Dancing Derek was a well-meaning DJ and breakdancer who became popular in the early 2000s. His mix of twee beats and goofy attitude made him a star amongst teenyboppers and confused alcoholics.
His debut album, Dancing Derek Dances Delightedly, was a family-friendly affair.
However, its heady mix of catchy beats and subtle far-right undertones soon proved controversial. And it all lead to the sudden fall of Dancing Derek and his musical fortune. This… is his story.
Dancing Derek’s Dancing Days
Born in 1982 in Chipping Ongar, Essex, UK, Derek Smith displayed prodigious dancing talent in the very moments after his birth.
Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s smash hit Come On Eileen was playing on the radio. The infant Derek, not even named by that point, performed a dramatic breakdance right there in the delivery ward.
One nurse was so impressed she tipped him with 35 pence.
Stardom was assured and Derek was never interested in school, instead dancing his way up the ranks. By age 10 he’d won all the top breakdancing competitions in England.
Inspired primarily by the Commodore 64 game Dancing Monster and Mick Jagger’s weird moves (plus The Third Reich and various British tabloids), in 1994 Derek formed Dancing Derek as a dance-pop and DJ extravaganza.
He hit the road across England, performing to sell out crowds of hyperactive kids going crazy after one too many Liquorice Allsorts.
Buoyed by this early success, he released Dancing Derek Dances Delightedly in the summer of 1995. It stormed to #1 in the album charts. It featured the tracks:
- Dancing Derek Dances Delightedly
- Ice Cream is Lovely Wovely
- Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
- Hitler Wasn’t That Bad
- Ice Cream Makes the World go Round
- Lolly Pops in the Sunshine
- Everything is Wonderful
- Cyanide Isn’t Propaganda
Parents initially delighted in their children enjoying such upbeat music.
However, on closer inspection of the lyrics to Hitler Wasn’t That Bad, the music press grew a tad wary over Dancing Derek’s motives.
Left-wing journalist Henry Marina stated this in his album review for music publication Synth For Socialists.
“The lyrics to Hitler Wasn’t That Bad include the following lines:
Some say Hitler was a bit dodgy,
Anyone who says that is just a bit podgy,
They should stop spreading their left-wing demagogy.
After careful review of these lines, I must conclude Dancing Derek has an overt dislike of left-wing ideologies and is, arguably, attempting to brainwash his listeners towards a leaning I would suggest is positively extremist.
I don’t condone such antics. Neither should parents; I would encourage you to spread your outrage straight to your nearest MP. Write him, or her, an angrily worded letter.”
Some parents also found the song Cyanide Isn’t Propaganda to be inappropriate for an album aimed at children.
To qualm the rising media mania around his album, Dancing Derek released a press statement in early 1996.
“The accusations I’m pursuing an agenda against socialist scum is an outrageous lie. Sure, I hate lefties as much as the next far-right lunatic, but that doesn’t mean I condone any form of fascist regime. Hitler Wasn’t That Bad is simply a bit of fun. It’s like no one can take a bit of fun anymore. The world is too politically correct and my album is there to challenge the zeitgeist, to bring down socialism, and brainwash impressionable kids with my questionable choice of lyrics.”
Despite his best efforts, music critics and the public found his choice of wording only further fanned the flames.
The police stepped in, as did the UK’s High Court of Justice, and Dancing Derek’s days as a pop star were distinctly numbered.
The Downfall of Dancing Derek
Dancing Derek’s downfall began in late 1996. His high profile court case wasn’t helped by a string of other offences that came to light:
- Driving under the influence
- 137 unpaid parking tickets
- Tax evasion
Dancing Derek later apologised for stealing 37 tins of budget baked beans, explaining the following.
“I needed the beans.”
He later admitted to the crime of making beans on toast without removing the beans from the tin, citing his addiction to cough medicine as the reason.
Pleading insanity, his pleas was rejected. He called for a second hearing, citing his love of rap music for a reasonable cause. The judge agreed and Dancing Derek was officially classified as a lunatic in March of 1997.
He was cleared of all wrongdoing, but ordered never to perform his Dancing Derek act in public ever again.
Additionally, he was required to undertake 327 hours of community service.
Since 1998, Derek Smith has worked as a consultant for baked beans companies in ensuring the quality and tastiness of baked beans are to the highest of standards.
In a rare 2019 interview, he told Henry Marina of the Synth For Socialists publication the following.
“The only thing lower in society than a socialist scumbag are those people who hate baked beans. I’m on a mission to make sure everyone in the UK has access to beans. Except socialists. Bastards.”
Of his days as a popstar, Smith has nothing but happy memories.
“It was a blast! Too bad the WOKE had to go and ruin it all. I would have been a global superstar. Now I just like baked beans. It’s a simpler life. It’s one I like. Although my constant flatulence is horrific!”