Ian "H" Watkins

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This article is about the Steps singer. For the Lostprophets vocalist and sex offender, see Ian Watkins (Lostprophets).
Ian "H" Watkins
Birth name Ian Watkins
Born (1976-05-08) 8 May 1976 (age 38)
Llwynypia, Wales
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, dancer, stage actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1997–present
Labels Jive, Sony, Steps Recordings, Warner Music
Associated acts Steps, Claire Richards, H & Claire
Website www.ianhwatkins.com

Ian "H" Watkins (born 8 May 1976) is a Welsh singer, dancer and stage actor, known for being one of two male backup singers of the British pop group Steps. He has said that "H" stands for "hyperactive", describing his character.[1]

Early life[edit]

Watkins first appeared on stage with Frank Vickery productions; he then spent his teenage years with Spotlight Theatre Company. Before joining Steps, he worked as redcoat for Butlins holiday parks.[citation needed] Contrary to rumour, he was not in the Royal Marines.[2]

Post-Steps career[edit]

H & Claire[edit]

After Steps split in 2001, he formed a duo, H & Claire, with fellow ex-Steps member Claire Richards. They released three singles and an album, and then went their separate ways.

Musical theatre[edit]

He then decided to take a musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst taking the course he also appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and was filmed for a reality TV series, H-side Story, which followed him as he tried to make a new career in acting. In 2003 he was voted number 8 on a Channel 4 poll of 100 Worst Britons We Love to Hate.[3] After graduating from the academy Watkins travelled to New York to continue refining his acting skills. Following his extra tuition in New York, Watkins performed at Preston's Charter theatre in the pantomime Cinderella as the character of Buttons. In summer 2007, he performed in the West End version of Fame. During Christmas 2007, he reprised his role as Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella at the Grimsby Auditorium. Christmas 2010 saw his return to Grimsby as he performed in the pantomime Beauty and the Beast, playing the part of Muddles. In 2013, Watkins announced that he was returning to his role as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in June.

Television[edit]

In June 2006, Watkins appeared in a special week of episodes of the BBC Radio Drama Silver Street on the BBC Asian Network. He played the character of former soldier Dave in episodes set in the Welsh countryside. In November 2006, Watkins featured on the BBC Children in Need Celebrity Scissorhands show, where Michelle cut his hair.

Watkins was the ninth housemate to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house on 3 January 2007.[4] He finished in fourth place on Celebrity Big Brother 5 and was the highest placed British contestant in the show.

In April 2007, Watkins starred as the 'hidden' celebrity in an episode of the CBBC show Hider in the House. On 11 March 2008, Watkins presented a documentary about growing up gay in Wales, shown on BBC Wales.[5] Whilst filming for this, Watkins interviewed Christian Voice leader Stephen Green. During the interview Green compared him to Jeffrey Dahmer.[6][7] Watkins starred in a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang playing the part of the child catcher, with performances in Cardiff and Sunderland before touring with Frank Vickerys Erogenous Zones playing Michael.

In December 2008, Ian was a contestant in Bargain Hunt Famous Finds and partnered with Connie Fisher. He played the role of 'Silly Billy' in pantomime Jack & The Beanstalk at the Southport Theatre from 10 December 2009 to 3 January 2010. Ian appeared on Skins, episode 2 of series 4.[8] He appeared in the Living TV show Party Wars.[9] Ian also appeared in Cinderella.

In February 2013, H was a contestant in the celebrity special of the popular ITV quiz show The Chase along with three other celebrities.

