Australian heartthrob Jason Donovan is celebrating his 50th birthday in style.
The former pop singer and West End musical star is currently on the road with his ‘Amazing Midlife Crisis’ tour to mark the milestone and this month he is bringing his autobiographical show to Fife.
The former Neighbours actor will be sharing a wealth of tantalising tales, zigzagging back and forth through his life, when he takes to the stage at Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline on Wednesday, September 12.
Jason will talk about fame, family and share stories from his time on Neighbours, West End musicals, Strictly Come Dancing, as well as discussing his debut album Ten Good Reasons and his well-documented relationship with Kylie Minogue.
The ‘in conversation’ style show examines every aspect of the Australian star’s life, from where he began to where he is today, revisiting his past, present and future.
His relentless enthusiasm and a refreshingly blunt compulsion towards honesty will reveal all about his rollercoaster life including his battle with drugs.
And the gig offers a rare chance to get up close and personal with the star with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. Jason will also perform some acoustic versions of his classic hits.
Jason said: “This show is a lot more intimate than I have done before.
“It came about quite unexpectedly through a discussion. It gave me an opportunity to just talk about my life and my career and my hopes and dreams and disappointments.
“I have been doing so many shows – Neighbours then my pop career, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing and I got to a point where I had a few issues with my voice and I wanted to not work the pace of eight shows a week.
“ It is the precision of an athlete and sometimes athletes have to take a break and I got to that stage.
“I get paid reasonably well for what I do but it is a lot of hard work.”
Jason reveals some of the topics he covers in the show including a chance encounter with one of his biggest idols in the late 1980s.
“I am really enjoy doing this tour - I talk about the people I have met and talk about silly stuff,” he said.
“For example I talk about the time in 1989 when I met George Michael in a locker room and he was at that time my biggest idol, he came up to me and spoke to me – it was quite a moment.
“I also talk about silly things like when I went to watch Gary Barlow’s solo show.
“He told me to come to the arena in Birmingham and I went back stage without anyone asking for my credentials, there were no queries about why I was there! I also mention silly stories, referring to things like there is a donner kebab van in Bristol which is called Jason’s Donner van! It is a show about fame, my life, my family and the people I have met.”
But while Jason does perform some acoustic versions of his songs in the show, he is keen to stress that this tour is not a concert.
“The music is not the core of the show,” he explained.
“I love singing acoustically but that is only a small part of it. This isn’t a Jason Donovan concert, it is about me talking about my life with a couple of songs.”
Earlier this year, Annie Jones, the actress who played ‘Plain Jane Superbrain’ alongside Jason’s character Scott Robinson in Neighbours in the 1980s, returned to the Australian soap opera.
But would Jason ever consider returning to the soap opera which made him a household name?
He said: “If I am being honest, no.
“It’s not that I don’t need to or wouldn’t like to, but it is just not on my list at the moment.
“But of course you don’t know what could happen in the future.”
As well as his career in pop music, Jason has also performed in a number of West End musicals including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and more recently this year, War of the Worlds.
But which ones has he enjoyed the most?
He said: “War of the Worlds was a great experience and it’s a great character to play. I loved working for Jeff Wayne and the people who produce that show, they treated me like family.
“I love all the shows I have been in and of course they pay the school fees! Priscilla was a great musical to be involved in and Joseph of course changed things for me professionally and in Rocky Horror Show I enjoyed playing the role of Dr Frank-N-Furter too. But it is hard work and when you get to the age of 50, you start thinking about slowing down (a bit).”
Many long-standing fans may recall that this won’t be Jason’s first visit to the Kingdom as he once appeared at the famous Jackie O nightclub in Kirkcaldy, one of a number of famous faces from the world of soap who graced the legendary venue.
He said: “Scotland is great as always and I always look forward to coming to that part of the world – hopefully the weather will be good!”
But now that he is 50 (his birthday is June 1), how does he feel about the milestone?
Jason said: “I don’t really care about the age – it is just a number! I care more about where I am going.
“In the past I’ve either been too young, too busy or too dazed and confused to be able to make sense my life. But now I am older and wiser – if a little more weathered – and I believe that I am finally in a position to put my life into perspective.”
He added: “I’m in a great place, surrounded by good people and don’t feel like I need to prove myself any more”.