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Dorset magazine talks to Ray Quinn about X Factor

PUBLISHED: 10:13 12 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:29 20 February 2013

Dorset magazine talks to Ray Quinn about X Factor

Dorset magazine talks to Ray Quinn about X Factor

Ray Quinn says he already knows what his best Christmas present will be this year - the opportunity to be at home in Dorset with his Bournemouth-born bride, actress Emma Stephens, and their new baby.

Dorset magazine talks to Ray Quinn about X Factor


Ray Quinn says he already knows what his best Christmas present will be this year - the opportunity to be at home in Dorset with his Bournemouth-born bride, actress Emma Stephens, and their new baby.



Usually at this time of year, actor and singer Ray is playing in panto miles from home. But this year the 24-year-old former X Factor finalist will be starring in Aladdin at Pooles Lighthouse, just a short stroll from the waterfront apartment that he and Emma, 26, bought last year.

Its been an exciting time for the couple who married in April on a Caribbean beach just three months before baby Harry arrived on the scene. Its going to be a perfect family Christmas, Ray tells me. Im always away and working on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day but this year Ill be wonderfully close to home. I can walk to work and back.

In the past its been a mad dash on Christmas Day to get home to either my mums or Emmas mums. But this year Im going to cook for my own family in our own home, says Ray with a smile, adding that he plans to do a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I dont know how many of us there will be - probably between seven and nine of us around the table. Im really excited. Im going to do loads of food.

Liverpudlian Ray says he loves living in Dorset. Because Emmas from this neck of the woods we used to come down every other weekend to meet up with family and friends. Dorset is so beautiful, with both the sea and the countryside, that I eventually thought it would make sense to get a place here.

He says he hasnt regretted it for a moment, even though hes often away on the road. We find ourselves staying in Poole much more than we ever imagined we would.

Rays thrilled to be playing Aladdin at Pooles Lighthouse, not only because its handy for home, but also because hes grown to love the venue since first appearing there on his first solo tour in 2007.

Its a brilliant place and the staff are really nice. Emma appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire at the little studio theatre there a few months back. She was absolutely fantastic. I cried my eyes out watching it.

Emma, who played Stella Kowalski in Tennessee Williams groundbreaking 1947 play about family conflict and changing values in the American South, originally trained at Bournemouths Big Little Theatre Company from where she won a scholarship to the prestigious Laine School of Theatre Arts. She met Ray when they appeared together in the West End production of Grease in 2009; Emma has also appeared in major London productions like Dreamboats and Petticoats and Starlight Express.

The couple decided to marry when baby Harry was on the way but Ray insists that being Mr and Mrs has made no difference to their relationship. We got married because it felt right but then it always has done. Shes my soul mate and always will be. The only difference now is the ring on the finger.

When he took part in the X Factor in 2006, Ray was already an actor, well known for his award-winning role as taunted schoolboy Anthony Murray in Channel Fours Brookside. As an X Factor finalist Ray finished as runner-up to Leona Lewis and found himself, at the tender age of 18, in Los Angeles recording in the famous Capitol Studio, holding his idol Frank Sinatras microphone. Ray was publicly championed by Simon Cowell and returned to the UK a major singing star and embarked on a sell-out tour.

Eight months later he was unceremoniously dumped by the record label and Mr Cowell suddenly discovered he had other artists to attend to. Ray is philosophical about his former mentors loss of interest. I cant pretend it didnt come as shock but Ill always be grateful to him. The opportunities I was given, the things I saw were amazing - but I was so young and everything happened so fast that I couldnt really take it all in. It was a dream come true but I realised that once Id lived that dream I had to get stuck in and work really hard to chase the career I really wanted.

Hard work comes naturally to Ray, who admits hes a workaholic. I love being at home but I really cant manage more than a fortnights break before I start getting the sweats, he laughs.

Although he still writes and produces songs, Rays firmly established as a star of musical theatre these days. Apart from Grease hes been in West End shows like Dirty Dancing, Legally Blonde and Me and My Girl. He won the 2009 series of ITVs Dancing On Ice and hes playing Aladdin at Poole during a break in a sell-out national tour of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in which he stars alongside Joe McGann and Beverley Callard. The play will eventually bring him back to Poole in the spring when it will on at Lighthouse from 15 20 April. Pausing to reflect on the amazing career he has had so far, Ray feels he has now returned to his musical theatre roots.

