CHRISTOPHER “JOHNNY” DALEY OF LIME TREE LANE FAME, CELEBRATING 25 YEARS IN SHOW BIZ!

 

By Richard Johnson—

FOR many, Christopher Daley came into their lives as Miss Zella’s troublesome grandson, Johnny, on the sitcom Lime Tree Lane. The programme aired on Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (later Television Jamaica) from 1988 to 1997. But that was 25 years ago.

To celebrate what will be his silver anniversary in the worlds of comedy, theatre, film, television, and radio, Daley, 35, is organising a roast at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew on November 4.

HERE’S JOHNNY!

“I really wanted to bring all the persons I have met in this 25-year journey together in one room to celebrate this milestone. And I figured there was no better way to do it but with a roast.”

A roast involves bringing friends and peers together to celebrate an achievement with comedic insults and praises. And according to Daley, they get to be “nasty with love” in their toasts.

Among the friends are Ity & Fancy Cat, Elva, Pretty Boy Floyd, Deon Silvera and his former teacher at Ardenne High School and fellow theatre personality Michael ‘Stringbeans’ Nicholson.

In reflecting on his years in the spotlight, Daley says he really can’t complain, describing the journey as “absolutely wonderful”.

“I have had the opportunity from all walks of life. Lime Tree Lane gave me a level of exposure and a love from Jamaicans at home and abroad that is amazing.

Theatre has seen me performing with the best of Jamaican actors — Charles Hyatt, Leonie Forbes, Fae Ellington — I have worked with them all. I did not have a chance to work with The Honourable Louise Bennett, Miss Lou, but I was honoured to perform for her… I can safely call myself a blessed theatre baby,” Daley states.

He speaks confidently of what keeps him afloat for the past 25 years in what can be a fickle entertainment industry, pointing to his versatility as an actor and performer.

“I try to be that chameleon and fit into all roles and situations in which I am placed.”

It is this versatility which he claims has helped him land some prized roles in theatre, film and television. He also links it to his growing popularity as a radio presenter which assists in formulating material for his stand-up comedy routines.

His career has been checkered with incredible highs and humbling lows.

 ChristopherJohnnyDaley2

Though personal, he describes his graduation from high school and copping the Nellie Olsen Prize for Student of the Year as a clear standout. He notes that, at the time based on all the work he was doing in television and theatre, he was not aware of what he was doing at school, therefore, to cop that award was eye-opening for him.

His other standout moment was watching himself on screen in the flick One Love (2003) which starred Ky-Mani Marley and Cherine Anderson. “I was not at the premiere or anything fancy like that… just a regular showing of the movie at Carib.

And to see myself on screen was surreal … different from seeing myself on Lime Tree Lane because of the size of the screen, but also just to hear comments around the cinema. It was great.” Daley also stars in Kingston Paradise (2012) which recently won two prizes at the eighth annual Caribbean Tales Toronto Film Showcase in Canada.

KingstonParadise:movie

Then there was the sex tape. An intimate moment recorded on a cellphone between Daley and his then girlfriend went viral, after the phone was stolen.

“That was the down moment. The worst part was how I was portrayed and one person even described it as “career-ending”. The truth is, I lost all my corporate contracts and it was a really dark time in my career.

However, I now see it as a small glitch and have moved on.” He, however, says his home-movie making career involving intimate moments is over, as he will never do it again as that experience is a painful lesson learned.

Among his other life lessons is the protection of his image. “I have had to do a lot to protect who I am, so I say to others don’t do things that run contrary to who you are,” he advises.

 

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