POPSTAR Gareth Gates certainly isn’t one to hide from a challenge, writes Andrew Hirst.
Capturing the nation’s heart as a Pop Idol runner up before developing a successful career in musical theatre are not achievements you would normally expect from someone who grew up with a terrible stammer, unable to express themselves.
Having succeeded where few others would h ave attempted, he has now set himself even more challenges - this time of a culinary nature as he prepares to become a contestant in the latest series of Celebrity Masterchef.
But when he performs for audiences at Skegness’s Embassy Theatre this Sunday he’ll be returning to his first and foremost love.
“Music has always been very important to me; I grew up with a terrible stammer, never being able to express myself through speech, so I would use music as my form of expression,” he told the Standard.
“I would sit at my piano or pick up a guitar and sing what was inside me, so it’s always been very important and it still is today.
“For the past few years I’ve been involved with musical theatre; I’m currently in a show called Legally Blonde and I’m loving that side of performing.
“But my pop career is still what I’m much more well known for and this show will be a mix of the two - we’ll be thrashing out some well known tunes and I’m sure everyone will be able to sing along.”
Gareth has also been working on new material with the band he will be playing with and has hinted there may be one or two new songs during the show.
“There might be a small departure from what I used to do, simply because it won’t all be about me - the band will be involved just as much,” he said.
“In terms of musical styles, I’m a big fan of the 80s and my band all like that era too, so that’s been a big influence.”
Although he’s come a long way in the decade that has followed his Pop Idol days, Gareth still looks back fondly upon his time on the show and the opportunities it brought.
“All artists who come from those kind of shows eventually want to have their own stance on things but I’ve learnt to embrace where I’ve come from and never be ashamed of the success that it’s brought.
“I’m still hoping to build on that success and it’s still all about great songs.”
Gareth and his band will perform in the Embassy Theatre this Sunday, August 12 from 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £19.50 for adults and £12.50 for children.
For more information, or to buy tickets, call the box office on 0845 674 0505. Alternatively, you can pop online and visit www.embassytheatre.co.uk.