Frank McGroarty has faced many challenges in his life. Not always successful, but that never stopped him trying. Throughout his life, his drive was always to be the best person he could be in whatever he sets out to achieve.
He never believed in using the word “failure” but when he did not reach any of his personal or professional goals, it was always a learning experience where if the belief was there, he would always find a way of breaking down those barriers.
Throughout his life, belief in himself was what always kept him going.
Now in his sixth decade, he has come a long way since failing the audition to get into the school choir, to a life of performing and creativity.
Born in Greenock in 1963, he became hooked on anything to do with Film, Television, and Theatre, thanks to family holiday trips to see some of the country’s biggest stars on stage in places like Blackpool.
So it was no surprise that his early aspirations were all about performing. But at school, it was not an automatic thing.
Having failed to get into the school choir, during his early primary years, it was a change of school and a change of teacher when Frank soon started to find his voice. Singing for the new school choir in music festivals and at events around Greenock.
Then at the age of eight, his performance journey really started.
Along with his brother, they joined a local concert party, appearing in shows at resident homes and community halls, developing skills in playing the recorder, and that well-known musical product of the 1970, “The Stylophone.” Not forgetting the singing of course!
Then after a few months – Ballroom Dancing was added to that list.
Ten years later, both siblings were sharing the dancefloor as members of the Scottish Latin American Formation Teams, performing in front of audiences across the Scottish Central Belt, as well as iconic UK venues, Blackpool Winter Gardens, and London’s Royal Albert Hall. And not forgetting the appearance on BBC TV’s Come Dancing Programme.
This led to three life-changing years working for Butlins as a Redcoat during the early 80s.
Even though the dancing earned him the chance to be part of a British Holiday Institution, it also enabled him to develop what had now become a passion for performing in front of an audience, as a Compere, and thanks to the support of various mentors, included doing stand-up comedy spots.
For many, working at Butlins, was the ultimate in employment satisfaction and history has shown that it was the launching pad for many successful careers in show business. For others like Frank, it gave them confidence and belief in themselves and not being afraid to try new things.
When he officially hung up his “Red Blazer” in 1984, his goal was never about fame and fortune, even though he would never knock back something like that if it was offered to him. But having achieved so much working in the holiday camps, he was determined to build on everything that Butlins had given him.
And for many ex-Redcoats, doing that was certainly a massive hole to fill. Doing something that gave him the same sense of personal and professional achievement.
On leaving Butlins, Frank was determined to make use of his Redcoat Entertainer experience, as a Stand-Up Comedian, performing in clubs and theatres around the country and occasionally getting paid for it.
But money was never the main objective, although it was great when it happened. His ambitions doing stand-up was about getting in front of an audience, putting in a performance that he was happy with, and the audience also enjoyed. That was always the important thing.
After ten years doing Stand Up, Frank started to discover his creative side working in community radio and television, getting to research and present his shows for stations at home and outside the UK.
Then his career as a writer started to take shape when in 1992, he began a fifteen-year career in journalism, producing articles for many of the UK’s top newspapers and magazines, eventually moving to online publications through his web magazines, which he continues to do to this day.
In 1997 he combined print journalism with online reporting, developing a partnership with professional photographer Gordon Newlands, resulting in the successful American Football Website Hot Iron (1997 – 2012) which was named in the 2007 Good UK Web Guide.
In 2011, he developed his blog site, where one section focussed on his treatment for Thyroid Cancer in 2013 which he developed it into the free e-book “The Thyroid Diaries.”
Back to full health in 2014, Frank entered a new and exciting chapter in his writing career when he spent the next twelve months working on his debut novel, part one of a Butlins Trilogy, “What Time Does Midnight Cabaret Start,” which he, working alongside Gordon Newlands published in January 2015.
He followed that up with part two of his Trilogy “Don’t Mention Hi-De-Hi” (Published 2017) ending with “How do you get the Donkey’s up the Stairs?” (Published 2021)
To date, Frank has written and published five books, three fiction and two non-fiction. In May 2021, he was presented with a new challenge when he was diagnosed with dyslexia. which he insists will not affect his writing and broadcasting projects.
He is looking forward to what is going to be an exciting time during the coming months.
This year, he is working on a totally different book, away from the Holiday Camps, a brand-new story about American Football in Scotland which he intends to publish in 2025
As for the Radio, he continues to write and produce his own radio show for More Music Radio (Spain) and is exploring the idea of doing podcasts later this year.
Then when it comes to live performances, Frank is not ruling anything out, especially doing more shows wearing his Redcoat Uniform, along with “Mrs Frankie Boy” of course!