FRIDAY the 13th turned out to be a lucky day for the Isle of Wight's former pop star Craig Douglas.

He celebrated his 80th birthday at a surprise party. It was on the correct day, too. The previous day some national publications and social media had, wrongly, claimed it was August 12.

Craig, who was born Terry Perkins in Newport, won a 1957 talent contest under that name.

The following year it was changed to Craig Douglas and he left the Island to become one of the most successful pop stars in Britain.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Recently he has returned home, after being forced to give up his career due to ill health.

He was completely surprised by his afternoon tea party which was held at the Royal Esplanade Hotel, Ryde, courtesy of its owner Michael Stickland.

It had been arranged by his long-term friend, local showbiz journalist and broadcaster John Hannam.

He was cheered in to the sound of his 1959 number one hit single Only Sixteen.

Craig was so thrilled to meet old Barton and Priory Boys school pals like Brian Knight and Mike Blackman.

Several local musicians who had worked with him were also present, including Simon Spurr, Lewis Berry, Alan Nicholls and Brian Sharpe.

Fellow entertainers Pat Reader and Crisco also came to celebrate the day. Local show promoters Vic Farrow and Vic King were there too.

In a relaxed conversation, John coaxed Craig into revealing some of his career highlights. These included being backed by the Beatles at the Liverpool Empire, just before they broke into the big time. He walked by their dressing room and heard them singing his songs.

He talked about his worldwide success, meeting Nat King Cole and being invited to movie star William Holden's ranch in Kenya. There was also some revelations about his dating two Miss Worlds.

During his career he sold ten million records and appeared over 200 times on television and even more on radio. He became an all-round entertainer and appeared in musicals and plays.

An emotional Craig said: "This is a wonderful occasion and I know so many people here. It's brought back so many memories."

He hopes to move back to his home town of Newport in a few weeks time.