Dene Michael had it all during the ’80s – but now life has taken a dramatic turn on the descent.
The former ’80s pop star rose to fame as a member of the band Black Lace, which became the face of their novelty party album’ Agadoo ‘.
Dene replaced original band member Colin Gibb in 1986, performing their iconic song on tour and appearing in another novelty party song “Wig Wam Bam”.
At the top of the group, Michael went on vacation six times a year, owned several homes and even a boat.
“Throughout my career I’ve been at the top of the tree. Number 2 on the charts. I could go on vacation six times a year,” he says in the new ITV Million Pound Pawn series.
“I bought beautiful houses, designer watches, a boat, a Rolls Royce. It was so easy to go and buy what you needed.
“After that, in the 90s, it went down a bit. We didn’t have that much TV. A few years of that and it will go away quickly.
Black Lace now consists of two separate bands, including a full-time international band with original member Colin Gibb touring the world known as The Original Black Lace.
There is also a UK-based part-time group, Black Lace’s Conga Party, made up of Michael and Craig Harper, who was a 2008 Britain’s Got Talent finalist.
While “growing pineapples” and “shaking the tree”, Michael fell through hard times after losing his fortune.
In 2016 he was sent to jail for 10 weeks for claiming £ 25,000 in benefits after saying he could not walk despite vigorous dance moves on stage.
The former jailed pop star had previously said he survived behind bars leading 60 conga lines through the prison yard singing his hit songs.
Short of cash, Michael is forced to sell one of his most valuable assets to a broker.
“I need to receive money because at the moment all the money is running out. And I just don’t know when I can get it back, ”Michael confesses.
Kathy is one of the few female pawn shops in the industry, doing business in affluent Cheshire, where premier league footballers and WAG live.
The industry veteran buys premium products from clients looking to sell their assets for a quick buck.
It also offers fast loans with high interest rates in exchange for instant cash without a credit check, but valuables should be used as collateral.
During their meeting, Michael reveals he was a former 80s pop star and asks Kathy if she remembers any of his famous moves.
But they soon get to work, with Michael revealing he’s looking to sell his much-loved Rolex watch.
After buying the watch at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for just under £ 4,000, Michael looks to get his money back.
The stakes are high, but her return will depend on whether Kathy believes her precious value can still be sold for a high price.
Kathy explains that accurate valuations are absolutely essential in the pawn shop industry and consults with her business partner and watch expert Stuart.
Although the Rolex is genuine, Kathy is forced to break the bad news to Michael that £ 4000 is ‘slightly unrealistic’.
She explains, “As a pawnshop, when you have to tell the customer that the item won’t meet their expectations, there’s’ ooo how are they going to take that? “”
Admitting that it could sell for £ 3,500, Kathy offers to buy the watch for just £ 2,500 due to the full service and the sale of the work it would have to do.
There is also the option of making a loan for £ 1,500 in instant cash, but Kathy would charge £ 70 per month in interest.
Disappointed, Michael realizes he has to sell and accepts the £ 2,500 offer.
“It was a little less than I expected, but it’s good to have the money and it will help me until next year to pay the bills,” he says.
“I’m sad to see the Rolex go, but I have my memories with it.”
As Kathy adds, “It’s sad when someone is right up there and they’ve had a hard time. He’s not only been a rich man, but a famous man as well.”
The first episode of this new ITV series draws the curtain on the world of the pawnshop in the midst of the current economic crisis, telling the story of pawn shops and people seeking to part with their precious possessions.
With over £ 1million of assets passing through the hands of UK pawn shops every day, there is no way to predict what valuables may pass through the door.
It’s the second oldest profession in the world, but rather than a dark alley store they are now dealing with supercars, yachts, and massive diamonds.
Where it funds a luxury lifestyle, a business owner on the brink or a descent into the attic for rainy days, thousands of Britons turn to their valuables in their tough times.
From helicopters to barges, designer watches to family jewels, people across the country are sitting on a veritable gold mine of assets.
With unforgettable characters, heartwarming stories and an incredible array of assets, this series will reveal the emotional and financial issues at play in the often hidden world of pawn shops.
* Million Pound Pawn airs tonight on ITV at 9pm