Top of the Pops dancer, Octopussy star and 'Lord' settles in Norfolk
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa
A self-styled lord whose showbiz career saw him dance on Top of the Pops, rub shoulders with 007 and leave fans of the Two Ronnies purring has revealed why he has chosen to settle in a Norfolk village.
Lord Wesley Pestano was a resident dancer on the iconic weekly music show, as part of the dance troupe Zoo in the early 1980s.
Here, he would show off his best moves with the accompaniment of some of biggest names in pop music, watched by millions each week.
But Lord Wesley, who recently acquired his title when splashed out on a plot of land in the Lake District as an anniversary gift for his partner, said his career in showbiz had in effect begun far earlier in his life.
He was born in the South American country of Guyana, but moved to England when he was 18 months old, when his mother migrated to pursue her dream of training to be a nurse.
He said: "While we were on the boat my mother lost sight of me and thought I may have been crawled away, fallen overboard or something awful like that.
"When she found me I was somehow entertaining a group of slightly older children who thought everything I did was hilarious, so you could say that was how my showbiz career began."
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Once the family settled in London, living in Hammersmith, he found himself drawn to making people laugh, delighting his friends and frustrating his teachers with impersonations and tomfoolery.
He said: "I was very much the class clown - I used to sneak up behind my friends and do impressions of the teachers so they'd think they were in trouble."
He carried this love of laughter into his teenage years and began to pursue the idea of becoming a stand-up comedian - but this plan was curtailed by the rise of the career of Sir Lenny Henry.
He said: "It was around the same time I was building my career that Lenny Henry had his big break. From there, being a young, black comedian and impressionist I would always have just been the second Lenny Henry."
It was this that instead saw him turn to dance and he sought professional training in both classical and jazz.
But this was not his only showbiz venture - he also dabbled in acting, which saw him land a small role in the James Bond film Octopussy and a cameo in the Two Ronnies Show, playing a cat in the third episode of the show's ninth series.
And while his role in the 1983 Bond film was small, it could have been very different.
He said: "I played a guard but I was in the running for one of the larger action roles which would have meant I got to go and film in India.
"Stunt fighting is very similar to dancing, it is still choreography so I was very good at it. The producers were narrowing down the field to a few people and I remember doing a demonstration in front of Roger Moore."
But the demonstration went awry when he accidentally made contact with his co-worker - sending him flying and nursing a blooded nose.
But despite the faux pas, he remained in contention, but on what turned out to be casting day, he was offered a spot on Top of the Pops and missed out.
"I would have had a fight scene with Roger Moore himself. I sometimes kick myself, but I've done lots of other things too," he added.
Lord Wesley's long and winding career also saw him set up an agency representing choreographers and work in diplomacy.
But just before the first lockdown, he met Norfolk nurse Lucinda Perry - who he is now settling down with in Ormesby, near Great Yarmouth at the age of 63.
He said: "I've had a fascinating life, but I think now I'm just going to enjoy being Lord of the Manor - although I am also going to be doing life coaching and mentoring."
Lord Wesley can be contacted for life coaching or mentoring on 07885-336906.