Peter Andre used to be big, and we don’t just mean pectorally.
Back in the mid ’90s he had hit after hit in the UK and then promptly… disappeared.
Until I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, that is. Facing trials involving various grotesque creatures; making up “new words” that would become the title of songs; and flirting with glamour model Jordan soon saw to that.
Upon his escape from the Australian jungle, Andre’s 1996 hit Mysterious Girl was re-released and hit Number One, and he’s just followed it up with the aforementioned Insania, a new album and a UK tour. musicOMH caught up with the muscles from Melbourne to compare gym notes and find out where he disappeared to for all those years…
musicOMH has just gone a rather funny shade of red. “Funny” because the rouge of embarrassment when mixed with the brownness of skin whose genes originate from the Indian sub-continent, probably looks like a colour shade that even your local Dulux man would have a hard time concocting.
Why? Well, Peter Andre has just shaken musicOMH‘s hand and commented on the glorious weather (that’ll be the UK’s only sunny day in 2004), before shouting from the Kensington rooftop we’re gathered on words to the effect of: “Wow… You’re chest is bigger than mine!”
Your startled correspondent swivels around, thinking Andre’s current belle and fellow junglist, Jordan, must be standing behind him, but no. Mr Andre continues, “You obviously work out a lot?” musicOMH hastily mutters something about it being summer, before moving things along swifter than a government cover-up. Pray, tell us Mr Andre, just where were you hiding before your career resurrection this year?
“Those three months that I was supposed to do turned into three years.” – Peter Andre on the break he took before resurfacing on I’m A Celebrity…
“When I first got signed at 16 I had a big run in Australia for about four or five years… Then, I came to England to record the second album for Australia and, as it turned out, it went well in England so I did another four or five year run and literally I was so exhausted because I had been going for nearly 10 years that I needed a break.”
“At the time I wanted a break we had had seven Top 10 hits in a row but then we had a song called All Night All Right, which is one of my favourite songs, but it only went in at Number 16 so I didn’t want to go out that year because I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh he has left ‘cos it’s gone quiet.’ So we released a song called Kiss The Girl (from Disney’s The Little Mermaid) and it went Top 10 and so I was like, ‘Now I’m going to step away.’”
“I went back to Australia to help my mum and dad out because we had a family business of a beach resort… They were exhausted so me and my brothers decided to take over the resort for a while and send mum and dad home. Those three months that I was supposed to do turned into three years…”
The more mathematically-aware of readers will have already worked out that 1998 plus three years makes 2001. Ironically, given that it is reality TV that has restored Andre to the public’s consciousness, it was a different type of reality TV that postponed his return:
“All the Pop Idols were out and I thought, ‘Well it’s definitely not the right time now.’” – Peter Andre on why the three years turned into five years.
“After three years I thought… ‘I want to get back in the industry.’ But, all the Pop Idols were out and Fame Academy and I thought, ‘Well it’s definitely not the right time now…’ So I went to New York for a couple of years and hung out with all the people I worked with on the first couple of albums… I ended up having a catalogue of about 100 new songs and six months before the jungle I moved to Cyprus and I opened a gym with brother and my sister… And then I got a phone call for this show and I was like, ‘Yeah why not? I’ve got nothing to lose…’ Thank God I did it!”
Doubtless, there are some who aren’t thanking God as such for the return of Peter Andre, but for a cynic, it’s worth knowing that he is involved in the writing of his own songs, as he eagerly explains when asked about his new album:
“Lyrics and melodies are my things and then other people come in on the music side. A lot of the lyrics are personal… All Cried Out is when you’ve wept your last tear… Loved You The Right Way is saying, ‘I know I’ve screwed up but I’m just wondering if I’d done it differently and I’d loved you the way you wanted to be loved, would you still be around?’”
“The best thing that happened was meeting Kate.” – Ohhh. Peter Andre gets all dewy-eyed about Jordan and the jungle.
And, of course, there’s Insania, which the press release bemusingly refers to as “feel good” and “summery”, presumably on account of its jungle origins. We know it’s much more serious than that, don’t we?
“Some people have taken it as a summer song, yeah. Whatever. But some people will get the message…. I know guys who sit at home at night, get on the net… They do ‘cyber this, cyber that’. Whatever happened to going out and having a coffee with your friends? What happened to getting into a relationship?”
Speaking of relationships, you may have noticed that we’ve gone almost the whole interview without mentioning the “J” word. Or should that be the “K” word, because when asked what the best thing was to come out of being on I’m A Celebrity, Andre simply replies:
“The best thing that happened was meeting Kate.”
Ohhhhh. The art of romance isn’t dead, it seems. Take a girl away to an exotic location (or is that the Australian jungle?); overcome your own phobias just to make sure she gets fed (those Bushtucker trials were nasty); serenade her at night (“this is Insania!”); and then whisk her back home and take things one day at a time. Still, she better watch out. The man’s got plans:
“Three to four years from now, I’d love to be married with kids, with a house and settled.”
So there you have it, readers. Peter Andre. A gent – whatever you think about his music.