John Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Dire Straits and has received multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards, and a Heritage Award. As a founding member, John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits sound. Since the band's last tour in 1993 he has earned a reputation as a painter, with solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and across Europe. He co-founded the children's charity Life Education in 1987, which was recently integrated into Coram. As a musician, John also has eight solo albums to his name. He owns a pub in the New Forest.
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