Ferris Abraham Ward was born on 6th November, 1964 at home in Hazel Grove, Stockport, England. Seven minutes earlier his brother Frank Arbuthnot Ward, had also made his appearance onto the world stage. To this day both brothers maintain they are not twins as they didn’t come out at exactly the same time. Something which the boy’s mother, Mary Ward, was quite glad about. However, even though the brothers were not twins they did have a striking resemblance to each other. So much so that their father, Colin, had difficulty telling them apart. He decided in the end to call Ferris ‘Junior’ to resolve the matter. This name stuck and Ferris Ward Jr was born.

When Ferris was four disaster befell the family. His mother Mary, who worked in the dairy, ran off with the local ice-cream man. This had a huge bearing on Ferris’s life, socially and mentally. Indeed it is rumoured that he loosely based the lyrics to the song Things on these events :

‘’Babestation is all I have to cling to (cling to)

Since you ran away with the ice-cream man (hello my Whippy)

You fell in love with his king size Magnum (you got that right)

And disappeared to Burnley in his ice-cream van

Ferris and Frank were raised by their father, who decided, in his wife’s absence, to ferris_garden1devote his energies to being a master-baker. He never re-married.

After his mother left Ferris became increasingly distant from his brother. He found it difficult to make new friends and saw little of his father who seemed to spend all his time master-baking in order to make ends meet. Ferris became a loner and spent most of his time listening to his father’s old recordings of Frank Sinatre, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Michael Buble. Little did he know that this would form the foundations for the Ferris Ward Jr we know today.

Ferris’s performance skills were honed at school when he used to sing the aforementioned songs to his peers and classmates. This sometimes resulted in actual injury as on many occasions he would be set upon by a mob with sticks. When Ferris was eight years old Mr Wilkinson, the woodwork teacher, and three students were suspended. Frank also had a problem with bullying though he maintained that he enjoyed the attention of being hit with a stick.

At secondary school, Ferris’s singing led him to another discovery. It was decided that to avoid more changing room beatings Ferris was to have PE with the girls. From this he realised that as well as liking boys, he liked girls as well. Although in Ferris’s early career his sexuality was always a closely guarded secret, it is now common knowledge that he bats for both sides. On stage his show normally culminates with the foot tapping I did it bi way.

Ferris left school with just one GCSE, in woodwork, ironically even failing music. His music teacher Mr Bell has since gone down on record as saying that Ferris had one of the worst voices in the school. Obviously Ferris was a late developer. In his late teens and early twenties there were still no signs that Ferris was to become an International singing star (there still arn’t for that matter). He held down menial jobs in order to keep a roof over their heads*. His father couldn’t work anymore after sustaining a wrist injury and Frank had developed an uneasy fascination with pigeons. He refused to attend job interviews unless he could carry a live pigeon with him. This obviously resulted in long spells of unemployment, although he was still taken on by Macdonalds. Unfortunately this position only lasted a couple of weeks after half a pigeon was found in a customer’s fillet o fish.

* Footnote re Ferris’s generosity – even though he didn’t really get along with his brother Ferris still paid for all of Franks psychiatric sessions and now Frank doesn’t have to carry real pigeons around with him. He does, however, still have a plastic pigeon called Penguin which never leaves his side.

When Ferris was 27 he left home and moved in with Nigel Cookson who was later to become his manager. Although rumours circulated about their relationship being ‘more than just friends’, Ferris has always maintained that Nigel’s Argentinian features didn’t really ‘float his boat’. For the next three years the men formed a strong bond through a cocktail of womanising, mananising, drinking and dancing.  It was at this time that Ferris discovered that not only did he have a flare for performing but also that his creative juices ran to writing in the form of humorous poems and song lyrics. This was to prove vital in putting Ferris where he is today.

In 1994 Ferris fell in love and married Nancy Clancy. She was aware that Ferris had had a string of failed relationships due to his refusal to accept that sleeping with a man whilst dating a woman wasn’t actually cheating and vice-versa. She believed him when he vowed to be completely faithful to her. This vow was kept but unfortunately she wasn’t aware of his plans to start singing and when he won £95,000 on the National Lottery he gave up his office job to pursue his dream. This interrupted the flow of their marriage in that Ferris was now at home all day writing lyrics and practising his vocals. The flow that was interrupted was that of a steady stream of men that would visit Nancy while Ferris would have been working at the office. After two years and two months the marriage was over. Nancy left. To this day Ferris is unaware of her whereabouts. It is rumoured she joined a sex commune in France.

The break-up of his marriage hit Ferris hard. Financially he was secure but he now found it impossible to trust anybody. The emotions of his mother leaving the family home when he was a child all came flooding back and for nine months he didn’t leave the house. On the plus side, while he was incarcerated, he wrote the lyrics Hack the wife and That’s why my wife is a slag. Ferris had only performed to an audience ** a handful of times before Nancy left but now found himself in an entertainment wilderness.

** he got an encore at Meadowside Care Home, Disley.

The day that changed history was Friday 4th April, 1997. Ferris heard a knock at the door. He thought it was Mrs Colburn from No 4 who used to deliver his weekly shop. It wasn’t. Ferris was greeted by his old friend Nigel Cookson who swiftly slapped Ferris about the face before declaring that he was to be his new manager. This gesture was enough to propel Ferris out of his depression and embark him on his new career as an entertainer.

ferris_gardenOver the next 15 years Ferris built his reputation as a premier performer in and around Stockport. In his pomp Ferris would demand as much as £75 for just one performance. His re-works of such classics as Mr Bojangles (Mr Love handles) and The way you look tonight (Think I’ll pull my pud tonight) gained critical acclaim. Ferris has often been asked if he is a singer or a comedian. He always maintains he is neither. He is an entertainer – a Ferris of all trades!

In 2012 Ferris’s career hit another setback. His long term manager Nigel Cookson was killed in a freak clay pigeon shooting accident. Not only did Ferris lose his long-term manager and friend but there was also now a serious rift between himself and his brother Frank. Frank had been told of the accident and was now refusing to talk to Ferris owing to his willingness to shoot pigeons. In a drastic cry for help Ferris invested his remaining £20,000 on an attempt to conquer America. He felt he had nowhere left to go in Stockport and that Boston, Massachusetts could be the launch pad for a whole new chapter in his career.

It wasn’t. Ferris spent just over three years in Boston but without Cookson’s guidance he quickly exhausted all his funds. He also developed a drug problem. Another low point was when he was arrested in downtown Boston after a fight broke out over his song Bad Hair Day which centred around necrophilia. New songs to come out of this period of Ferris’s life were I’m so fuckin’ stoned and One more for my Herpes.

In early 2016 Ferris decided to quit America. He had spent a month in rehab (some people call it a holding cell) but was now clean and eager to work again. He returned to Stockport and started writing again. Thankfully Ferris’s juices hadn’t dried up and Things not to do received rave reviews. He then found out that his brother Frank had himself been performing in the smash comedy series The World of Billy Lee’. Ferris knew of Billy Lee and his brother Des as they were friends with Frank at school. Frank still wasn’t returning Ferris’s calls so he tried to contact the Lee brothers. This proved fruitful as after a telephone conversation and subsequent drunken business meeting Des Lee became Ferris’s new manager. Ferris also managed to negotiate the spare room at Des’s house which was a step up from Mrs Colburn’s sofa.

Ferris is now gigging again in and around Stockport and, having turned 50, taking a more mature approach to life. He is happy and just taking life as it comes. He is looking forward to the future and whatever it brings.



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