Ian 'H' Watkins talks Steps, Joseph and running around in a loin cloth ahead of Dartford and Wimbledon shows (From News Shopper)
Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Ian 'H' Watkins talks Steps, Joseph and running around in a loin cloth ahead of Dartford and Wimbledon shows
IN a quiz of 90s pop trivia, knowing that the H in ‘H from Steps’ name stands for hyperactive is not going to win you much.
More than a decade since the 20-million-selling group parted for the first time, Ian Watkins is still as happy to be known by the initial.
He said: “My surname will always be Steps from now on, so it’s fine.
“I’ve been called H since I was nine years old. It is affectionate.
“My friends in my local theatre group always called me H and it was always for hyperactive and it was stuck with me.”
When Steps went their separate ways - and after a brief stint as a duo with Step’s Claire - H went back to school, theatre school, and has been a leading man in the theatre since tackling Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the West End.
Eight years later, he returns to the play which is touring the country including shows in Dartford and Wimbledon.
He said: “It was my first West End job eight years ago. Prior to that, I played the youngest brother Benjamin when I was about nine years old in my local theatre company and I used to watch the guy who played Joseph every night and just wish that was me.
“Here I am doing it again, it’s amazing.
“It’s got a special place in my heart. It is just magical for everybody, I love it.”
As much as he loves it, he said he feels the pressure of the role.
He said: “Everybody knows the songs and the show so there is an expectation.
“Also, I spend most of it in a loin cloth so I am dealing with that pressure as well!”
Steps reformed in 2011 – even setting a World record for the most people dancing to their hit Tragedy in Crayford - but it was bittersweet for H.
He said: “It was a love-hate thing really.
“It was a bit like therapy. It was painful going through it but once it was all out the window it was fine then. It needed to be done and we’re in a really good place now.
“We haven’t split up again. We will do something again, it just depends when.
“I stayed with Faye not long back, I’m constantly on the phone with Claire and Lisa’s just moved back to Dubai so we’re all in touch.”
As much as he enjoyed being in Steps when he was younger, he said he would struggle with his 90s workload today.
He said: “It was pretty cool. It was nackering and I dealt with it because I was young. If I was trying to do that level of workload now I would struggle. But it was incredible. I love pop music so it was the perfect job for me.
"I loved just bringing my friends and family along to different things – the Brits or amazing TV shows or tours – just to share that with my friends and family was incredible.
"I am not as ambitious as I was. Now I just want a nice work-life balance. As long as I can keep doing what I’m doing and sometimes wake up and ride my horse I’m ok.”
H stars in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, from October 15 to 19 and New Wimbledon Theatre from October 29 to November 2. Go to orchardtheatre.co.uk or atgtickets.com/Wimbledon.
Comments are closed on this article.