King of Clubs


Route are delighted to announce the acquisition of a new title, King of Clubs, an intimate portrait of visionary showman James Lord Corrigan. Written by Corrigan’s confidant Maureen Prest, this is the only insider’s account of what really went on at his world famous Batley Variety Club, both in front of house and behind closed doors.

King of Clubs is the story of a Yorkshire showman who had ideas above his station, so far above his station, his ideas knew no bounds. With a philosophy of ‘Think Big’, he was to bring the brightest stars that ever shone in the world of show business to his native Yorkshire. They were the jewels he wanted for his crown, the crown he was to place firmly on his head as the king of show business.

The author in writing this book does so in an attempt to dismiss the many inaccurate stories put out over the years. As Maureen Prest writes:

‘Much has been written about the amazing story of James Lord Corrigan and the Batley Variety Club, with previous authors devoting their works to the riches he generated and the fame which followed. As a close friend and confidant, also working as his promotions manager during the heady days of the star studded years of the club, I would like to tell his amazing personal life story, and the struggles life threw at him.

All his life he had a strong work ethic. Born to a fairground family, his childhood was too short, they endured hardships most could not imagine. Life was grindingly harsh in pre-war England, but despite the austerity, with no social advantages and little education, he came shining through. He had an overdose of charisma, his charm and manners impeccable, his appetite for life insatiable; mixed with his extra-large sense of humour, this was J L Corrigan, a special man who could charm the birds out of the trees. He changed millions of lives, giving them something to smile about, a reason to put on the glad rags, and be entertained, a showman extraordinaire…’

‘What was special was James Corrigan. He made the whole thing happen. He was special.’ – Shirley Bassey

‘Batley is a living aspirin. Great.’ – Louis Armstrong

‘Corrigan did more for night life in Great Britain than anyone. I would put him with the great showmen.’ – Danny La Rue

Maureen Prest was the promotions and public relations manager for Batley Variety Club 1967-1974. She was a close friend and confidant of James Corrigan, the founder of the club. Maureen has worked as a theatrical agent, artist promoter and record producer. After leaving show business in 1974, she launched a successful fashion business with multiple outlets. Her book King of Clubs tells the amazing personal life story of James Corrigan.

King of Clubs will be released on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Batley Variety Club, 26th March 2017. Be amongst the first to read it. Click here to pre-order a signed first edition. Orders will be despatched upon publication.

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