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Neil Brannan announcing Beatles Tribute bands for 16 years
by Katie Hickox
On-Scene at the Liverpool Beatles Convention
Meet Neil Brannan, who has been the announcer and emcee for Liverpool's annual Beatles Week for over 16 years.
Neil is the unassuming but cheeky, smiling face who introduces Beatles tribute bands and other performing artists every year during Liverpool's International Beatles week, which is produced by Cavern City Tours. He's called a "scouser" as he grew up in and around Liverpool and speaks with that lovely "scouse" or Liverpudlian accent many Beatles fans love to hear.
Neil is the unsung hero of Cavern City Tours. During Beatles week he gets almost no sleep, because the evening entertainment often doesn't end until 4am or 5am in the mornings at the Adelphi hotel, where there are several Beatles Tribute bands playing almost around the clock.
Neil Brannon on stage at Liverpool's Beatles Week
Otherwise, outside of Beatles week, Neil is one of the favorite guides of Cavern City Tours. He typically gives three tours a day and excels on giving Beatles sightseeing tours on Cavern City Tours' Magical Mystery Tour
None other than Sir Paul McCartney has sought out Neil's autograph. When Paul arrived unannounced at the Empire Theater to perform a song for the February 2002 "Concert For George", he met Neil backstage, and said, "Hey, I know this guy, he plays my friend Pete Shotton in a movie... Can I have your autograph?" Neil also handled security that evening for Paul and his then fiance Heather, and safely escorted them to their next destination that evening.
The movie that Paul refers to is the Lennon biopic "In His Life" in which Neil played Pete Shotton, John Lennon's childhood friend. The film was produced by NBC in 2000. He was originally recruited to be John Lennon after the producer saw Neil entertain an audience during Beatles week. He told Neil that "he's a scouser" like John was.
Neil has continued to do TV and film work and most recently made an appearance in the documentary, "Come Together", about Beatles tribute bands and the fans who come together to hear them play at Beatles Festivals like Liverpool's, which is the largest and longest running Beatles festival in the world.
Be sure to say hello to Neil on your next visit to the Liverpool Beatles Festival or better yet, be sure to book one of his Beatles Magical Mystery Tours that he gives daily if you come to Liverpool. Go to www.beatlestour.org for more information.
Published September 3, 2010
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