Joe McElderry: 'I didn't think I'd be an actor because I struggled with confidence'
The star of the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat answers 20 questions on the show and his past
1. How would you describe Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in five words?
Fun, exciting, colourful, energetic, and heart-warming.
2. What is it like starring in the production?
It has been fantastic. I love the show and the music and the audiences we having coming to watch are incredible.
3. It's an exceptionally long tour - how do you cope with the day-to-day trials and tribulations?
I am used to heavy schedules and I tour a lot with my own music so once you get into the routine of it, it's OK. But for me, being on the road and keeping healthy is really important! You have to look after yourself.
4. You won The X Factor back in 2009, what was that experience like?
It was incredible and was the kick-start to everything that has happened over the past eight years. I feel so lucky to still be able to do something I love so much and get to call it my job.
5. Has it been a challenge stepping into such a well known role?
Of course! The role is so iconic and a lot of people coming to see the show have an expectation of how they want the role to be. So I've respected that and worked really hard to make it my own but also make it right for the audience.
6. Where your favourite stop on the tour been and why?
I love the variety of all different venues and cities that we get to play! I always love getting to see new places. We head to Newcastle at the end of the tour and are playing Newcastle arena, which is 15 minutes from my house so I'm very excited for that!
7. What is your earliest memory in entertainment?
We used to go as a family to watch our local pantomime at the Customs House in South Shields where I am from and I remember being fascinated by the lights and the costumes. I used to sit back and wish I could be backstage among it all!
8. Apart from winning The X Factor, what do you consider to be your big break?
I think taking part in Popstar to Operastar, although I never planned that it would have the outcome it did. I thought it would just be a fun project but it really showed me in a different light and took my career in a brilliantly different direction!
9. If you hadn't become a performer what would you have done?
I would have loved to have worked in the medical profession in some way! Maybe a nurse or a paramedic.
10. What has been your career highlight?
I have had many highlights over the years. I like to see them as little snapshots and milestones along the way. Whenever I release a new album or start or finish a successful project, it's always a highlight for me.
11. Most embarrassing moment?
I mean the odd trips and falls always happen! They are slightly embarrassing, but always funny.
12. What draws you to acting?
I love the fact that characters and roles can make people feel something and bring out emotion.
13. Who are your idols?
Beyoncé, Luther Vandross.
14. If you could go back in time and change one thing in your career what would it be?
It's impossible to change things in the past so I always just use the past as a lesson going forward.
15. What have you seen on stage recently?
I recently saw 42nd Street which was fantastic! It took my breath away. I had a few friends in it which made it even more special.
16. Which do you prefer, recording albums and singing, or musical theatre?
I love them all and I'm very lucky to be able to do them all! I think standing on stage with my band doing my concerts - it's a moment like no other and I love it.
17. Had you always thought you would be an actor and singer?
Not at all. I have always struggled with confidence, and not until I was around 14 was it something that I thought I would pursue.
18. What do you do to unwind in your spare time?
I work out, run and enjoy exercise, But sometimes after a heavy schedule, I like to get a great box set or watch some trashy TV and have a lazy day.
19. What would your dream role be?
I always think that some of the things I never would have thought would have such wonderful outcomes, actually have. So who knows what is around the corner.
20. What advice would you give to aspiring singers and actors?
Work hard, be professional and remember to enjoy the moments.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat runs at Richmond Theatre from 10 to 14 October an continues to tour until 31 December.