From Refugee to Singing Sensation UK Media Focuses on Renowned Ukrainian Londoner

Volodymyr Luciv (second from right) at the Ukrainian Institute in London, Independence Day, 24 August, 2011.The Richmond & Twickenham Times in its October 22 edition has published an article about the London Borough’s most renowned Ukrainian resident, Mr. Volodymyr Luciv. The article entitled ‘Twickenham singer talks about performing with Sir Bruce Forsyth’focuses on the life and career of the 82 year old Ukrainian singer.

Born in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains the young Volodymyr was sent to stay with his sister in Poland when war broke out. While in Poland their town was surrounded by German troops and the then 15-year-old Mr. Luciv

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Volodymyr Luciv

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Volodymyr Luciv

was put on a train to Germany where he was forced to work in a factory.

It wasn’t until several years after the British liberation, a stint working in a Bradford textile factory, and a move to London, that Mr Luciv had the opportunity to pursue his dreams of becoming a singer.

In the article Luciv recalls: “I wanted to sing so I thought I have to come to London. When I came to London I didn’t know where to start, there were so many music colleges and academies and I just didn’t know [but] for some reason it sounded nice to me – Trinity College of Music – so I went there.”

After graduating the young singing star started performing and took to the stage everywhere from Butlins to small concert halls, and appeared on the TV and radio before securing his place on a show  alongside Bruce Forsyth.

In 1961 Volodymyr Luciv aka Tino Valdi representing England went on to win the title of Coupe d’Europe International singing contest winners, a predecessor to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The article continues: Now 50 years after being crowned a European singing champion, and nearly 25 years after being forced to give up the singing that he loved – he had to stop in the mid 80s after being diagnosed with cancer – he still looks back fondly on his time in the spotlight.

 He said: “It’s exactly 50 years this year that we won the European singing competition and how the agent picked me I don’t know. “[But] it was exciting, very exciting  to win.” He added: “The thing is [with singing] it’s an excitement because you do something nice when you sing, you  try to express something hopeful, you sing about love and love is sa splendid thing so once you’ve thought about love it must be nice.

“It is exciting and rewarding at the same time because you are doing something you love.”

Volodymyr Luciv has, over the past two decades, and continues to regularly attend various events at the Ukrainian Institute in London.

To read the  full article in The Richmond & Twickenham Times click here