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Illness sees Barry Darby cut career short

Thursday 17 March 2011

Barry Darby
Barry Darby

From the UK's Sunday Sun:


Illness sees Barry Darby cut career short

Mar 13 2011 Sunday Sun

HE is a cut above the rest when it comes to trimming celebrity barnets ... but North barber Barry Darby has hung up his scissors for the last time.

Barry, one half of Barry and Bobby’s Hair Design in Newcastle, suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), meaning he is prone to debilitating bouts of lethargy and depression.

The condition meant he has struggled to continue work, and recently his symptoms worsened – shattering any hopes of a return to the profession he loves.

But now, as he looks back over many happy days in the business, Barry has revealed treasured memories of the many famous people whose mops he chopped at the St Andrew’s Street shop.

Becoming a favourite with actors performing at the nearby Theatre Royal, the list of stars he worked with includes the likes of British actress Stephanie Beacham, TV personality Linda Barker and James Bond girl Honor Blackman.

Toon shot-stopper Tim Krul has stopped by, as has former Magpies coach Terry McDermott, X Factor star Joe McElderry, BBC presenter Wendy Gibson, Coronation Street actress Patricia Phoenix and ITV presenter Pam Royle.

Hartlepool-born Barry, 62, said: “I’ve done a lot of TV and film stars and so has Bobby. He usually does David Gest when he’s up. They were all great. They were all OK and friendly. It was great.

“I miss my work. I always thought that I would hair-dress as long as I wanted and that I would give it up when I wanted to.

“But these things happen and there’s nothing you can do. I’ve got good memories though.”

After training in London, Barry returned to Newcastle to start his career. Established more than 30 years ago, the salon quickly established itself as one of the most renowned in the area.

His wealth of experience attracted the big names visiting the North, and his reputation steadily grew.

But in 2007 things took a turn for the worse, as Barry’s diagnosis of ME meant he has had to reduce his input into the salon during the following years.

And only three weeks ago Barry’s condition worsened when Kito, his one-year-old Shih Tzu dog went missing.

The effect has had such an impact he is barely able to walk, talk or even stand – and means he must leave all hairdressing to his colleague, Bobby.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to walk. I can’t do hairdressing anymore. It’s difficult and upsets me,” he said.

“I can’t tell you how much I miss him. He was special character, you would never meet another. He was always just that little bit of company.

“We will offer a generous reward to have him back.”


The above originally appeared here.



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