Lee Mead, the winner of 2007’s Any Dream Will Do is currently performing in the nations favourite musical Wicked. IMPACT caught up with him amid his busy schedule to ask a few questions about his rise to fame.
Have you always known that you have wanted to be a performer?
I wanted to be a footballer actually for quite a few years and I wasn’t very good. At all. So, I didn’t start performing till I was 18 – quite a late start. My first amateur show when I was 16/17, in Southend, where I’m from, a local group were performing a musical called A Slice of Saturday Night and I played a young guy and had a few songs to sing. It was really daunting. Then I got offered a place at college when I was 20 and haven’t looked back since.
The breakthrough in your career was when you won Any Dream Will Do in 2007. How did this change your life?
Wow, good question. Loads of ways really. I had a chance to get a record deal and make albums and I’m touring the country at the moment because of it and I got to meet loads of different people. My personal life has changed as well; I met my wife for the first time there.
After 2007 you became a household name, are there any negatives about being in the public eye?
Depends how you look at it really, depends on your personality and how you view it all. There’s not many negatives. Having been on telly for a few weeks people become interested in parts of your personal life. Obviously you get the odd paparazzi who asks a funny question but I actually feel very lucky that I have had a chance to show people on a bigger level what I can do. I’d say there are more positives than negatives.
Since 2007 there have been an explosion of talent competitions, have you been keeping up with any of this years competitions? X Factor perhaps, any favourites in there?
I work on Saturday nights but I try and catch it on Sunday mornings: Matt Cardle is talented, One Direction are definitely one for the teenagers and Rebecca is a great character.
Any opinions on Wagner?
He was a bit of a laugh, but he isn’t a proper artist, is he, really!
When watching these shows does it bring back memories of the pressure you were under in Any Dream Will Do?
It does bring back memories, yeah. It‘s been three years now so obviously it’s been a while since that period. It was quite intense; you’re in a bubble for quite a few weeks. You sing live every Saturday night in front of a studio audience of 200ish people but it’s going out to nine million people at home. You spend 5 days a week learning songs and routines but at the same time it was really exciting and there was a real buzz.
How long did you have to rehearse the show before you began performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
Well initially it was a four week rehearsal but the programme overrun and so I only had about two weeks rehearsal… it was a really hard period. It wasn’t my first show which meant I was used to the rehearsal process, but having worked but with other shows, always having had about four weeks rehearsal time prior to the show commencing, plus this being one of my largest performances, meant it was intense!
Have you had any really embarrassing moments whilst you have been performing?
Yeah, I’ve had a couple. My loincloth fell off in Joseph, it was really really funny. There is nothing you can do in that situation. I had quite a firm conversation with the wardrobe attendant afterward. I’ve also forgotten lyrics, it happens quite a lot because we’re performing the show 7 times a week and it’s natural that every now and again you forget a word.
I know your currently appearing in Wicked – is there anything else which you are planning to do over the next few months?
I have a nine month contract for Wicked which finishes on the 5th February. But, I have had my first concert tour this year too – every other Sunday I have a concert, had about 25 this year and that goes into next year too and finishes on 5th February. Then, I have a short tour with about 10 dates and I finish that on the 10th March in Cardiff next year. Hopefully I’ll start recording a third album but nothing is set in stone, I’m just working towards that.
Interview by Priyal Dadhania