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Jonathan Ansell On...Touring, Musicals and G4

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Jonathan Ansell shot to fame via the hit TV Show X Factor and his career has lasted longer than many of his alumni. His band G4 had three hit albums and Jonathan then embarked on a solo careeer in 2007. Since then he has released two albums and starred on the stage in Whistle Down The Wind and Lark Rise To Candleford.  He is currently on the road with Jonathan Ansell and Friends which reaches Manchester and Liverpool next week.   

You have been in a band, performed in a musical and now are about to embark on a tour. Would you like to go into movies or TV?

I nearly did a movie with Kenneth Brannagh at Pinewood Studios playing Tamino in 'The Magic Flute' it was right after the X Factor so I had to choose that or the group and I am pleased to say I chose the group. I would love to do a movie though at some point.  

How was it being in Whistle Down The Wind?

I loved doing Whistle down the Wind. It was great to have the chance to showcase my acting and also grow my hair and a beard. I felt like a real man! I learnt so much during the experience too. It was an amazing debut role.  

Would you like to do musical theatre or do have the desire to perform in plays?

I have now been fortunate enough to do both as I recently played three characters in Larkrise to Candleford on tour last autumn. I would really enjoy doing more of both.  

Tell us a bit about the tour. What's the set list like?

The tour is a massive mix of G4 favourites like "Bohemian Rhapsody", "My Way" and "Barcelona." Big tunes from my solo albums like, operatic highlights including "O Sole Mio" and "Nessun Dorma" and some new surprises too. So there is something for everyone. Its great to have such a variety of songs.
I hear you have some special guests. Anyone you can tell us about?

I am so pleased to have such a strong cast with me on tour. I have a friend who performed with me in Whistle Down the Wind, Oliver Tahiri. An ex member of the choir Only Men Aloud, winners of Last Choir Standing - Thomas Oliver Jones. Lastly I have a fellow reality TV runner-up from How do you solve a problem like Maria?, Helena Blackman.  
Have you managed to keep G4 fans? Do you recognise faces in the audience?

What's funny about touring is that even though you are in a new venue every night the front row always looks the same. There are some very supportive fans who travel all over to see me. They were there at the start with G4 and still are as supportive as ever. Its great to have such loyal fans. They are the reason I am still able to do what I love for a job I owe them so much!
What are your favourite songs on the set list?

My favourite songs from the show are "Barcelona", "the Payer" and the end of Act 1 medley. These songs just have a special energy about them every night.
What have you seen on stage recently that you enjoyed?

I haven’t been to the theatre myself for a while. However most recently I saw Little Voice with Diana Vickers, that was great. I have also loved the Jersey Boys. What a brilliant show with such boundful energy. I loved it!

What are your plans following the tour?

I have loads of pencilled things moving into the future but I can confirm a proms show at Rochester Castle in July and a panto in Rickmansworth this Christmas playing Prince Charming in Cinderella. There will be many more exciting this as well but not yet confirmed.

Jonathan Ansell was speaking to Glenn Meads

Jonathan Ansell and Friends is at the Manchester Opera House on 13 June and the Liverpool Empire the following night.


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