Taken to chapel in Manselton to listen to unaccompanied Welsh hymn-singing as a babe in arms, this Swansea lad would, only a dozen or so years later as a teenager, be asked to sing a song on John Peel’s show on Radio 1 and earn himself a recording contract with Elton John’s record company, no less.
At school he befriended Jeremy Charles and captained Swansea Schoolboys football team. Then, he earned a degree in Land Economy from Cambridge University. But music and performing have always been his greatest loves.
Mal has written songs for Cliff Richard and the Hollies, duetted with Elton John and Bonnie Tyler, toured with Art Garfunkel and Belinda Carlisle and produced records for Aled Jones. As a broadcaster, he has presented shows on the BBC and hosted the BAFTA award winning music programme The Mal Pope Show for ITV Wales. He has met and worked with the great and the good, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; the Rt Hon Neil Kinnock and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
As Mal says in the introduction to his autobiography, “As I look back over those years and the people who I have met and worked with it can sometimes feel like another life. I’ve often said if you were to read my CV the only name you wouldn’t recognise was mine. So I give you fair warning and I make no apology that the sound of names being dropped will echo from almost every page. I have always thought that life was a story and the more twists and turns that story takes, the more fortunate the man has been. If that is true then I really have been a very lucky man!”
Mal’s autobiography Old Enough to Know Better makes compelling reading. It is published by Y Lolfa in November 2010, retailing at £9.95.