"So, who are you going to interview?" asked Driver Charlie.

"Petula Clark," I tell him.

"That's great," he enthused. "I love `It's My Party.'"

"Actually, that was Lesley Gore."

Bad guess. That was probably the only '60s pop hit Clark didn't sing.

Her hits include "Downtown," "I Know a Place," "My Love," "Round Every Corner," "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" and "Don't Sleep in the Subway," and she'll be singing some of them at her one-nighter at the Hummingbird Centre tomorrow. She'll also be doing some from the movies and shows she's been on, and several new songs she's composed.

Clark has recorded over 1,000 songs. She was the first British soloist to win a Grammy Award (for the Tony Hatch written "Downtown" in 1964). She was the first British female pop singer to have a No. 1 hit single in the U.S. for "Downtown," the first of 15 consecutive Top 40 hits.

Her Internet Movie Database listing is six pages long. She is oblivious to it. She doesn't Internet.

According to IMDb, she guested on Seinfeld, Carol Burnett, Here's Lucy, Andy Williams and was a regular on the Dean Martin Show.

"No, I didn't do Seinfeld," she corrects over coffee at the Sheraton Centre. She looks fabulous, the blonde cropped 'do replaced with long auburn curly locks. She turns 73 on November 15.

"The Seinfeld episode was based on `Downtown,'" she explains. "They were having a silly conversation about me in the coffee shop. I didn't know it was going to be on. I watched it like everybody else."

She didn't do Dean Martin, either.

"People used to think there was something going on between us but not at all. I'd work with him and disappear."

Her song also factored in 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.

"I never met Glenn Gould," she says. "I never heard of him until I came to Canada just after he died. I was told he was fascinated with me. I bought the Bach (Goldberg) Variations and was blown away by his talent. When I found out about the stuff he'd written about me, I had a strange feeling. I felt really close to him. I wished we'd met and hung out together. I'd sing and he'd play the piano. I heard he was unusual, but so am I."

She had an engagement performing with Andy Williams at his Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri last spring. "I'd never even heard of Branson," she confesses. "He flew me out — he has a state-of-the-art theatre. I said okay, and was there for six weeks.

"I did a lot of Carol Burnett; I did all the shows but I never saw any of them. They'd be taped and I'd be gone. So I never really got to know these people. Not like now — Andy is now my new best friend.

"The first time I did Vegas was with Woody Allen — he did stand-up. We hung out quite a bit. He was not a Vegas type, but neither was I. We did two weeks at Caesar's Palace — Andy (Williams) opened it. The first week, there was a convention of doctors and they adored Woody, of course. The next week, a convention of farmers moved in and it was, `What is this?' They even had a prize bull at the entrance."

Clark was born in Ewell, Surrey, England. When asked where she lives now, she shakes her head. "Between London and Geneva," she says. "I'm a gypsy."

She and her French husband have three children. One daughter is an artist who lives in Paris; one daughter lives in New York with her two children; and her son lives in Geneva, where he has just opened a golf shop. None have taken up their mom's profession, which she started at age 6 and spans 51 years.

"My mom was musical and my father wanted to be an actor," she recalls. "He took me to see a classical play with this great English actress, Flora Robson. En route home on top of the bus, I said I wanted to act. But I had this voice ..."

By age 11, she was singing in music halls; she sang on BBC radio for the troops during World War II.

"Julie Andrews and I travelled together on troop trains," Clark says. "We were never rivals, we never thought about it. Our parents were rivals."

She was a child star in a series of British films from the end of World War II through the early 1950s and a huge success in France in the '50s and early '60s as a pop singer, returning to London to become part of the Swinging '60s scene, which included The Beatles.

"We were never on the same program," she demurs. "We were all travelling like maniacs. I was living in Paris with two small children when I made `Downtown.' We did all the recordings in London, where I met Tony Hatch.

"We were leading pretty crazy lives, though mine was less crazy (than The Beatles) because I was married with two children and not getting into the naughty things."

Clark co-starred with Fred Astaire in Finian's Rainbow in 1968 and with Peter O'Toole in Goodbye Mr. Chips in 1969. She passed on leading roles in Valley of the Dolls, Airport and Poseidon Adventure. Or they passed on her.

"I was asked to do a movie with Elvis and it was turned down for me."

But she got to meet Elvis and he hit on her. "Karen Carpenter and I went to see him because we were both appearing in Vegas. We went backstage and he was certainly a flirt. He was gorgeous."

Clark has a new CD coming out, Live at the Olympia.

"It was recorded at Olympia Palace and it was the first time I'd been back to Paris in 25 to 30 years," she recalls. "I was very nervous — the Parisian audience is not the easiest. The feeling was, `She's deserted us. She works in America.' I was standing in the wings and I heard a strange noise. They were chanting my name, `Petula, Petula.' It was one of the highlights of my career because it was unexpected."

Among her other career highlights was making her Broadway debut in Blood Brothers in 1993. But she had to be persuaded to do it.

"Bill Kenwright, the producer, dug his heels in," Clark explains. "He's from Liverpool and it's a real Liverpool thing. He decided he wasn't going to let New York critics close his show and he flew me to New York to see it. Did I want to step into someone else's role?"

But the casting of Shaun and David Cassidy as the brothers convinced her.

"We turned it into a hit and it played over a year."

Trevor Nunn had to coerce her into playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. "I did it for over a year in London; I played it longer than anyone. And we toured over a year. I thought I was totally wrong for the role because I disliked everything she was. The longer I played it, the more I grew to love her.

"My career is very organic. There never has been a plan or someone behind the scenes. If something comes along, I'll do it."

Clark isn't ruling out the possibility of doing another play. But she will probably have to be talked into it.