AN entertainer who performs alongside Scots songstress Lena Martell has been forced to call off gigs, after vital equipment was stolen from his home.
Jackie Clarke, 58, discovered the items had been taken after he left his Armadale home to take his wife to work.
Now some of his shows with Lena, who had a number one smash with One Day At a Time, have had to be put on hold.
He said: “My daughter, Jaclyn, is getting married at the end of the month so this is the worst time it could happen.
“The thieves haven’t stopped me working because I still have equipment to do small venues, but they have stopped me doing theatre performances.
“All my friends in the business have been great and have offered to lend me equipment in the meantime. In fact, they’re even going to hold a fundraiser to help me buy it back.
Jackie, who has worked in the entertainment industry for 40 years, added that this latest blow was hard to take, as it followed a lengthy lay-off due to health problems.
“Last year, I had six months off work after having a gallbladder operation,” he said.
“It was really only in December that I was back to full fitness and back at work again.”
The entertainer provides backing vocals and music for Lena Martell as well as performing in his own shows.
He first began working with Lena, who he described as a “joy to work with”, in the 1970s.
The thieves broke in to Jackie’s shed, cars and garage over the weekend, making off with an amplifier, speakers, a laptop, bag of microphones, laser projector, MiniDiscs and power leads worth a total of £1700.
The culprits appeared to have ignored other expensive items and looked specifically for the music equipment.
“Whoever has done this has known just what they were looking for,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in the business who hasn’t had something stolen at one point and they all know how I feel.
“But it’s unusual for so much stuff to be taken all at once. I have been checking sites like Gumtree to see if the equipment turns up there.
“I don’t think I’ll get the stuff back, but I hope some honest person doesn’t end up buying stolen gear.”
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after a garden shed was broken into.
“A number of musical equipment items were stolen during the incident, which happened some time between 3am on Friday, February 10 and midnight on Saturday, February 11.
“Anyone who saw anything suspicious or who has information that can assist officers with their enquiries is asked to contact police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111.”