Interview: Gok Wan talks about his one man show

Gok Wan
Gok Wan

It says a lot for the very effervescent nature of Gok Wan that he is still remarkably perky on a Monday morning after celebrating his birthday  the weekend before.

Chatting to us before his autobiographical show Gok Wan Naked & Baring All coming to the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering on Thursday, November 2, he even apologises for not being 100 per cent, but you wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t said anything.

But it was unlikely source of inspiration which lead to him going on to do this show.

Gok said: “I was watching my very dear friend Dawn French do her show Thirty Million Minutes which was a reflection of her time on the planet.

“It was a show I loved and it got me thinking that I could do a show like that, so I started working with people and found there was a story to be told.

“There were also quite a lot of things in the show that people didn’t know, so it is an autobipgraphical show.”

Looking back on the life from his humble origins on a Leicestershire council estate to now becoming one of the leading television and fashion personalities brings back lots of different feelings.

Gok said: “I think there is a sense of nostalgia about some of the times when I was happy but I suppose it is mostly a cathartic experience reliving some of the experiences again.”

He will unravel his life to reveal everything he has not yet dared to bare.

No collar is left unturned in what might be the most honest, campest and naked stage show ever to mince the boards!

But Gok is thankful for the big breaks that have come in his career, and perhaps none would have been bigger than his show How To Look Good Naked which he admits became a success through sheer luck.

He said: “I had been speaking to Sue Murphy, a comissioner for Channel 4 and she asked us to look at making a show all about body confidence but that was everything that we had.

“It was when we persuaded members of the public to take their clothes off that we realised that we had a show that was different.

“It was also different because we were always really nice to people who came on the show and to see the transformation in their lives were particularly rewarding.”

Most people, once they have done a UK tour, are normally happy to have a breakbut there is no such rest for Gok as he goes into rehearsals for the pantomime Cinderella in Milton Keynes over the Christmas period.

He’ll be starring alongside current Strictly contestant Brian Conley.

Gok said: “He will be tired from doing Strictly and I will have only just finished the tour, so I hope he gets knocked out early so he is ready for the show.

“But seriously, of course I am voting for Brian in Strictly and I am sure he will do very well in the show, he’s got so much energy and I love working alongside him as well.

“This will be our third pantomime together and we have fallen into a nice routine.

“I tend to play the slightly stricter matriarch type fi in the pantomime while Brian is a little more like a cheeky schoolboy who is having a lot of fun.

“It is a dynamic which works really well.”

Tickets for the show at the Lighthouse Theatre are £25 and it is on at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 2. Ticketse can be booked by calling 01536 414141 or visiting www.lighthousetheatre.co.uk.

Cinderella runs from December 9 to January 14.

Call 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes to book.