Jason Donovan's rocky ride from Ramsey Street

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Ever since he was one half of the on and off screen couple that led to Neighbours experiencing their highest ever ratings with the wedding of Scott and Charlene, Jason Donovan’s tumultuous private life has somewhat overshadowed his career.

From the infamous outing campaign that led him to sue The Face magazine and inadvertently destroy his public image, to his well-documented struggle with drugs, Jason’s name was synonymous with scandal - and the press couldn’t get enough of it.

It wasn’t until his daughter was born in 2000 that he managed to kick the habit and return to our screens, but the real turning point for his comeback came in the unlikely form of the reality show I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Here! in 2007 which saw him finish in 3rd place and win back public support.

“I think the public like people who come back after adverse situations and we see that in all sorts of walks of life. It shows an inner strength when you get low and bounce back and I would argue that I’ve certainly been able to do that.”

He returned to the stage with a camper-than-ever role in 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' and took a break in May after having performed in 440 shows in 18 months.

Having won over critics in the flamboyant role, he’s breaking away from type and playing the lead in Jeff Wayne’s musical version of 'War of the Worlds'.

Full of special effects and CGI animation, the show is an adaptation of the H.G.Wells’ novel and will tour the UK from 2 December, also starring Atomic Kitten’s Liz McClarnon and X-Factor's Rhydian.

He’s not only excited about the role but also about becoming a father for the third time, with the baby due in March. He has spoken before about how the birth of his first child led him to overcome his addictions after a series of drug-induced seizures. The most famous of which took place at Kate Moss's 21st birthday party at The Viper Room in Los Angeles - the same venue that River Phoenix had died at of a drug overdose in 1993.

“Unfortunately, in the public sphere the microscope tends to analyse everything you do. When people have good years and bad years, some people can do it privately. You’ve just got to not listen to what people think too much and go by what you think is right and wrong.”

Last month Jason revisited his eighties pop roots with a new album ‘Soundtrack to the 80s’, and he’ll be taking part in the 80s 'Here and Now' tour in 2011, alongside Boy George and Belinda Carlisle.

His name will always be linked to the era and the Australian soap that made him famous. 'Neighbours' celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and although Jason revealed that he was asked to return, he refused due to work commitments - and Kylie chose not to head back to Ramsey Street either.

“I played it the way I wanted to play it with Kylie so I don’t have any regrets. I haven’t seen her in a while.”

He’s understandably guarded when it comes to discussion of Kylie as their relationship garnered an unprecedented amount of attention at the time, placing mounting pressure on the two in their first serious relationship as teenagers. There is, however, evident gratitude on his part for opportunities that the show and subsequent pop career opened up for him and understands the press invasion:

“You don’t go into this business to be too private, it’s only ironic when you become famous and rebel against it. There are a lot more people vying for spots than there ever was. There’s a lot more intrusion, you’ve got youtube, mobile camera phones...If you enter into the public eye you have to understand the responsibilities and the pluses and the minuses. I’m pretty honest, so there’s not a lot for me to hide.”

His honesty regarding the stage of his life which was clouded by drug-use has certainly warmed the public to him, and while he’s more than aware that this is a part of his life that it’s natural to be intrigued about, he also aims to break away from the image:

“When you move away from that world you have to reinvent yourself.”

Rather than reinventing himself, I’d argue he’s gone full circle and successfully reintroduced the charismatic stage actor that endeared the British public to Jason Donovan in his lead role in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' all those years ago.

War of the Worlds will tour in the UK from 2 December until 18 December

Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

'Rebel without a Cause', 'East of Eden' and 'Giant' re-released

VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
TV The second episode of the hit HBO featured a surprise for viewers
Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
Arts & Entertainment
Rory Kinnear in his Olivier-winning role as Iago in Othello

Oliviers 2014Actor beat Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston to take the award
Arts & Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch is best known for this roles in Sherlock and Star Trek
TV

Arts & Entertainment
theatreAll hail the temporary venue that has shaken things up at the National Theatre
Arts & Entertainment
musicShe is candid, comic and coming our way
Arts & Entertainment
booksHer new novel is about people seeking where they belong
Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on The Crimson Field
Arts & Entertainment
Gian Sammarco plays Adrian Mole in 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole'
books

Sue Townsend's much-loved character will live on
Arts & Entertainment
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show
TV

Kylie Minogue quits The Voice UK

Arts & Entertainment
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Favour Asikpa and Thandie Newton in 'Half of a Yellow Sun'
film

Review: Half of A Yellow Sun

Arts & Entertainment
Andrew Motion would send 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens
booksLeading writers protest against government restrictions on prisoners receiving books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

    Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
    The pain of IVF

    The pain of IVF

    As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
    Supersize art

    Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

    The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
    James Dean: Back on the big screen

    James Dean: Back on the big screen

    As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
    Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

    How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

    More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
    10 best activity books for children

    10 best activity books for children

    Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
    Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

    Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

    Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
    Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

    Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

    Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
    Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

    Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

    With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
    Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

    NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

    Politicians urged to find radical solution
    Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

    Ukraine crisis

    How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

    The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

    A history of the First World War in 100 moments
    Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

    New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

    Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
    Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

    Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

    Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?