Right Said Fred's Richard Fairbrass: Caring for my dying friend made me realise there is more to life than hit records
A year ago this week Richard Fairbrass’s former partner Stuart Pantry died, aged 45. Ravaged by cancer, when Stuart’s body finally gave up he weighed just 7st. He had battled ill-health for almost a decade, first suffering a stroke in 2002, just a year after the couple separated.
‘We had a row . . . over I can’t remember what,’ says Richard, the flamboyant singer with pop group Right Said Fred. ‘I moved out of our house in West London and was in Brighton when Stuart called to say he’d lost the use of his right arm and leg.
‘He wanted to know if I could come and walk the dog. I rushed back and moved back in with him so I could look after him.’
The singer – whose I’m Too Sexy was a huge hit in 1991 – is softly spoken and tearful as he recalls Stuart’s decline. The couple had met in 1982. ‘We got on so well from the start,’ says Richard, 57.
‘Stuart was fantastically creative and was working for the BBC, creating glamorous hair and make-up looks for celebrities such as Zandra Rhodes and Jerry Hall. Then, Stuart was making the money, not me. I was a skint musician and he was the breadwinner. It was Stuart who lent me the money to finish recording I’m Too Sexy.’