At the age of five, Lennie Peters (born Leonard George Sargent) was knocked down by a car and lost the sight of his left eye.
Another accident at 16 made him totally blind. He was sunbathing at Hampstead when louts started throwing stones. He went over and told them to pack it up.
He lay down again in the sun and the next thing one of them heaved half a brick at him and got him in the other eye. He had two operations and sight in his right eye was restored.
He was about to be discharged but the night before he was due to go home he noticed the man in the next bed was about to fall on the floor. He ran over to him, tried to pick him up but as he did the sudden strain detached the retina in his eye. He hasn’t seen since. Apparently the bloke in the next bed died later anyway.
Pub piano player Lennie teamed up with Sheffield actress and dancer Di Lee (born Dianne Littlehales) in 1970 and they entered the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks, winning a record seven times, with songs such as All Change Places, I’m Confessin’, Let It Be Me and All I Ever Need is You.
The duo signed a recording contract with Philips which quickly led to a #1 single with Welcome Home, which sold over 800,000 copies in Britain.
Their debut album We Can Make It also reached #1 and the duo were top of the bill at the Royal Variety Performance in 1973. They were also resident guest stars on The Des O’Connor Show, and had slots on The Golden Shot, The Mike and Bernie Winters’ Show, Presenting Nana Mouskouri, and Seaside Special.
They were eventually given a show of their own, Meet Peters and Lee.
The couple went from success to success and became household names in the UK. They split up in 1980. Dianne Lee went on to perform mainly in theatre and acting roles, whilst Lennie Peters pursued an ultimately unsuccessful solo singing career.
The pair reunited in 1986 with a new single, Familiar Feelings, to perform on the nostalgia circuit. They also made some TV appearances, performing their new single. They recorded two new albums in 1989 and 1992.
Lennie Peters died from bone cancer in 1992. Di Lee married Rick Price of Wizzard and recorded the solo album Chemistry in 1994. She continued to tour with Price as a duo, performing hits and new material.
During the 1960’s, some of Lennie’s “encouragement and help” came from the infamous Kray twins, Reg and Ronnie.