Encore Meets theatre and television star John Barrowman.
We sat down with John Borrowman to learn more about his Christmas UK Tour, John Barrowman – A Fabulous Christmas.
The eight-date tour in November and December follows the success of his sell-out summer shows, celebrating his 30 years on stage and screen, and will coincide with the release of his new album of the same name.
Barrowman is a singer, actor, dancer, presenter, judge and author. Last year, UK audiences delighted in supporting him as he made the final three in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2018. And he’s recently been announced as the new judge for ITV’s Dancing On Ice, having competed on the show’s first series in 2006.
We caught up with John for a festive chat as he prepares for a truly FABULOUS Christmas…
What is Christmas all about to you?
John Barrowman: “It’s about family, friends, celebrating the birth of a child, and basically coming together and enjoying people’s company. Everybody talks about presents, but my favourite time is Christmas morning after all the presents have been opened, having brunch, relaxing, playing games, all that stuff.
Of course, I have to fit music into Christmas, and that starts on Christmas Eve. We have all the Christmas songs on, line up bottles of Champagne – from the most expensive to the cheapest… And by the time we get to the cheap ones, they all taste exactly the same anyway.”
Home is obviously Palm Springs, but you’re still very much attached to your Scottish roots. Where do you spend Christmas?
John Barrowman: “Prior to last year, Christmas has always been spent at my cousin’s in Dunblaine, as when I’ve been working in panto, you only really get Christmas day off, so not much chance to travel too far. So last year was the first time in many years where I’ve actually been at home with family, in the States, for Christmas, and that’s where we’ll be this year too.”
Do we assume your house looks fabulous at Christmas?
John Barrowman: “Absolutely. My house gets decorated to the hilt; pilots could mistake our house for a runway! That said, by the time I’ve actually finished the tour and other work I’ve got on, there’s only going to be about five days to do all the decorating and shopping.
We have two trees. One is decorated in a Scottish-American-Welsh-British traditional style, recognising all the places I’ve lived in. The other is more glitzy and sparkly, with a dash of Star Wars – we have a Star Wars tree topper. All the trees outside have huge baubles on and we really go all out.”
Who will you spend Christmas with and what’s the plan?
John Barrowman: “Mum and dad are just down the road, so they’ll be with us, and my aunt and uncle and Scott and mine’s best friends – just the eight of us. Everyone shares the jobs, although one day I’ve got a chef booked so no one will have to cook at all. But we’re a diverse family, so we really try to include lots of different elements.
Mum will make shortbread, obviously – being Scottish, my aunt is from Belgium and she does the hors d’oeuvres. Then it’s a traditional turkey dinner with everybody pitching in to help. ne rule though, whoever cooks does not clean up – so I make sure I get really stuck into the cooking, and make a mess…”
What’s the best present you’ve ever had?
John Barrowman: “I remember one year as a kid, all I wanted was a silver flute. I’d come down, opened all my presents from Santa and I didn’t get it. Mum and dad asked me to get something out of the drawer in the other room where they kept the silverware, and there among it all was this very particular flute.
I like to make gift giving an event like that – it really adds to the occasion.”
And lastly, what can fans expect from John Barrowman – A Fabulous Christmas Tour? The summer tour was truly fabulous, and your mum, dad and Scott almost managed to steal the show on those dates… Will we be seeing them again?
John Barrowman: “It’s going to be totally Christmassy… I’ve written a letter to Santa to see if ‘Mr and Mrs Claus’ are able to come along. Scott will be there again, on the merchandise stall, and on stage at some point. I hope to integrate mum and dad into it – which will be quite exciting, I hope.
Like the summer shows, there will be music, stories and photos, but this time sharing all my favourite moments from Christmas through the years.”
You couldn’t leave out London…
“Absolutely I couldn’t. It’s somewhere I think of as home, among so many places now, and it’s always a good audience there.
“And at this time of year, it will be a brilliant opportunity to see lots of friends and family in the audience. It’s always exciting to be in the big smoke.”