A SHOWMAN who brings back special memories for the elderly has been nominated for Care Home Idol 2013 entertainer of the year award.

Brian Shaw’s theatrical career blossomed after he was made redundant from his job as a hospitality manager five years ago.

He took the opportunity to satisfy a lifelong yearning to act and at first appeared as an extra in a number of TV shows, including Holby City and Eastenders.

He then decided to write his own stuff and carefully put together his now trademark vintage show.

He hasn’t looked back. Mr Shaw, 44, from Wentworth Road, Southend, said: “Last year I did a lot of TV work as a supporting actor, but just one liners.

“So I decided to write my own old time music show and tour around care homes with it. “I only intended to do it for eight weeks, but my phone started ringing off the hook it was so popular. I’ve done 450 shows over the last 18 months and at weekends I do airshows and 1940s events. I’m now booked two in advance.”

The hour-long vintage shows, which Mr Shaw performs in care homes across Essex, feature songs from the 1940s up to and including the 1960s and he appears to touch a special nerve with the elderly and people with dementia.

Mr Shaw said: “The one thing the elderly love is nostalgia. “I sing to people who sometimes struggle to remember what happened last week but they can remember every word of songs from the 1940s.

They love it. “I try to make the shows interactive and there is a lot of hand-holding and making them part of the show. I try to make the shows as colourful as possible.”

Care Home Idol 2013 is run by Care Home.co.uk and winners will be announced in January.