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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 18:06 GMT
Fall of Glitter the pop superstar
Gary Glitter in 1976
Heyday: In the 1970s Glitter was a world-beating artist
Gary Glitter's deportation from Cambodia following a spell in jail over suspected sex offences marks a further chapter in his fall from grace.

Glitter's public humiliation began in 1997 when he was arrested and accused of downloading child pornography from the internet.

His conviction two years later tarnished forever the image of the legendary million-selling pop performer of the 1970s.

Previously, the most controversial things about him had probably been his outrageous stage persona and high-living rock lifestyle.

As a young man: Paul Gadd worked hard for stardom
It was Glitter, along with his fellow glam rockers of the early 1970s, who helped put the pomp in pop music.

Decked out in lamé, his cheeks sucked in and his etched-on eyebrows permanently raised, Glitter cut a formidable figure.

Unlike many of his glam contemporaries he showed a staying power that won him new appreciation in the 1980s and 90s.

He became a rock institution, taking his own unique brand of pantomime on the road Christmas after Christmas.

Born Paul Gadd in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1944, Glitter was an illegitimate child who never met his father.

Brought up by his grandmother and his young mother, who often struggled to cope, he led a wayward childhood.

At the age of 10 he and his brother were taken into care.

In later years he might have looked a born showman, but fame did not come easily to Glitter.

He cut a record for Decca at 14 and set off on his quest for stardom.

Flamboyant as ever: Glitter on the front of one of his albums
Gadd performed under a variety of names, such as Paul Russell, Paul Raven and Rubber Bucket, releasing records that mostly never charted.

In 1961 he took a job as a warm-up man for the pop show Ready Steady Go.

"I knew I could do better than a whole lot of the performers going on the show, yet there I was just entertaining the studio audience," he said later of the experience.

Fame and fortune finally came at the age of 28, when Glitter hitched his act to the emerging glam rock scene of the early 1970s.

He picked the name Gary Glitter from a choice of Terry Tinsel, Stanley Sparkle and Vicky Vomit.

His breakthrough single, Rock 'n' Roll (Parts 1 and 2), was a 15-minute drum-heavy chant with minimal vocals and a simple guitar hook.

The song reached number two in the UK in 1972 and topped the US charts.

The following year was his most successful.

Glitter scored a string of chart hits written by himself and his producer Mike Leander, including I Didn't Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock and Roll), I Love You Love and Do You Wanna Touch Me.

Gary Glitter
He had a formidable stage presence
It was also the year of I'm the Leader of the Gang - the song that became his anthem and that of his growing fanbase.

By 1975 Glitter had sold 18 million records.

But as the glam fashion made way for punk he struggled to keep his place in the public eye.

He divorced his wife of nine years, Ann, with whom he had two children, and spent a short time living in Australia.

He went bankrupt owing £170,000, but during the 1980s he bounced back, scoring a 1984 hit with his single Dance Me Up.

The singer turned to Buddhism, became a vegetarian and took his show back on the road.

But in 1986 he was hospitalised after taking an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

His third drink-driving conviction brought a 10-year ban and he narrowly escaped jail.

Gary Glitter in January 2000
Glitter was accused of stage-managing a press call
In the early 1990s he found new favour among students who embraced his high-camp image for its irony.

His face appeared in advertising posters for Heinz soup and British Rail.

When Oasis paid tribute to him on their second album, stealing lines from Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again, he bought a yacht with the royalties.

But the Glitter story hit the rocks when he was arrested in a computer store after dozens of images of child pornography were found on his computer's hard disk.

In November 1999 he was sentenced to four months in a British prison.

On being freed in January 2000 after two months, he spoke of his "deep regret" during a hastily-arranged photocall in central London.

Arriving in a red Mercedes with blacked out windows, he removed dark glasses to pose briefly for photographers before making a short statement.

He then left immediately without answering questions - leading to accusations that he had stage-managed the event.

His last words to journalists were: "I have served my time. I want to put it all behind me and live my life."

He travelled to Cuba with his Cuban girlfriend before moving on to Cambodia.

In the UK, the former chart-topping hero to millions is now a registered sex offender.

See also:

07 Jan 03 | Asia-Pacific
31 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
12 Nov 99 | UK
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