‘I feel like I’m in my 20s’ - 90-year-old rapper and former X Factor contestant to host Seventh Festival of Creativity at Churchill Theatre

PUBLISHED: 16:33 19 July 2017

Dr Joy Philippou

Dr Joy Philippou


The event takes place on August 6

A contender for the title of world’s oldest rapper is set to host her own festival at the Churchill Theatre next month.

Dr Joy Philippou says she has been rapping for 40 years, and the former Bickley resident is set to perform some of her songs at the Seventh Festival of Creativity event on August 6.

The former X Factor contestant, who now lives in Dartford, made headlines on the talent competition 10 years ago for performing the violin and Hawaiian guitar, through her nose.

“I want to show people not to be afraid to grow old,” said Dr Philippou, who was awarded an MBE in 2011.

“I still feel like I’m in my 20s, I keep having to produce proof of my age, because I don’t look, sound or feel like I’m in my 90th year.

“The Guinness Book of Records are interested in giving me the record, but say they need proof I’m a professional rapper, I’ve never made any money from rapping as all the proceeds go back to my charity, so I have invited them to come along and watch me perform.

“There will be dancers and musicians performing at the festival, but in the interval our MC will give anyone in the audience the chance to come up on stage if they have something to say.”

The doctor of philosophy and psychology is running the festival to raise money for the Sociable, Trustworthy and Responsible (Star) Foundation, which works to support young people and celebrate the lives of older people.

“I started up the Star Foundation to help young people stay out of trouble on the streets, I saw them arguing in Bromley Market Square and thought they just need something else to do.

“Back in the 70s they used to call me the singing preacher, until I gave up the guitar and rapped to classes instead, I want to use my rapping to help these young people get away from the aggressive rap that they often listen to.

“We award youngsters and take them to the House of Lords to be given a Star certificate, I’ve had councils approach me to discuss working with older residents, it’s the kind of work that I want to go on after I’ve gone, it doesn’t have to be in my name.”

The Seventh Festival of Creativity takes place on August 6 at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre.

Tickets are available at or by calling 020 3285 6000.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bromley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Bromley Times