The wonder of Petula Clark turned to disappointment when she turned down Elvis Presley, preferring instead to go downtown, where the lights are brighter. Picture: AP

London - She was a 60s pop star known for her wholesome image, but Petula Clark says that did not stop Elvis Presley trying to seduce her.

According to the British actress and singer, now 86, The King tried to persuade Clark and Karen Carpenter into a threesome when they visited him in his dressing room after a concert in the early seventies.

While Elvis was "raring to go", she rejected his amorous advances as she didn’t find Presley attractive and wanted to preserve Carpenter’s innocence.

"Karen was lovely, but she was kind of innocent," Clark told The Guardian.

"I felt sort of responsible for her, so I got her out of there."

She had been friends with Carpenter since 1969, when the American singer, then 19, performed at a party after the Los Angeles premiere of Goodbye, Mr Chips, in which Clark starred opposite Peter O’Toole.

Clark said she felt like a big sister to Carpenter – who died in 1983 as a result of complications resulting from anorexia.

Trying to protect her from Elvis’s charms, Clark made efforts to persuade her to leave but ended up shoving her out of the room, to The King’s amusement.

"Then I looked around, and Elvis was at the door, and he looked at me, like, 'I’m going to get you one day'. Some people think he did. I think he put out the rumour that he did. But he didn’t. I didn’t find him that attractive," she said.

By that stage Clark was already a showbusiness veteran. She had first sung on BBC radio shows aged nine during the Second World War and in her teens appeared in a string of films.

She struggled initially to break away from the child star image and sing "grown-up" songs on themes such as love.

"I think it was part of a moment in people’s wartime lives that they wanted to keep precious. Me becoming a woman – they didn’t want to see that," she said.

Daily Mail