Steps reunion[edit]

Ever since the band's break-up, rumours had been circulating that they would reunite in one form or another. In 2009, Lee Latchford-Evans revealed that the band had been approached to perform a series of concerts. He hinted that a future reunion was possible, but that "it isn't the right time right now".[10] In early 2011, rumours began circulating that Steps would reunite for a TV series and a one-off concert to mark the tenth anniversary of their 2001 split.[11] Despite the claims being reported by various news stations and newspapers, the reunion was denied by band's members, including Claire Richards on her Twitter page. Richards also announced, on 9 July 2011, that a Steps reunion would be "silly", but she would "never say never".[12] However, contrary to these claims, just 12 days later it was announced that Steps would be reuniting for a four-part Sky Living documentary, depicting their split and the intermittent years. The band would also release their Ultimate Collection, as well as potential new material.[13]

In a promo for the show, each member reveals their true feelings, with ‘H’ sharing that he regrets the way it all ended, but insisting that "If I were to revisit it and turn the clock back, I would probably have done it exactly the same way." Evans has also commented: "They took something away from three people that we loved and we didn't get a choice because certain people took that choice away from us and I think that is very unfair."[citation needed] The Steps Reunion began on Sky Living at 9pm on Wednesday, 28 September 2011.

In an interview with Digital Spy on 20 September 2011, Steps said that they believe there is a gap in the market for their brand of "happy pop". Scott-Lee said: "Times have changed, but we are in a recession and Steps' music was very light-hearted and fun, so there could be a place for that in today's society ... What else is interesting is that there aren't any boy/girl pop groups out there at the moment".[14]

Controversy[edit]

In November 2013 it was reported that Watkins had been receiving hate mail through Twitter from people confusing him with Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, who had recently pleaded guilty to 11 sex offences, including two charges of attempting to rape a baby.[15] Watkins received a public apology in court from E! Entertainment Television for using a picture of the pop star to illustrate a story about the paedophile musician.[16] Watkins was also said to be "furious" and pursuing legal action after his image appeared next to stories about the convicted paedophile through searches on Google News.[17]

Personal life[edit]

On 3 January 2007, Watkins came out publically as gay, in an interview with The Sun newspaper.[18] His interview was published the same day he entered the Celebrity Big Brother house. During his tenure with Steps, Watkins was involved in a relationship with the group's manager, Tim Byrne.[18][19]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Steps discography

Tours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amy Bourke (4 May 2007). "Interview: Fame at last for Steps singer". Pink News. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  2. ^ Steve Hendry (1 September 2013). "H from Steps made his debut in Joseph as a kid and it helped launch his West End career.. now he's taking it to the nation". Daily Record. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Blair branded 'worst Briton'". BBC News. 11 May 2003. 
  4. ^ The Sun: Latest news from the Celebrity Big Brother House
  5. ^ YouTube - Broadcast Yourself
  6. ^ Grew, Tony (14 April 2008). "Wales may get "ex-gay" ministry". Pink News. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  7. ^ Simon Reynolds (11 March 2008). "Gay Steps star compared to serial killer". Digital Spy. 
  8. ^ Dan French (26 January 2010). "Ian 'H' Watkins confirmed for 'Skins'". Digital Spy. 
  9. ^ "LIVING commissions a war on parties...". Living TV. 18 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Ball, David (1 April 2009). "Steps 'eyeing future reunion tour'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (11 February 2011). "Steps are reforming for TV show". London: The Sun. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  12. ^ RTÉ (9 July 2011). "No Steps reunion on the cards for Richards". RTE. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Eames, Tom (21 July 2011). "Steps to reunited for Sky Living documentary series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Ryan Love, Steps talk reunion and chart success: 'There's definitely a gap for us', 20 September 2011, Digital Spy
  15. ^ Steve Garner (27 November 2013). "Steps star Ian H Watkins abused by internet users who confuse him for convicted Lostprophets singer". ITV News. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Steps star Ian H Watkins gets court apology over photo error". BBC News. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ian 'H' Watkins 'angry and upset' at Google News results". BBC News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Emma Cox, also confirming his relationship to Paul Akehurst and saying 'I was only gay in the village', The Sun, 3 January 2007
  19. ^ Grew, Tony (2012-01-02). "Steps star comes out before entering Celeb Big Brother". pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]