Five minutes with… singer Gareth Gates

Published: Monday 18th April 2016 by Tom Drinkall

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Singer Gareth Gates has sold more than five million albums worldwide after finishing runner-up to Will Young in the 2002 Pop Idol final.

He chats to HEY Today about his critically-acclaimed Mad About The Musicals 10th Anniversary Tour, which comes to Hull City Hall on Friday, April 22.

Mad About The Musicals takes the audience on a whistle stop tour from the heart of London’s theatre land to the glitz of Broadway, with much-loved numbers from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Boubil and Schonberg.

Hi Gareth, are you looking forward to this latest Mad About The Musicals tour?

Yes. I first did this show last year and we did about four or five weeks’ worth of shows. It’s a great show if you like musical theatre. It’s a show that features some of the greatest hits of musical theatre – both West End and Broadway. Shows like Phantom Of The Opera through to Miss Saigon, through to more modern-day shows. It’s a great show and if you’re a keen musical theatre lover then it’s perfect for you.

The show was a huge success when it toured last autumn. Is anything different about the show this time around?

It’s pretty much the same show, but with different locations. We decided last year to take the show out on the road again. I highly recommend the show, there’s some fantastic songs.

Which song are you most looking forward to singing?

I think my favourite is Empty Chairs At Empty Tables from Les Miserables. I did the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables and I also went into the West End with the show. It’s always great revisiting that song.

Have you enjoyed your recent stint in Footloose?

Footloose is a great, upbeat show. By the end of the show everyone’s on their feet, dancing along to those 80s classics. It’s a very fun show to be a part of. I’ve done quite a bit of musical theatre in the past, shows like Les Miserables, Joseph (And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and Legally Blonde, and Footloose is completely different to all of those. It’s actually been a great challenge to play the comedy role in the show, which is the first time I’ve ever done that. It’s great.

It’s been 15 years since you found fame on Pop Idol. Can you believe it’s been that long?

You’ve made me feel extremely old, thank you! It was a great experience. I didn’t really know what to expect – it was well before The X Factor or any of those shows so it was the first of its kind. Everybody who was a part of it really had no idea what was to become so I went in as a very young lad at the time and just took everything with a pinch of salt.

Then I find myself top of the charts and living the dream as it were. In fairness (because of Pop Idol) I’ve had five number ones, five million records sold. It’s incredible and I’m as busy as ever so I’m very thankful for the whole experience.

You were 17 when you appeared on Pop Idol. If you could give the 17-year-old Gareth Gates one piece of advice, what would it be?

I’m a real believer in (the notion) that you get out of something what you put into it. I’ve constantly worked hard and the only piece of advice I’d give myself and to anybody doing that sort of show is to work hard. It’s lots of work, lots of hours, but if you’re up for putting the hours in you’ll get a hell of a lot out of it.

You’ve launched your own range of tea. How did that come about?

I can’t drink normal tea or coffee so I tend to drink more herbal teas. Coconut is huge on the market at the minute – coconut water, coconut oil – and so I decided to bring out a range of coconut tea called Cuppanut.

Nobody’s ever really done a pure coconut-based tea and we have launched the website so people can now buy it online. So far it’s going really, really well. We’re in talks with some huge high street chains so very, very soon people will be able to buy it in shops as well as online.

It’s very exciting. I’ve had my hand in business ventures for a few years now however this one’s very, very close to my heart and I’m hoping that it does well.


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Published: Monday 18th April 2016 by Tom Drinkall

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