THEY had performed the same mantra an estimated 46,000 times before. But for Artie Trezise and Cilla Fisher, the former folk-singing duo who became Scotland’s best-known children’s entertainers, they will never again ask an audience: “Spout, handle, lid of metal – what’s inside the Singing Kettle?”
After performing to five million people since forming the Singing Kettle three decades ago, the pair called time on their live appearances yesterday with a two-show swansong in Edinburgh, rounding off their final performance leading a mass rendition of Ye Cannae Shove Yer Granny Aff The Bus.
Despite hanging up their colourful costumes, they will not be turning their back on the group.
Artie is to remain at the helm of the money-spinning business, which spawned dozens of video and DVD releases, a Bafta-winning TV series and a range of merchandise.
His wife says she will still be writing material for the stage production, which is still packing them in with more than 200 shows a year.
The pair, who long ago made their fortune from the Singing Kettle, announced last November that they were calling it a day after 30 years.
But the group – which has sold more tickets at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow than any other act – is to continue with long-time co-stars Gary Coupland and Kevin Macleod, as well as a yet-to-be-announced female member.
Fisher and Tresize spoke to The Scotsman just minutes before taking to the stage at the Festival Theatre, where they were greeted by a full house of fans old and new for the final Fairytale Castle show.
Cilla said: “I got very emotional at the end of the first performance and I think I’ll cry at the end of the second one. There was an amazing response from the audience. All I could see at the end were people handing me bouquets of flowers.”
Artie, 65, a former schoolteacher in his native Fife, said: “I’m going to continue to run the Singing Kettle company we’ve built up, and Cilla will still be writing material for the new shows that will continue.”
The scale of the wealth the couple have generated from the Singing Kettle over the years has been the subject of much speculation. One report estimated they had made £25 million from the venture. When asked if they are indeed millionaires, they simply laughed off the question.
Artie said: “We were offered a big deal to sell off the Singing Kettle a few years ago, but we turned it down. We just didn’t think we’d have any independence or be able to make our own decisions.”
A tour – with new cast member – will hit the road next month.
5m: Estimated number of people who have seen the Singing Kettle live show.
200k: Peak audience for the Singing Kettle TV show for ITV.
6,000: Number of live shows staged since the Singing Kettle was launched in 1982.
88: Number of different CDs and DVDs produced by the Singing Kettle.
200: Average number of Singing Kettle shows staged each year.