As a young schoolboy, David Essex dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, and was signed up by his beloved West Ham United, but as a teenager he developed a passion for music which set him on a very different path, and ultimately led to superstardom.
It wasn't, however, an easy start. Scraping a living on the edges of show business was a hard slog, and he endured many disappointments. Then aged 23, he went along to an audition for a new musical called Godspell and won the role of Jesus that was to shoot him to fame. Within a year he was starring in smash hit film, That'll Be the Day , and had written and recorded his first number one single 'Rock On'.
It was the start of Essex Mania, and a long journey of undreamt of adventure. From Godspell to EastEnders it's been an amazing life. And here is David's full incredible story - in his own words.