Australian actor/ singer Jason Donovan is heading to the North Wales coast next week. LOIS YORK talks jungles, tours and albums with the heart-throb.
JUNGLE star Jason Donovan admits he’ll be glued to the television for the latest series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
The Aussie heartthrob shot back to fame after coming third in the 2006 edition of the ITV show.
But for now, however, ‘Jungle J’ is happy to leave the witchetty grubs, snakes and rats to the latest contestants as he embarks on another UK tour, which kicks off next Thursday, November 27, at the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl.
“I will be watching it, but I have to say I will be extremely busy with the tour. It will be certainly on my radar”, he said.
Jason struck up an unlikely friendship with music mogul David Gest in the jungle and the pair spoke only last week.
“He’s on good form”, he said, “It’s amazing how perceptions can be one way and the reality is another. The one endearing quality about that show is that it’s not about tricking people into confessions, it’s about exposing people for who they are. I see it as nothing but positive. Some people wonder who would do a show like that, but I enjoyed it. It lifted my profile up ten-fold and it worked for me.”
Such was his success on and since the show, that Jason has gone on to release a new album, Let It Be Me, just last week.
And he is planning on treating audiences during his latest tour to tracks from it. The album features new material, combined with classic 50s and 60s tracks such as Dream Lover and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.
“There was a record called Dreamcoats and Petticoats that Universal put out last year of 50s and 60s songs and it was very successful and they thought it would be good to mould the two together. Universal were keen to develop this idea a little bit. There’s the possibility of that becoming a musical at some point. Put them together and you have an interesting collection.”
On his last tour, Jason treated audiences to photographs of his time in the jungle and family holidays, as well as performing some new material, but it was the classics such as Too Many Broken Hearts and Any Dream Will Do that were the backbone of the show.
This tour, however, will be a bit different.
“Well obviously with this record out at the moment, Let It Be Me, I am particularly keen to be promoting a lot of that; not in an overstated way, but certainly that’s going to be pretty high on the list at the moment, understandably. I think I will open the show with a bit of that and some of the hits as well. I would not expect people to come to a Jason Donovan show and not play some songs that people know so we’ll go down that road and maybe some personal records and songs I have been writing recently will be included as well.
“My shows are biographical anyway. Last year was about reminiscence I have sort of done that, a lot has happened but I think you can’t keep repeating the same scenario again and again. I think this year will be a little bit more organic, a bit more lighting orientated. I am very excited about it. I have to say being the sort of executive producer parse, a one man band, there’s a lot of hard work to be done really. I like getting out there working live, I like the adrenaline of it, it keeps me going, I enjoy that a lot.”
And after a show, Jason likes nothing more than a glass of “vino” , although he admits he has been cutting back recently while he concentrates on his record.
Once the tour is over Jason, now 40, will be taking time out to relax with his wife Ange and their children Zac and Jemma, before appearing next year in Priscilla Queen of the Desert on London’s West End.
It will round off a busy time for Jason, who released his autobiography Between The Lines: My Story Uncut last October and then appeared in TV drama Echo Beach.
Of his future plans, Jason said: “At the moment my main focus is to get through to Christmas, there’s a big enough climb there. It will be nice to settle down into a regular routine with Priscilla. But eight shows a week is hard work.
“At Christmas I am going to go away somewhere warm. If I go away I relax more.”
After a career spanning almost 20 years Jason seems content with his life today.
“I certainly think in life it’s a matter of trying to find a balance between your private and public life to a degree. I think I have found that. Success and all of it trappings can be very exciting, but I really want to be able to balance my private and my personal life equally.”