DANNY Rogers talks us through his show, based on the “untold story” of his father, TV entertainer Ted Rogers

Had you wanted to tell your father’s story for a long time?

It had been an idea I’d had for a long time, but I was never quite sure how to go about it, or sure I was ready to tell it. About two years ago I began the process when I met the writer Tom Glover. We chatted about my father’s life and he asked some pretty probing personal questions of me and that is when we started to realise the story of my dad was also my story and the story of the eighties itself.

You’ve said the show is a “very personal exploration”. Was it painful to delve into your father’s life?

It was a mix of both. I have lots of very happy memories of my dad and it’s great to share the stories of the life behind the public man. As a society we have such a veneration of fame – people like to hear about the more everyday parts of famous people’s life. As I lost my Dad when I was only 11, there was inevitably some pain.

In the interviews, we did have to delve into the sadder parts of my life and that was difficult at times, but it was essential to tell an authentic story. It’s been a good chance to take stock and really answer some questions myself about how I define myself through my Dad.

Why did you think this was an important story to tell, generally?

Every child loses a parent – whether you’re 6 or 60 that is a major time in your life and stirs all sorts of emotions. I think everyone can relate to some aspect of the story. Television was such a dominant part of most people’s lives in the seventies and eighties and the show really reflects on how it has changed in that time and how even quiz shows of the time represent the politics of the Thatcher years.

Talking about Ted Rogers specifically, he is a well-known name and face, but very few people know anything other than 3-2-1 and the show does dismantle some of the myths around showbusiness. You can be famous and be living the lifestyle that others envy but also battle with private matters which can spoil it all. No-one imagines the son of a Saturday night TV favourite can end up penniless, fatherless and in care – this shows that glamour is just a facade and even those who seem to have it all can end up with nothing.

Did you want to explore the nature of being in the public eye and all the pros and cons of that?

The show is less about being in the public eye than taking the figure known by the public and questioning how that relates to the private man. As I lost my Dad when I was 11, I never knew him when I was a mature man. His fame is a privilege I have over many other people who have lost someone.

I can still hear his voice, see his face, read interviews about him – I find new information very regularly. However, that public persona isn’t the private man I knew, so the show explores that aspect of fame and being the child of someone famous.

Did you learn new things about your father in the course of writing the show?

We discovered a number of things during the development period, and both myself and the writer found when we mentioned the show to people additional stories or reflections would come up. We actually use a message I received on Facebook when we were researching the show. It was an eye witness to a key event in my mother’s life which impacted on me and my Dad, so we just used it verbatim.

I collect information and stories about my Dad all the time, but making the show has increased the number of stories and information I’ve found out. We have had to edit a lot out to keep the show focused. There is so much in the public domain I feel I learn more about my Dad year on year; that both brings me closer to him yet also emphasises his loss - that dichotomy is at the heart of this very personal show.

Bin And Gone

Sweet Dukebox, May 7 to 12, 3pm, brightonfringe.org