Life’s bin tough for Vinny

Vinny Cadman
Vinny Cadman

THE turbulent life of a Wigan comic will be featured in a prime time BBC documentary next week.

Vinny Cadman was a winner of the talent show New Faces in 1986, but unlike many of his fellow winners, who have been in the public eye ever since, Vinny has not had an easy ride.

And on BBC 2 on Monday, December 12, the documentary: I Had The X Factor ... 25 Years Ago: A Wonderland Special, will explore the trials and tribulations of the Marsh Green man’s life.

After shooting to fame in the late 80s and early 90s, bookings slowly dried up, and Vinny eventually ended up an alcoholic, living on the streets around Wigan.

Vinny, 55, said: “Filming the documentary was unbelievably emotional, and there were times that I just couldn’t get my words out because of the emotion, but the cameras never stopped rolling throughout it all.

“Although it was sometimes difficult to relive the memories, I am really pleased that I have made the documentary, not only for me, but for my children and friends to know the full story of my life.”

The programme will be aired the day after the 2011 X Factor final, and charts the dramatic ups and downs of six characters who were all on the Grand Final of the hugely popular talent show 25 years ago.

New Faces was the TV talent show that hooked the nation, and saw the start of successful careers for names such as Lenny Henry, Jim Davidson and Les Dennis, and in 1986 the six featured in the film were about to get their own taste of overnight national fame.

It was a night that transformed all their lives – but not always in ways they had imagined.

Vinny’s life has taken many twists and turns in the quarter-century since he was named champion of the show, and his story, including a prison sentence, homelessness and an unlikely re-appearance in Britain’s Got Talent, is heavily featured.

Being homeless, Vinny sought warmth and shelter in an industrial bin behind a takeaway, and the film crew even took him to revisit the area he called home for a number of years.

He said: “When you end up in a bin you are just thinking about surviving, I didn’t think about my dignity.

“I was an alcoholic, and would go round pub gardens after they’d closed, drinking leftover drinks.

“But since coming out of the end of the tunnel, I am happy again. I have just formed a new double act, Cadman and Martine, and I am as fit as a fiddle because I go to the gym a lot.

“I have been told that the film is extremely powerful, and I hope that it will give people an insight into the other side of fame.”