Former MP turned actor, Gyles Brandreth, has moonwalked with Michael Jackson and learned the art of eyebrow acting with Roger Moore.

He is now treading the boards with his own show, Break A Leg, based on show business people from the 1950s to 2019 and he will be stopping off in Swindon as part of his UK tour.

 "I got the idea for Break A Leg when I was at a memorial gathering for Roger Moore. Roger was always my favourite James Bond,'' said Gyles.

At boarding school when The Saint was on the television, he got to meet Roger, who would sweep into the school driveway in his sports car to visit Gyles' teacher, who was an old army pal of the star.

"I met Roger first when I was 10-years-old,'' said Gyles. "He was a nice guy, and when I met him again later, he discovered I wanted to be an actor. He gave me advice about being a screen actor. That was simply to raise either your right eyebrow or your left eyebrow. He gave me a masterclass, but I only got how to do the left one. He said to me: That's why you are only half the actor I am!''

So Roger features in the new show along with funny stories about other luminaries such as Richard Burton, Liz Taylor and the late June Whitfield.

"Before Christmas June recorded a song for me,'' said Gyles. "It was the last job she did before she died. It makes this even more poignant and touching. She is at the beginning and the end of my show.''

Rubbing shoulder with the famous never deterred the former MP for the City of Chester, who once found himself in a lift with Michael Jackson.

"Yes, I can say I have danced with Michael Jackson. We were going to a Uri Geller party and going up in the lift, I did the moon walk, but got no reaction from Michael. One of his attendants turned to me and said: Michael never speaks on Mondays,'' said Gyles.

The actor/broadcaster is descended from the last man to be beheaded for treason and from the inventor of a cure-all medicine Brandreth's Pills.

He says he is proud of his notorious ancestor, Jeremiah Brandreth, but it was his great-great grandfather, Benjamin Brandreth, who was the pioneer, ending up as a state senator for New York.

Gyles said: "It was all real, I have a picture of him living in the the 1800s before he left England for America in 1833. He made a fortune selling his cure-all, which was made of vegetables, and actually did them good. He became a multi-millionaire but he had 14 daughters, so sadly it didn't come down to my father.''

Gyles' father was descended from the eldest son, who returned to England.

When the writer/actor was in politics he says he was a hopeless radical but his diaries proved a brilliant source for his books. He published two volumes, Breaking The Code and Westminster Diaries. He also writes children's books, novels, columns for The Telegraph and Daily Mail and biographies including one on John Gielgud.

"I knew John and wrote it for his 80th birthday. On his 90th birthday I invited him to come to the House of Commons for lunch. I was surprised that he accepted as it was his actual birthday, but he said that all his friends were dead!'' he said.

Gyles sell out show is at Swindon's Arts Centre, on April 20. For more details of other shows call 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison