Jason Donovan

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Jason Donovan
Jason Donovan Here and Now Tour 2011 429 v2.jpg
Jason Donovan performing at Here and Now Tour 2011
Background information
Birth name Jason Donovan
Born (1968-06-01) 1 June 1968 (age 45)
Malvern, Melbourne, Australia
Genres Pop, musicals
Occupations Singer, actor, radio and TV presenter
Years active 1980–present
Labels PWL, Polydor, UMTV
Website jasondonovan.com

Jason Donovan (born 1 June 1968) is an Australian actor and singer. He initially achieved fame in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, before beginning a career in music in 1988. In the UK he has sold over 3 million records, and his début album Ten Good Reasons was one of the highest-selling albums of 1989 with UK sales of over 1.5 million copies. He has had four UK No. 1 singles, one of which was "Especially for You", his 1988 duet with Kylie Minogue. He has also appeared in several stage musicals, most prominently in the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the early 1990s.

Biography[edit]

Jason Donovan was born in Malvern, Melbourne, and is the son of Sue Menlove (now Sue McIntosh), and actor Terence Donovan (Doug Willis on Neighbours). Following his parents' separation and divorce, his father was awarded custody of him in 1972.[1] Donovan has no contact with his mother since the divorce.[1] His half-sister is former Neighbours star Stephanie McIntosh. He attended De La Salle College Malvern.

Donovan's partner since 1998 is Angela Malloch, a former stage manager, with whom he has three children. Donovan and Malloch were married in Bali in 2008.[2]

Donovan was the subject of an episode of the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? on 30 August 2010 in which he discovered he is a descendant of the pioneer William Cox, who built the first road across Australia's Blue Mountains in 1814. Donovan confirmed he is of partial Jewish descent through his maternal great-grandmother, Eileen Dawson (née Lyons). His great-great-grandparents Joseph and Rosetta Lyons originated from Whitechapel, London.

Television career and Neighbours[edit]

Donovan made his first television appearance at age 11 in a guest role on the Australian series Skyways in 1980. In the episode, his on-screen sister was played by future Neighbours co-star Kylie Minogue. He also appeared in the series I Can Jump Puddles before achieving fame in 1986 on Neighbours as Scott Robinson (replacing actor Darius Perkins, who had played the role for the first year of the series). His character's most notable story arc was his onscreen romance and wedding to Charlene Mitchell (played by Minogue).

He won his first Logie Award for "Best New Talent" in 1987 and received a commendation in the category "Performance by a Male Actor In a Series" from the Television Society of Australia's Penguin Awards. In 1988 he was awarded the 'Silver Logie' for the "Most Popular Actor" on Australian television.[citation needed]

In addition to his regular role in Neighbours, Donovan appeared as "Happy Houston" in the 1988 Australian World War II mini-series The Heroes, based on the historical novel by Ronald McKie. He won the 1990 Logie Award for "Most Popular Actor in a Mini-Series".[citation needed]

Donovan left Neighbours in 1989. In 2009 he said that he had been asked to return to tie in with the show's 25th anniversary in 2010, but was unable to do so due to other work commitments.[3]

1988–1991: Pop career[edit]

While he was still appearing in Neighbours, Donovan followed Minogue (who had already left the series by this point) in signing a recording contract with Mushroom Records in Australia, and with PWL in the UK. His first single, "Nothing Can Divide Us", was released in 1988. Like Minogue's material, it was written and produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman (known as Stock Aitken Waterman). The single reached number five in the UK, and the top 40 in several other countries.[citation needed]

Donovan's next single was a duet with Minogue. "Especially for You" was released in December 1988, and after spending four weeks at No. 2 in the UK, it hit No. 1 in January 1989. It was the fourth-highest selling single in the UK in 1988, and 17th in Australia for 1989. Donovan and Minogue also dated for a time during this period.

His next single, "Too Many Broken Hearts," reached number one in the UK in March 1989. He released his début album, Ten Good Reasons, in May 1989, which also reached number one (for three weeks). For two weeks, Donovan held the number one positions in the singles chart and the albums chart simultaneously, when his next single, a cover of Brian Hyland's "Sealed With a Kiss", entered the UK charts at number one.

In December 1989, he took part in Band Aid II's version of "Do They Know it's Christmas", which also included Minogue.

Donovan released his second album, Between The Lines in May 1990, again produced by Stock Aitken Waterman. Although the album reached Platinum status in the UK, it was less successful than his debut a year before, peaking at no.2 and selling only a fifth as many copies. Five singles were released from the album, and although they all reached the UK Top 30, they also signaled a decline in his popularity. Between 1988 and 1992, Donovan garnered 16 Top 40 hit singles in the UK.

Donovan continued to act alongside his pop career, and in 1990 he appeared in his first feature film, Blood Oath (released in some countries as Prisoners of the Sun). For the role, Donovan dyed his hair brown, as seen in his video for his 1990 single "Hang On To Your Love".

1991–1993: Joseph, and The Face[edit]

In 1991, with questions about his ability to sing, and the break-up of his relationship with Minogue due to her relationship with INXS singer Michael Hutchence, Donovan accepted the lead role in the restaged London Palladium version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed by Steven Pimlott. Donovan had his third solo UK #1 single with one of its songs, Any Dream Will Do, while the stage production won the 1992 Laurence Olivier Awards for set design and costume design. Donovan left the production in early 1992 citing "exhaustion" and was replaced by TV presenter Phillip Schofield.

In 1992, Donovan launched a libel action against The Face magazine which had published allegations that he was homosexual. Donovan won £200,000 in damages and the magazine had to pay a further £100,000 in costs,[4] but the action of his lawsuit made him appear homophobic and had the effect of alienating much of his audience. Donovan tried to make amends and claimed that he did not sue the magazine out of greed or because he was homophobic, but because he had been accused of lying to his fans. Rather than launch an appeal, the publishers of the magazine came to an agreement with Donovan over the damages he was awarded. Regardless, Donovan's career never recovered from his act of litigation. Although he had been a mild drug user who had smoked cannabis joints up until this point, in the months after his libel action Donovan began using cocaine.[5] In a 2007 interview in the magazine Marie Claire and also in his 2007 autobiography Between The Lines: My Story Uncut, Donovan admitted that suing The Face was the biggest mistake of his life.[5]

Now no longer signed to PWL, who had released his first two albums and a "greatest hits" compilation, Donovan moved to Polydor Records. A year after his libel action against The Face, he released his third album, All Around The World (1993). However, the album was not a success and failed to make the UK Top 20 (all of Donovan's albums up until then had been Top 10) and was not released at all in his native Australia. Donovan was subsequently dropped by his new record company, effectively marking the end of his career as a pop star.

1995–1999: Drugs[edit]

Donovan later admitted that by 1995 he had a serious drug problem, taking around two grams of cocaine a day. In early 1995, he attended model Kate Moss's 21st birthday party at The Viper Room in Los Angeles, where he suffered a drug-induced seizure (the same venue at which River Phoenix had died of a drug overdose in 1993). Donovan was rushed to hospital and claims that the last face he remembered seeing was that of Michael Hutchence.[2]

Later in 1995, Donovan starred in the Australian TV film The Last Bullet[6] with Koji Tamaki, directed by Michael Pattison, which was set in World War II on the Pacific island of Borneo.

In 1998, Donovan took the lead role of Dr. Frank N. Furter in the UK touring production of The Rocky Horror Show, where he met stage manager Angela Malloch. After the pair had a brief relationship, Malloch became pregnant and gave Donovan an ultimatum that he had to kick drugs once and for all if he wanted to be part of their child's life.[2]

In various articles in late 1999, Donovan admitted that he still used cocaine, saying: "I still have a joint and I still take coke, but not as much as I did two years ago."[7]

Donovan has claimed to be drug-free since 2000, the year his first child was born.[2]

2000–2005: Fatherhood[edit]

Donovan's daughter Jemma was born in March 2000. Since then, with his drug problems now under control, he continued to act on stage and television, and had a role in the medical-legal television drama MDA (2003–05), on Australia's ABC network. Since 2003, Donovan has also lent his voice to the Buzz! series of quiz video games.

In late 2004, he was headlining in the stage musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. He finished his original run on 13 March 2005, but was then invited back from June onwards to play in the final two months of the show, until its closure on 4 September 2005. Following this, he has toured the UK performing a few gigs and returned to the stage in January 2006 to star in a UK tour of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. After this, he returned to Melbourne to star in David Eldrige's Australian transfer of the London drama Festen.

2005–2006: Virgin marketing campaign and I'm A Celebrity...[edit]

In 2005, Donovan's mobile phone number was circulated around the web in Australia, due to an image that was taken in Sydney. It appeared that Donovan was trying to sell his car, and unwittingly released his mobile phone number to the public. From 10 September, his answering machine had a special message on it, because he was frustrated by the number of calls he was receiving for no particular reason. Virgin placed advertisements in several high-profile Australian newspapers, urging people not to call Donovan, one of their customers.[8] Virgin Mobile has since admitted the photos were all part of a marketing ploy. Virgin also ran TV advertisements showing Donovan answering prank calls, asking the viewer not to call him, then displaying his number.

