Claire and friends

Claire and friends

Claire and Friends were a British one-hit wonder, consisting of Stockport schoolgirl Claire Usher and her friends.

Their one hit was the novelty record "It's 'orrible being in love (when you're eight and a half)", released by BBC records, which entered the United Kingdom singles chart Top 20 on 7 June 1986, and reached No. 13. The song, about the emotional impact that an infatuation with a fellow school pupil has on an eight and a half year old, consisted of several verses on this theme, with a chorus as follows:

:"It's 'orrible being in love when you're eight 'n 'arf.:"I got your picture on me wall:"Got your name upon me scarf:"Oh it's 'orrible being in love, 'orrible being in love when you're eight 'n 'arf.

On TV performances Claire displayed a scarf bearing the name Stephen, borrowed from her brother.

The song, was written by Mick Coleman and produced by Kevin Parrott (also known as Brian and Michael, the pair who were responsible for the 1978 Number One hit Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs).Claire had originally been Claire submitted the demo to a talent-spotting feature on the children's television programme Saturday Superstore, where it beat a thousand other entries.

This was followed by a second single, "Superman" (which continued the story from the original hit) and an album, mostly of cover versions with a few further originals by Coleman, entitled "Super Claire", neither of which had the same commercial success.

Claire and Friends' hit was released on both 7" and 12" vinyl, however in January 1987 chart analyst Alan Jones reported in his "Record Mirror" column that only 0.2% of the sales of "It's Orrible Being In Love" were on 12 inch, the lowest proportion of any hit single available on the format in 1986. This equates to fewer than 200 copies being sold on the larger format.

In adulthood, Claire Usher obtained a degree in Drama and became a dancer, and appeared in stage show Riverdance on Broadway in the year 2000, and in the show's UK tour. According to a caption on the 2006 TV programme "It Started With Swap Shop", she is now working as a teacher.


* [ A page about "It's 'orrible being in love (when you're eight and a half)" at the Vinyl singles website]

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