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It’s not every day you get to interview someone whose face used to adorn your favourite T-shirt.

One of those rare creatures who could pull off a mullet, Jason Donovan’s wholesome smile, baby blue eyes and sun-bleached ’do made him one of the biggest heartthrobs of the ’80s. He was the prince of the soap opera, and Kylie Minogue his pint-sized princess. When the then-real-life couple released the song Especially for You in 1988, it hit number one in the UK and number two in Australia, while Donovan went on to have five more hits of his own in 1989 (Too Many Broken Hearts was a favourite). Then he had a string of flops, Kylie met Michael Hutchence, dumped Donovan and, y’know, became a total and utter superstar. Gutted.

Donovan took it well: he only collapsed from a drugs overdose the once. It was at Kate Moss’s 21st birthday (appropriate) and Michael Hutchence was the one to get him the help he needed (awkward). His professional career was back on track, though, albeit heading in a different direction. Moving to the UK in 1991, he found fame again with his role in the stage production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (and had another number one with Any Dream will Do), and Donovan has been treading the boards in various musicals ever since. He also managed to kick his drug habit in 2000, after his first child was born.

In 2009 Donovan performed in the West End’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical as drag queen, Mitzi, also known as Tick. Adapted from the 1994 film, Tick performs his way across Australia with a fellow drag queen and a transsexual, in order to see his estranged wife and eight-year-old son in Alice Springs. Donovan left the show after its first 18 months, before it finished its West End run on December 31, 2011. So what made him come back to the role?

“I just felt I’d had enough time away from it to actually appreciate it. After eight shows a week, it’s not fresh after a year-and-a-half. But I had to come back. Priscilla for me is a great marriage between an Australian musical and an Australian musical performer like myself. It makes sense.”

On its first ever UK tour, the return to London is one of Priscilla’s last stops before the glammed-up bus heads back to the garage and the ladies hang up their sparkly stilettos once more. It’s safe to say the response so far has been positive.


Especially for us: TNT talks to Jason Donovan
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