Pop Idol's Gareth Gates talks Boogie Nights
January 07, 2013
GARETH GATES, who is to play the role of Dean in Boogie Nights – The 70s Musical, coming to Guildford’s G Live soon, was beaten only by Will Young in Pop Idol.
While Young has gone on to have a stratospheric career as a solo pop artist, Gates' work has been more diverse. After an initial string of chart hits, he moved into musical theatre.
“Looking back to Pop Idol, that whole experience was incredible – going from not many people knowing me to everyone knowing my name. Of course it meant no more privacy,” said Gates, who recently separated from his wife Suzanne, the mother of his three-year-old daughter Missy.
“So I’m pleased I was only 17 at the time. It was all fun and I took it in my stride. It opened doors and I sold millions of records which was great and now I’m acting, which I never thought I would be able to do with my speech. I had to really work hard.”
He seems ambivalent about X Factor-style TV talent shows now though.
“It’s certainly tough and as a contestant you have to be strong. I was fortunate to have a supportive family and friends and was always OK.
"In terms of these shows, I do think it’s a great platform. The critics knock it but it is still working, with winners like One Direction.
"But I watched a few episodes of the latest X Factor and it did seem a little tired in places. I was pleased James Arthur won. He was the only one who was fresh and brought something new to the show.”
Being able to control his stammer enough to act has been a personal victory for Gates, who has starred in West End musicals such as Joseph, Les Miserables, Loserville and Legally Blonde.
He still faces a daily struggle with his speech although a technique called the McGuire Programme improves it dramatically as long as he practices its methods regularly. He has also qualified as an instructor in the programme.
But it was music that first liberated him from his stammer, Gates saying: “I wasn’t able to speak as a child so when I discovered I could sing at the age of eight it was an epiphany and from then life became all about music.
"I’ve certainly not closed any doors on being a pop artist. In fact I’m writing a new album which I hope will be out next year.
"I’d love to return to recording and I will. I think my career will be a mixture of both acting and making music.
"I do corporate and charity gigs with by band and when I’m on stage with them I’m at my happiest.”
Boogie Nights is being promoted as the 'concert' version of the original West End show. According to Gates, while the current show still has some linking dialogue, it’s predominantly a pop concert of 70s disco music.
It will team him up with 70s legends The Osmonds as well as Louisa Lytton, Andy Abraham, Chico and Shane Richie Junior.
Gates was not even born when the hits he sings in the show had their heyday, but said they were numbers everyone knows.
“One of my personal favourites is If You Leave Me Now and I’m thrilled that I’ll be singing Puppy Love with The Osmonds as backing singers. They did an arena tour recently and obviously still have a massive fan base. If you like music from that era it is the perfect night out.”
Boogie Nights – The 70s Musical in Concert is on at G Live on Sunday, February 3 at 7.30pm. For tickets visit www.GLive.co.uk, call 0844 7701 797 or book at the ticketing desk in the main foyer.