Donovan took part in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2006 and finished in 3rd place. While in the jungle, he became good friends with David Gest and Matt Willis. Donovan also took part in many Bushtucker Trials, which included wearing a helmet full of insects and playing a giant game of Operation. Donovan lost out on the King of the Jungle Crown to Matt Willis. However, during an interview on The Steve Wright Show on BBC Radio 2 (January 2008), he claimed that his appearance on I'm A Celebrity... had revitalised his career.

2007–2009: Return to music and soap operas[edit]

Jason Donovan at a 2007 book signing in Waterstones Bournemouth.

Donovan performed a medley of songs from Joseph along with other actors who have played the eponymous role (Donny Osmond and Lee Mead) at the Concert for Diana in July 2007.[9]

In early 2008, Donovan had a role in ITV's post-watershed soap opera Echo Beach; the series was cancelled after 12 episodes. He also presented Sunday Night with Jason Donovan, a programme on The One Network of British local radio stations.

On 25 September 2008, Donovan performed in the canteen at the head offices of Tesco in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. He was promoting his forthcoming album, Let It Be Me, which was released on 10 November 2008. The album, his first for 15 years, reached No. 28 in Britain.

Also in 2008, Donovan performed at the Party In The Park in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

In 2009, Donovan performed as Tick (Mitzi) in the London stage musical production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre. Also in 2009, Donovan began appearing in television commercials (with Kerry Katona and Coleen Nolan) for the frozen food supermarket chain Iceland in the UK.

2010–present[edit]

In September 2010, Donovan took part in the BBC Television Series Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his family tree back several generations. Donovan's fifth studio album, Soundtrack Of The 80s, was released in October 2010. The album is composed of cover versions of well known 80s hits such as "Drive" (The Cars), "I Just Died In Your Arms" (Cutting Crew) and "Sign Your Name" (Terence Trent D'Arby) and several others. The same year, Donovan played the role of The Artilleryman in the 2010–2011 stage show Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. The show toured the UK and Europe, starting in November 2010 and finished in Germany in January 2011.[citation needed] Donovan also voiced the part of Toby the Kangaroo in the environmental animated film, Animals United.

In February 2011, Donovan appeared on the BBC series Ready, Steady, Cook. The same year, he appeared in Casualty as a British soldier injured in Afghanistan. Later in 2011, he performed on the Here and Now Tour, and also toured in a production of The Sound of Music playing Captain Von Trapp. The production co-starred Verity Rushworth as Maria.

From September 2011, Donovan took part in the ninth series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.[10] He was partnered with dancer Kristina Rihanoff and finished third in the competition.

Donovan presents a voice-tracked radio show on Heart each Sunday from 10am - 12pm.[11]

In March 2012, Donovan released a new album of covers, Sign Of Your Love, which peaked at number 36 in the UK Albums Chart.

In May 2012, Donovan was interviewed by Piers Morgan on the ITV series Piers Morgan's Life Stories, in which he talked openly about his career, his past relationship with Kylie Minogue, and his battle with drugs. During the interview, Donovan also admitted that he'd undergone hair transplantation to counteract his thinning hair.

In Summer 2012, he appeared as a judge on ITV's talent search show Superstar.

In late 2012, Donovan again toured the UK and Europe in a new version of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, this time playing Parson Nathaniel.

In 2013, Donovan reprised his role as Tick/Mitzi in the UK national touring production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On 5 May 2013, Donovan was heard narrating Pick TV's budget version of Rude Tube, entitled Video Surf.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
AUS
[12]
AUT
[13]
GER
[14]
NDL
[15]
NZ
[16]
SWE
[17]
SWI
[18]
UK
[19]
Ten Good Reasons

[20]

5 20 3 21 4 29 20 1
Between The Lines

[22]

77 18 52 25 44 37 2
All Around The World

[23]

27
Let It Be Me

[24]

28
Soundtrack of the 80's 20
Sign Of Your Love

[25]

