He was one half of one of the most iconic couples of the 1980s when he got together with Kylie Minogue, having starred as her husband, Scott, on Neighbours, and jointly released the hit single Especially for You.
And Jason Donovan now says he ‘couldn’t be more proud’ of his eldest daughter, Jemma, as she followed in his footsteps and joined the cast of the Aussie soap in 2019 as Harlow Robinson – who also happens to be the great-niece of Scott (talk about keeping it in the family!).
The 52-year-old actor tells us, ‘I was delighted for her when she got the role. She’s a 20-year-old kid, she’s got a regular job, and she’s living in Australia, which is a wonderful country to be in.
‘She’s proven herself to be not only talented in her acting, but she’s shown me her strong mindset and values, and her passion to get to where she is.’
So, with Neighbours being such a family affair for Jason, would he return to the show that made him famous?
‘I don’t know whether you’d wear old shoes, but I tend to not,’ he bluntly puts it, before quickly adding, ‘But that doesn’t mean to say it’s not given me a wonderful life. Never say never, but at the same time I actually think those days have moved on for us.’
By this, Jason means his life is now in west London with his wife, Angela, and their two youngest children, Zac, 19, and nine-year-old Molly, and it’s clear he’s happy living in the UK.
Despite huge success on stage and screen – with his most prominent role being the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – he calls his family his greatest achievement, adding, ‘I’m very happy with my family and the life I’ve got. I’m not a bitter or twisted person, I’m happy with who I am, what I am, and my lot.’
While Jason isn’t keen on returning to Neighbours, something he jumped at the chance to take part in was ITV’s Dancing on Ice, and he’s been training for months in order to compete in the series, which starts this week.
‘I love winter sports and it’s been a quiet year, so being able to focus on the job at hand is good,’ he tells us. ‘And I have a lovely partner, so I’m lucky in that respect.’
While he admits he’s ‘pretty good on his legs’, thanks to experience in surfing, skiing and skateboarding, Jason had his first slip on the ice a month ago, which he describes as ‘a bit of a wake-up call’.
‘I might have had too many glasses of red wine the day before,’ he jokes. ‘But you’ve got to be a bit careful and very focused when you do this job. You just hope that when you do fall, it doesn’t cause any other issues.’
Along with Olympic skier Graham Bell, 55, and Olympic sprinter and hurdler Colin Jackson, 53, Jason is one of three men in their 50s taking part in this year’s series. And Jason insists it’s actually an advantage for them when it comes to competing against the younger contestants, such as 18-year-old Emmerdale star Joe-Warren Plant.
‘I have no problem with my age at all,’ he proudly states. ‘I’m really happy with who I am and what I am at my age, and I don’t see age as an obstacle in any shape or form.
‘I think the athletes probably have a little advantage for something like skating because they tend to be competitive and good on their feet.
‘But then,’ he finishes with a smile, ‘they haven’t done eight shows a week like I have – so game on!’