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Peter Andre’s 10 memorable moments, including performing for Muhammad Ali

Peter Andre
Peter Andre

IT’S hard to pigeon-hole Peter Andre. He’s a pop star, he’s had his own hit ITV show, he was a standout on last year’s Strictly – and of course his I’m A Celebrity time led to him meeting and then marrying Katie Price.

He has two kids, Junior and Princess, with ex-wife Katie. He also has a daughter Amelia with his new wife Emily and she’s currently expecting their second child.

His new book Between Us (Bantam, £18.99) details his rise to stardom and the personal highs and lows along the way.

Now Peter, 43, tells iN10 about the 10 most memorable moments in his life.

EARLIEST DAYS

My very first childhood memory was the death of Elvis in 1977. I was four years old and I can remember it so, so clearly. It was on the news and there was footage of fans in hysterics, crying uncontrollably.

I was standing right at the TV, tapping the screen at the picture of Elvis and my dad kept telling me to move out of the way. It was only later that I realised why people were so upset – no wonder they called him The King. He was a big influence on me and his voice brought out such a lot of emotion in people.

MOVING DOWN UNDER

I was six when I was told we were moving from London to Australia. Emigrating is such a big step, especially when you’re a kid. I remember my friend from school was over and my brother Andrew was visiting that day with his wife. I was really sad because he wasn’t coming with us and it was the start of our long-distance brotherhood.

I didn’t want to leave him or our friends but I was so excited about moving to what I pictured as paradise. It was such a mix of emotions and we went over, came back to the UK and then went over again so it was an unsettling time. But it was all done with the best intentions.

FIRST RECORDING DEAL

I was on an Australian show called New Faces, which is the equivalent of Britain’s Got Talent. The judge was a guy called Ian “Molly” Meldrum, who is bigger in Australia than Simon Cowell is here. He was the guru and if he said you were going to be a star, you would be. He was also a journalist and when Michael Jackson, Elton John or Prince would come to Australia, they would only let him interview them.

Peter Andrew on New Faces
Peter Andre on New Faces

I was petrified but he liked me so much he offered me a recording contract live on air. It was a first for Australia and I was looking around completely confused as I had no idea what was happening.

OPENING FOR MADONNA

I was the only act supporting Madonna in 1993 on her Girlie Tour. I’d had quite a lot of success in Australia so the audience was fantastic. I was standing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with 80,000 people in front of me just not believing I was there.

That same night I heard I’d won four Australian Music Awards. So between that and being on stage with Madonna, it was just an incredible time. Madonna had a lot of security who were very pushy, but she was lovely to me.

LONDON CALLING

Ever since I was a kid in London it had been a dream to play at Wembley Arena and the night I sold it out will always live with me. Those were the days when hysteria was full-on. Now people come and watch the show and you can talk and joke with them, but then it was non-stop screaming and you couldn’t hear yourself sing.

It was just crazy and I was so emotional as my brother Andrew had rung to tell me he and his wife had just had a daughter. It was a special time.

Peter Andre visits Cancer Research UK's Cancer Awareness Roadshow (Jon Furniss)
Peter Andre visits Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Awareness Roadshow (Jon Furniss)

HARVEY

Meeting Katie’s son Harvey changed my life. I fell in love with him right away and he was like the son I never had. It was so special because he taught me to be a father before I became a biological dad.

When I had my own children, I already had experience. He had a few different conditions but they seemed normal to me. So when I had my own kids who didn’t have complications, it actually felt a bit strange. Harvey’s a real star and I’ll always love him.

Peter Andre (DAVID ENGLISH)
Peter Andre (DAVID ENGLISH)

GROWING UP AND BECOMING A DAD

I’ve always felt that there are emotions that are unlocked at certain times in your life. When I lost my brother Andrew (who died from kidney cancer aged just 54) it unleashed a pain I’d never felt before, even with the death of other people. I’d never understood such grief.

And when your first child is born it’s such an inexplicable emotion. It was the most incredible moment of my life.

We’re really excited about having another baby, but I’m starting to think about having four kids under the age of 11. I’ve had no grey hairs so far and I have a feeling they’re all going to come at once!

EMILY

She’s the most wonderful, special person to me. It’s said your partner can be your best friend and some people wonder how that can be the case when they’re also your lover. But we really are true friends. We met through her dad, Dr Ruaridh MacDonough, who may well have saved my life when I needed an urgent kidney stone operation.

Peter Andre and Emily MacDonagh (PA)
Peter Andre and Emily MacDonagh (PA)

We were just friends for a long time and when I wanted to date her I made sure I asked her dad’s permission. I’m very traditional that way but that’s how you get respect. I want to teach my kids that. I was a bit of a wild child in my late teens and my 20s and it took me years to learn to respect. I’ve made lots of mistakes and I want to show my kids how to avoid them.

LOSING ANDREW

Nothing could have prepared me for his death. It’s so raw even now and it’s still something the family don’t talk about very often. If you lost a limb or an organ you could live without, you’d be able to go on, but there’s a hole that’s still there. That’s what it’s like with Andrew. It’s better than it was, but the hole in our life remains.

He seemed to be getting better and he had said he wanted it filmed on my reality show to tell the story when he beat it. We truly believed that was going to happen and no one was prepared for it to take him so suddenly.

THE GREATEST

The day I sat with Muhammad Ali about six or seven years ago was unforgettable.

It was here in the UK and came about because a song I’d written, Unconditional, resonated with how he felt about his children. His wife asked me on his behalf and I had the absolute honour of singing it to him, just me and a guitarist.

I sat holding his hand, thinking that I was in the presence of the greatest sportsman of all time.


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