Friday, 22 January 2016

Gardening at Knight

Roddy: nasty synth plinkings, typically unpleasant TV variety show backing vocals, orchestra seemingly arranged by a man with a CSE in woodwork, evil disco-lite versions of standards and a lead vocalist who couldn’t sing his way out of a wet paper bag. But at least he could schlep a drunkard of a royal.

Sir Roderick Victor Llewellyn is a British baronet who, despite a lengthy career as a landscape gardener, gardening journalist and author will be forever known for his eight-year relationship with Princess Margaret, the younger sister of our own dear Queen Elizabeth II. The Princess and the poker began their relationship in 1973, when Llewellyn was 25 years old and Margaret was 43. Their highly publicised relationship was a factor in the dissolution of the Princess's marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.

It wasn’t an easy relationship. She became deeply unhappy with Roddy’s love of the limelight and, after a row in 1980 Roddy did a runner. Margaret retaliated by taking an overdose. Shortly after they were reconciled he announced that he had met another woman and wanted to marry her. It has been alleged – by interior designer and socialite Nicky Haslam in his book Redeeming Features - that Snowdon had an affair with Roddy before he became the Princess’s pet.

Released by Phillips in 1978, our Roddy admitted in the press that he had ‘consulted the Princess before taking up an offer to make records and she had no objections – although she might have done to other careers. She likes my voice and she likes the idea of my becoming a pop singer. We are always singing together’. Serendipitously, Roddy was issued in the same year that Dame Barbara Cartland, the step-Grandmother of future-Princess Diana, issued her awful Album of Love Songs. Many of the musicians who worked on the album were better known for composing and playing on albums of library music - no wonder the whole thing sounds as if it were designed to be played in the lift of some tacky 'room by the hour' hotel.

Have a listen to Missing Her Again, a track from Roddy by Roddy Llewellyn, and just ask if you want to hear more. I have a copy winging its way to me as I write!



  1. Darryl,
    As you said - so many bad elements fighting for attention. You know I'm a masochist, so please post more!

  2. IIRC the launch-party for this LP was held at the (then-'in'-place) Tramp nightclub.

    It's naff but no worse than most of the dross in heavy rotation on UK commercial radio nowadays. And Roddy probably ended up with a packet of twenty cigs shoved up his arse by Margaret.

    Got anything by Big John Bindon(?), another one-time beau of the fetching Princess?

    1. I know Bindon recorded, but did he release anything? If he did it certainly would be worth tracking down!

  3. Please post more of this album. I dont know if this is something I should worry about, but I truly like this music.

    Jonas Maurstad

    1. As soon as a physical copy arrives I will, Jonas!


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