the poem has "reignited" his career and was the reason he was approached to write his new book, Hymns and Arias, his first collection of poems and stories in over thirty years.

But he also says it came from thinking about the seriousness of the situation and the pandemic that changed so many people's lives, including his own when he contracted the virus himself.

Max Boyce said he hopes to continue performing for as long as he can Credit: Max Boyce

Max said: "I had [coronavirus] badly as well. I had it in the first lockdown and I didn't know what it was.

"So I got worse and worse until I'd lost a stone of weight. I knew there was something although they still couldn't say what it was.

"I got sent to hospital where I had a CT scan, and even then they said, 'no, it's not Covid.'  But then the radiologist said, 'I think there's something there. You better have it checked out. 'And I had Covid for some time. So it was tough, it was really bad."

Watch as Adrian Masters finds out more about Max Boyce:

Max Boyce said failure has been an important part of his life in making him a "more rounded person".

But he told Adrian Masters that the first time his song 'Hymns and Arias' was sung - at what was then the Cardiff Arms Park - and it was compared to the Welsh hymns Calon Lân and Cwm Rhondda, was the point he had "made it".

At the age of 78, he could be forgiven for taking it easy but in the new year he goes back on the road to perform shows cancelled when the pandemic hit.

It is the longest period he has gone without performing since beginning a career in the early 1970s

Face To Face is on ITV Cymru Wales, Thursday November 25 at 11.05pm and online.