Turning 50 last year provided “a moment of reflection” for Jason Donovan.
And his current work schedule might also provoke a similar sense of looking back, as his busy calendar sees him reconnecting with some of his biggest career moments.
The friendly Australian will be in Scotland this week as part of the Let’s Rock retro music festival, which takes place in Dalkeith Country Park, alongside other big stars who emerged in the ’80s such as Erasure’s Andy Bell, Kim Wilde and Level 42.
Later this month, he returns to the London Palladium to rejoin the cast of Jason And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a production he did huge business with in 1991-92.
In October and November, he’s part of the ’80s Invasion arena tour, part of a diverse line-up including Sister Sledge, Martika and Hue & Cry.
And on top of all that, his eldest daughter, 18-year-old Jemma, will soon be seen on our screens in Neighbours, following in both her dad’s and grandfather’s footsteps. “That was a wonderful moment for our family,” smiled Jason, who was Scott Robinson in the Australian soap.
His dad, Terence, played Doug Willis and Jason’s half-sister, Stephanie McIntosh, also spent four years on Ramsay Street.
“She hasn’t just landed this role because she’s a Donovan – although I won’t lie, it certainly helps – as she’s done a couple of jobs before this, including a David Walliams film and something for Netflix.
“She went off to Melbourne last year and auditioned off her own bat.
“She plays a Robinson but is not related to my character.
“As long as she works hard and stays down to earth, she’ll be OK. Just to know your kid is working and doing something she might end up loving, as a dad, it’s all you can hope for.”
Jason recently completed a spoken word tour where he looked at his life and career up to turning 50.
He brought it to the Edinburgh Fringe last year and loved the experience.
“I didn’t know if my show was edgy or cool enough to be there, but I didn’t care and just went for it. I enjoyed the moment. The atmosphere was awesome. I got to spend time with friends and saw the Tattoo.
“It wasn’t a quiet couple of weeks, but I would recommend it to anyone. That’s a box I’ve ticked off. Plus, the Scottish crowds have always been cool.”
Jason will experience Scots hospitality again this weekend at Let’s Rock and in November as part of ’80s Invasion.
“For some reason the ’80s resonates, but these things all have a cycle and in time it will be the ’90s and ’00s, too,” continued Jason, who made headlines recently when he helped a woman who collapsed on the street near his home in London.
“Music is a language that connects in ways no other media does.
“When you hear a certain song, you get that emotional feeling and the memories flood back.”
In between the ’80s nostalgia shows, Jason will be back in Joseph, although this time he’ll be playing Pharaoh rather than the title character.
“Again, it’s nostalgia. We smashed it at the Palladium in 1991.
“It was unexpected, I never set out to be a musical theatre star. To be part of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s story was quite something.
“I won’t be in a loincloth this time, although I do feel I’m still in pretty good shape!”
’80s Invasion Tour, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, November 6
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