Few people knew that Elizabeth McGovern – the 51-year-old actress best known as Lady Cora in Downton Abbey – had a secret life as rock star until she appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival last weekend with her band, Sadie and the Hotheads.
McGovern was taking guitar lessons when she found herself writing songs because “I never heard music in which a middle-aged, happily married woman was singing about her life”. Her alter-ego Sadie was born, and a new life as a singer began.
McGovern is not alone in her desire to create an alternative, mid-life musical identity, though the vast majority of those doing the same thing are male.
This country is full of men with balding pates and expanding waistlines rediscovering the joy of thrashing guitars and pounding drums. Tony Blair is a keen guitarist, as is John McEnroe, Damon Hill and author Ken Follett. Hugh Laurie plays a mean boogie piano [-- and he plays the guitar, too]. Eddie Jordan and Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-Op, both bang a mean drum.
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