Cartoon man (Andy Avatar) waving - How to make a phone call in EnglishHi, it’s Andy here. Now, we’re going to do a bit of listening practice. Good luck!

Before they were famous!

Listening 1
You’re going to listen to interviews with 3 people who are talking about what they did before they became famous. Listen once without pausing or stopping the audio. Which story is the most incredible? Why?

Listening 2
Now, listen again and answer these questions. This time, you can pause the audio whenever you want.

  1. What did Sir Arthur do before he became rich?
  2. How did he become so rich?
  3. What was Jimmy’s first job?
  4. Which film gave him his big break?
  5. How old was Kenny when he got his first job?
  6. What was his first job?
  7. What did he start cleaning at the age of 13?
  8. How did he become famous?

Listening 3
Now listen again while you read the script at the same time. This is great for your listening skills. If you find any words you aren’t sure of, look them up in a dictionary.

Audio script
Presenter: Good evening and welcome to What They Did Before, the show that looks at what the rich and famous did before they were… rich and famous. And tonight we’ve got lots of interesting people for you to meet. So, let’s meet our first guest, Sir Arthur Worcestershire-Mumps. So, Sir Arthur, what did you do before you became rich?
Arthur: Well, you know, I always say that nothing is more important than hard work. I worked in an office in Central London and I had the feeling that I was getting nowhere. I used to get up at 7.30 every morning and catch the 8.03 train to my office in the City. I went to the same pub for lunch every day and ate the same sandwich, and caught the 6.27 home every evening. I was so boring. And then one day I decided that I wasn’t going to be boring anymore. I decided that the time had come for a change.
P: Right. So, this was how you became the richest man in Britain?
A: No, no. I started having a different sandwich for lunch every day. Life was suddenly so much more exciting.
P: So, how did you become the richest man in Britain?
A: Oh, my uncle died and left me £50 billion. What a stroke of luck.
P: Well, thank you, Sir Arthur.
A: My pleasure!
P: And now, world famous actor Jimmy Grant. So, tell us Jimmy, what did you do before you were famous?
Gary: I was an actor, of course. I’ve always been an actor and always will be. I got my first job straight after acting school. It was in a theatre that was putting on a production of Hamlet. I didn’t actually do any acting, of course. I was a stagehand and I had to move the furniture on and off the stage… but I watched someone else being Hamlet every night. All the big roles followed. I watched Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, Peter Pan. Then my big break. I was cast in a film. One of the great dramatic roles.
P: This would be Zombie Death Killers.
G: That’s right.
P: And now you’ve just finished filming Zombie Death Killers 23: The Psychopaths Fight Back.
G: Yes. It’s been an exciting life.
P: And finally, tonight, world-famous TV personality, Kenny Kensington. What did you do before you were famous, Kenny?
Kenny: Well, I left school when I was ten because my mum and dad didn’t believe in education. My dad always said, “They won’t teach you anything at school that you can’t learn cleaning the street.” My dad was very clever man. He couldn’t read or write but he was wise, you know, clever. He never did a day’s work in his life but he knew everything there was to know about finding a job. Anyway, he got me my first job sweeping the streets when I was ten. Then when I was 13 he got me a job cleaning chimneys. I loved that. My dad used to push me up the chimney every morning and I wasn’t allowed to come home until I’d cleaned the chimney from top to bottom. It was great. That’s where I learnt to sing. I used to sing while I was cleaning the chimneys because there was no one to talk to.
P: And that’s how you became famous?
K: No. no. I married a millionaire. She had terrible problems with her chimneys at her mansion. So, I cleaned them all and we fell in love.
P: Well, thanks, Kenny. And thanks to all our guests on this week’s incredible show. See you next time on What They Did Before. Bye!

Very good! Now do the quiz to check your answers to exercise 2!

Cartoon man (Andy Avatar) holding up sign that says wow

Quiz / Lesson 2 Listening 2