36

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[26]
BEL
[27]
FIN
[28]
GER
[29]
IRE
[30]
NED
[31]
NZ
[32]
SWE
[33]
SWI
[34]
UK
[35]
1988 "Nothing Can Divide Us" 3 38 12 3 39 5 Ten Good Reasons
"Especially For You" (duet with Kylie Minogue) 2 5 4 10 1 4 2 12 2 1
1989 "Too Many Broken Hearts" 7 2 3 16 1 3 21 13 27 1
"Sealed With A Kiss" 8 2 2 4 1 11 13 8 7 1
"Every Day (I Love You More)" 43 6 9 19 1 47 41 2
"When You Come Back To Me" 40 6 2 36 1 20 2 Between The Lines
1990 "Hang On To Your Love" 12 51 3 26 8
"Another Night" 12 14 52 6 43 18
"Rhythm Of The Rain" 44 14 38 6 9
"I'm Doing Fine" 34 60 9 22
1991 "RSVP" 22 66 8 17 Greatest Hits
"Happy Together" 20 53 6 10
"Any Dream Will Do" 19 55 1 55 1 Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
"Joseph Mega Remix" 13
1992 "Mission Of Love" 25 26 All Around The World
"As Time Goes By" 26
1993 "All Around The World" 41
"Angel"
2008 "Dreamboats And Petticoats" Let It Be Me
2012 "Make Love" 91 Sign Of Your Love

Acting credits[edit]

Year Title Format Role
1980 Skyways TV series Robin's Brother & Trevor Kirk
1981 I Can Jump Puddles TV movie Freddy
1983 Home TV series Unknown
1985 Golden Pennies TV series Sean
1986–1989 Neighbours TV series Scott Robinson
1988 The Heroes TV mini-series Happy Huston
1990 Prisoners of the Sun Film Private Talbot
1990 Shadows of the Heart TV movie Alex Fargo
1991 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat TV special Joseph
1993 Galleria Short film Duane
1995 The Last Bullet TV movie Stanley Brennan
1995 Rough Diamonds Film Mike Tyrell
1996 The Sun, the Moon and the Stars Film Pat
2000 Sorted Film Martin
2002 Tempe Tip Film Max
2003 Horseplay Film Henry
2003 Ned Film Father Thompson
2002–2003 MDA TV series Richard Savage
2004 Loot TV movie Jon Peregrine
2005—2010 Buzz! Video game series Buzz
2005 Vietcong 2 Video game Australian Officer
2008 Echo Beach TV series Daniel Marrack
2010 Animals United Film Toby (voice)
2011 Evil Calls Video film Gary
2011 Back2Hell Video film Gary
2014 Boj TV series for CBeebies Pops (voice)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Piers Morgan's Life Stories
  2. ^ a b c d Barber, Richard (28 November 2008). "Jason Donovan: 'I'd be dead if I wasn't a dad'". Daily Mail (London, UK). Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Published Tuesday, 10 November 2009, 21:41 GMT (2009-11-10). "'Neighbours' asked Jason Donovan to return - Neighbours News - Soaps". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Jason Donovan: Is the actor turned pop star still "Neighbours" with Kylie?". thebubbleburst.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Donovan, Jason – "Between The Lines: My Story Uncut" (2007) HarperCollins Publishing (ISBN 978-0007261475)
  6. ^ The Last Bullet (1995) (TV)
  7. ^ "Donovan admits drugs habit". BBC News. 18 February 1999. Retrieved 29 July 2007. 
  8. ^ http://members.iinet.net.au/~bfarquhar/pics/Jason%20Donovan1.jpg
  9. ^ "Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, featuring:". concertfordiana.com. Retrieved 29 July 2007. 
  10. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing signs up Lulu and Edwina Currie". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Heart Network Radio - Jason Donovan show
  12. ^ "Jason Donovan in Australian charts". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  13. ^ "Jason Donovan in der Österreichischen charts" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  14. ^ donovan&chart=no&music=no&country=de&release=Release New&bereich=c_suche&kategorie=album "Charts.de:Jason Donovan" (in German). Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  15. ^ "GfK Dtch Charts:Jason Donovan (albums)". GfK Dutch Charts Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  16. ^ "charts.org.nz: Jason Donovan". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  17. ^ "Jason Donovan in Swedish charts" (in German). swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  18. ^ "Hitparade.ch: Jason Donovan" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  19. ^ "UK Official Charts Company Jason Donovan". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  20. ^ "Ten Good Reasons Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 11 September 2011. Note: User needs to enter "Jason Donovan" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  22. ^ "Between The Lines Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  23. ^ "All Around The World Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  24. ^ "Let It Be Me Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  25. ^ "Sign Of Your Love Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  26. ^ "Australian Charts". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  27. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". Ultratop.be. ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  28. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 131. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  29. ^ donovan&chart=no&music=no&country=de&release=Release New&kategorie=single&bereich=c_suche "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts - German Singles". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  30. ^ "The Irish Charts". IRMA 2006 - 2008. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  31. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  32. ^ "charts.org.nz - New Zealand charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  33. ^ "Swedish Charts - Swedish charts portal". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  34. ^ "Hitparade.ch: Jason Donovan (singles)" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  35. ^ "Chart Stats - Jason Donovan". chartstats.com. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gary Wilmot
Actor to portray Caractacus Potts
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Brian Conley