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Ex-Neighbours star Jason Donovan on how his kids don’t appreciate his 80s-inspired music.

On your new album, Soundtrack Of The 80s, you cover some of your favourite songs from that decade. Was it tough choosing the songs?
I notice there’s no Boy George or Paul Young on there.
I would have loved to have had 20 or 30 songs on the album - I keep finding more than I wish I could have covered.

But, I’m not gonna lie, this is a commercial package. I would have loved to have done a cover version of New Order or The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry. Where do you stop?

You’ve said you’re going to draw a line under revisiting the 80s after this album – do you really mean that?
After this one, yeah. Unless, it’s massively successful – then you might see a Soundtrack Of The 80s 2. That’d be scary wouldn’t it? It’s a sentimental journey. It’s a period I know very well. It’s a little bit harder for me to do the soundtrack to the 90s, with Cigarettes And Alcohol [Oasis] or Nevermind by Nirvana.

What do your kids think of your whole 80s pop star persona?
They’re aware of it but I don’t think they’re old enough to appreciate how good it was [laughs]. That’s a joke!

They’re nine and 10.  I think once they get to 14-15 they might start analysing it a bit more, but for now it’s all Jason Derulo, Tinie Tempah, Katy Perry
– it ain’t fuckin’ Jason Donovan, I can tell you that! I’m only good for bloody loans or taking them out to a premiere. They’re not very interested in my back-catalogue.

Neighbours was obviously a big part of the 80s too. Do you ever catch yourself watching it these days?
Not really, no. It’s not because I don’t appreciate it – it’s a wonderful show.

Do you still keep in touch with Kylie?
No. We’re friends but she’s not someone I’ve got on speed dial.

Nick Cave told me he and Kylie text each other and he’s never seen anyone use so many exclamation marks ...
Really? Well, I don’t have the same relationship … but I’m sure there’s a lot to be “exclamating” about.

Who’s your pick to win X Factor this year?

I reckon Mary.

The Irish lass with the belting voice? Do you think they might worry how
to market her as a pop star?

Well, if Susan Boyle can do it ...I love the show, I’m a sucker for it.

You said suing The Face magazine [for libel over allegations he was gay] was the biggest mistake of your life ...
I never once said that. I don’t see it as a particularly proud moment – but not a mistake ... I think they [The Face] were wrong. They should have asked me first, my opinion, and they didn’t.

And, to that extent, I did what I felt necessary at the time. Would I take that route again? I dunno. I wouldn’t want to go through that process again and would advise people you can settle out of court.

You and your wife are expecting another baby – congratulations. What’s your fatherhood style?

To be as involved as I possibly can. And that’s why I’m doing it again – I love it!
It keeps me young, keeps me listening to Jason Derulo and Katy Perry.

» Album Soundtrack Of The 80s is out now through UMTV.

Interview: Alison Grinter


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