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IN LIKE QUINN

12-06-2009

He doesn’t look old enough to shave or be out on the streets at night alone, but Ray Quinn has already got a veterans CV, with credits including Brookside, X Factor and Dancing On Ice. Terry Wills caught up with him at the launch of the this year’s Hippodrome panto Sleeping Beauty.

Ray Quinn and Lucy Evans - Sleeping Beauty Launch from Birmingham Hippodrome on Vimeo.

 

TW: “When you first appeared in Brookside was your ultimate aim to be an actor, a singer or an all round entertainer?

RQ: “I wanted to be like Donald O’Connor or someone like him (he starred in many great Hollywood musicals including ‘Singin’ in the Rain’) and if I’d been around in that era yes I’d have liked to have been an all round entertainer”

“Your obvious love of swing music, mood music, Rat Pack music, call it what you will, is obvious. Were you surprised it went so well on the X Factor as the younger generation wouldn’t be too familiar with Rat Pack music as such?

“Yes but I really didn’t bring it back. They were legends; the media play Rat Pack Music so I just did my bit and it was nice to get the recognition. They were great artists. True legends in their lifetime”

“When approached to take part in ‘Dancing on Ice’ did you have any reservations?

“Not at all, no. It was always something I wanted to do and I was very happy to do it”

“You reached a standard so high that Robin Cousins, an ex Olympic and World Champion, said you were good enough to become a professional skater did you ever give it a thought?

“That was very surprising. It’s a hard sport. You have to work so hard and be able to do it for about 10 years… but I wish I had started when I was younger”

“How gruelling was the tour?
“It was hard work. I’m not going to lie. But I had a good time and absolutely loved it. Being able to skate and have a partner like Maria, and get paid for it, was quite an honour!

“Would you go back and do it again?

“Oh yes for sure! I definitely would, definitely would. I love skating but I haven’t skated for a couple of weeks. I had a fantastic partner in Maria but watch this space, you never know. I’ll have to get some practice in!

“Your first extended run in the City. You’ve played Symphony Hall and the NIA but not the Hippodrome. What will you do in your spare time, although in saying that you’ll be performing twice a day, which restricts the amount of free time available?

“Well I’m quite a Motor Bike freak and car freak. So in my spare time I like driving my car and riding my bikes. I’ve bought a couple of bikes SO I’ll go out on bike rides!

“How rigorous do you expect the rehearsals to be for such a long prestigious show?

“At the moment I’m playing Danny in ‘Grease’ and for that I only had a weeks rehearsal but for ‘Sleeping Beauty’ we’ll have a good two or three weeks”

“Actually started rehearsals yet?

“No but it’s never too early to start!

“You obviously have a number of songs in the show?

Yes, I don’t know how many but they’ll be spread out. We have 3D and lots of other things and the kids are going to love it. That’s what I love about Panto it’s a real family attraction and I’m a big family guy”

What about your family?

We’re an all ‘Scouse ’ family from Liverpool. Not massive, not small. I have three brothers, five nephews and nieces. My Mam and dad. My aunt and uncle and my Nan.
That’s about it”

“Any other show business people in the family?

Laughing: “No not really I don’t know where I came from!

So being a family man will they be coming down to see the show?

Amused:Oh yes! My Mam would come and watch me open a tin of beans! Yes the family will come down especially my nieces and nephews”

“The 3D effects in the show. Have you any experience of them? The Hippodrome had them two years ago when John Barrowman starred in Aladdin and they were fantastic.

“No I’ve watched a film in 3D film but never on a stage. John Barrowman is a fantastic artist. He’s a legend in the making I think”

“Like every other mortal you must sometimes feel at times ‘I don’t feel like going on today’ to do two performances. A case of the show must go on?

“Ye s- you have days when you do feel tired but it all changes when it’s time to go on. I have that passion for show business and it never gets boring”

“So any spare time you’ll be seen in and around the City enjoying it?

“Yes it’s great to be back in Birmingham it’s a lovely City”

“First impressions of the Hippodrome?

It’s a beautiful theatre. I really am looking forward to playing here and it’ll be horrible being off stage. I believe it’s where Joes Pasquale started out?

“Yes he’s a regular and knows his way around.

Ray Quinn stars in Sleeping Beauty at Birmingham Hippdrome in this year’s pamto with Joe Pasquale and Lucy Evans. More details at birminghamhippodrome.com

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