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Your Story Ep 38 : Bernard. Ballroom Champion, ’60’s Rich and Famous and Alzheimer’s Loss


Welcome To Episode 38 of Your Story.bernard

Bernard King intrigued me when I first meet him 6 months ago. I’m sure you know the type of person. They are the quiet individuals who remain discreet, don’t say a lot but have a particular grace and efficiency with movement, words and thoughts that convinces you that there is more to them than is at first obvious.

Bernard is one of these people, quietly spoken but the waters run deep, but how deep?

That’s the reason for asking him onto Your Story and as it proved he shares with us a life of becoming the Junior World Ballroom Dance Champion at 15 and 16 years of age. Dance was eventually left behind but not before moving into professional stage and cabaret.

He tells of the life of Reilly in his youth as a qualified hairdresser living for years in Spain and Italy mixing with the European Royalty and the Glitterati  of the ’60’s.blackpool Amongst those he brushing shoulders with were  Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy. But not all is as wonderful as it may at first seem and there is a price to be paid both for the famous and also for him moving amongst them.

In the mix of a full life Bernard happened to be held hostage not once but twice, first by The Kray Twins in his teenage years and later by The Red Brigade in Italy.

Tragically later in life Bernard describes how difficult it was to lose his wife and soulmate to the slow slide of Alzheimer’s Disease. How difficult it was to care for her and how the person he loved turned into something that was not her but the illness. Despite this Bernard has a lightness about his life with positiveness for the moment. Enjoying the day as it is.

Soon he and I along with a group from our tango class will be going on a 3 week trip to Buenos Aires. I look forward to what else he my tell me.

Note: Bernard recently came third in the state qualifying round of the Australian Tango Championships. Seems you just can’t keep him back.

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Music is from iodaPROMONET
Tango Bizarro/ Bizarre TangoSeis Luces
“Un Amor Sin Igual” (mp3)
from “Tango Bizarro/ Bizarre Tango”
(Suramusic S.R.L)

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Adam Daniel Mezei Tuesday, 23 June, 2009, 11:26 am


    I suspect that kneeling humbly and chivalrously at the “Altar of (the) King” would be a right honour. I’ll have some audio feedback of my own very soon, but way to inject the correct dose of incisive interrogative techniques! Bernard is a truly engaging subject to parry and joust with, it would seem. Will enjoy catching clips with him in “Good Airs” with you.

    Atop glistening Austrian-financed former imperial cobbles,
    The ADM

  • Terry Friday, 9 May, 2014, 9:03 pm

    I recently moved interstate near the NSW / QLD border and thought it would be nice if I could try and find a old friend. It has been over 30 years but I still remember Bernard and I believe his wifes name was hetty and they had at the time two children.Bernard had a hairdressing business in mac and east in Brisbane and lived at one stage at mount tamborine.I’m not sure if this is the same person but it would be nice if it was.

    Thank you,


    • iankath Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 10:21 am

      Why yes Terry, this is the one and same Bernard that you remember and he’s keen to catch up with you also. Contact is on it’s way.

  • Eileen Friday, 2 October, 2015, 8:02 am

    I have been a client and a friend of Bernard and Hetty’s since early 80’s, very shocked yesterday went for my 1 pm appointment and the salon is closed, locked and empty. What has happened? Bernard told me of his move to Holland Park with his new wife, do not like to track phone him, I know his health is not great, perhaps someone can enlighten me, I feel bereft this morning, not knowing.

  • Terry Friday, 2 October, 2015, 12:58 pm

    I first contacted ian who then contacted bernard on my behalf.I worked in a dept store in brisbane at the time and bernard has a business on the next floor.We often went out and had lunch together plus we had dinner at his place a couple of times.I left brisbane and spent most of my business life back in nsw.I had not been in contact with bernard for over 30 years so when i settled in at tweed heads after i retired i tried contacting him.After some time i found a article ian had completed about a bernard king and his life.I then contacted as i have said and it was him.
    Bernard sent me a lovely email and i was so happy that we would meet up.I send bernard a email back and never received a reply.Some time later i sent ian a email asking if bernard was okay but never received a reply.I believe bernard lived with his new wife at paradise point.I only wished i had some idea about the reason behind bernard not contacting me again.All i hope is that he is happy.


  • Eileen Friday, 2 October, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Dear Terry, if I hear anything I will let you know, Eileen

    • Terry MIngramm Thursday, 22 September, 2016, 10:35 pm

      Just a very short email.Any news about bernard.Someone told me he had been sick.I just hope he is okay.

      Kind Regards,


  • Terry Mingramm Saturday, 3 October, 2015, 8:12 pm

    Much appreciated eileen.As i said before i just hope he is okay.I must be honest with you when i received his email i really was excited that i had made contact and a meeting was proposed in the future.He told me about his new wife and his children.We both had re married aprrox the same length but for different reasons.We both worked at mac and east in the city.I left and spent a short time with lombard finance before moving back to nsw.
    Kind Regards,


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