The X Factor was a superb boost to my career and those music tours were amazing but I always wanted it to be this way. I trained in theatre. I was dancing from the age of three. Thats the great thing about the entertainment business, if you do it right youve always got a second chance.


Usually at this time of year, actor and singer Ray is playing in panto miles from home. But this year the 24-year-old former X Factor finalist will be starring in Aladdin at Pooles Lighthouse, just a short stroll from the waterfront apartment that he and Emma, 26, bought last year.
Its been an exciting time for the couple who married in April on a Caribbean beach just three months before baby Harry arrived on the scene. Its going to be a perfect family Christmas, Ray tells me. Im always away and working on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day but this year Ill be wonderfully close to home. I can walk to work and back.
In the past its been a mad dash on Christmas Day to get home to either my mums or Emmas mums. But this year Im going to cook for my own family in our own home, says Ray with a smile, adding that he plans to do a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I dont know how many of us there will be - probably between seven and nine of us around the table. Im really excited. Im going to do loads of food.
Liverpudlian Ray says he loves living in Dorset. Because Emmas from this neck of the woods we used to come down every other weekend to meet up with family and friends. Dorset is so beautiful, with both the sea and the countryside, that I eventually thought it would make sense to get a place here.He says he hasnt regretted it for a moment, even though hes often away on the road. We find ourselves staying in Poole much more than we ever imagined we would.
Rays thrilled to be playing Aladdin at Pooles Lighthouse, not only because its handy for home, but also because hes grown to love the venue since first appearing there on his first solo tour in 2007.
Its a brilliant place and the staff are really nice. Emma appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire at the little studio theatre there a few months back. She was absolutely fantastic. I cried my eyes out watching it.
Emma, who played Stella Kowalski in Tennessee Williams groundbreaking 1947 play about family conflict and changing values in the American South, originally trained at Bournemouths Big Little Theatre Company from where she won a scholarship to the prestigious Laine School of Theatre Arts. She met Ray when they appeared together in the West End production of Grease in 2009; Emma has also appeared in major London productions like Dreamboats and Petticoats and Starlight Express.The couple decided to marry when baby Harry was on the way but Ray insists that being Mr and Mrs has made no difference to their relationship. We got married because it felt right but then it always has done. Shes my soul mate and always will be. The only difference now is the ring on the finger.


The X Factor was a superb boost to my career and those music tours were amazing

When he took part in the X Factor in 2006, Ray was already an actor, well known for his award-winning role as taunted schoolboy Anthony Murray in Channel Fours Brookside. As an X Factor finalist Ray finished as runner-up to Leona Lewis and found himself, at the tender age of 18, in Los Angeles recording in the famous Capitol Studio, holding his idol Frank Sinatras microphone. Ray was publicly championed by Simon Cowell and returned to the UK a major singing star and embarked on a sell-out tour.Eight months later he was unceremoniously dumped by the record label and Mr Cowell suddenly discovered he had other artists to attend to.
Ray is philosophical about his former mentors loss of interest. I cant pretend it didnt come as shock but Ill always be grateful to him. The opportunities I was given, the things I saw were amazing - but I was so young and everything happened so fast that I couldnt really take it all in. It was a dream come true but I realised that once Id lived that dream I had to get stuck in and work really hard to chase the career I really wanted.
Hard work comes naturally to Ray, who admits hes a workaholic. I love being at home but I really cant manage more than a fortnights break before I start getting the sweats, he laughs.Although he still writes and produces songs, Rays firmly established as a star of musical theatre these days.


Thats the great thing about the entertainment business, if you do it right youve always got a second chance

Apart from Grease hes been in West End shows like Dirty Dancing, Legally Blonde and Me and My Girl. He won the 2009 series of ITVs Dancing On Ice and hes playing Aladdin at Poole during a break in a sell-out national tour of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in which he stars alongside Joe McGann and Beverley Callard. The play will eventually bring him back to Poole in the spring when it will on at Lighthouse from 15 20 April. Pausing to reflect on the amazing career he has had so far, Ray feels he has now returned to his musical theatre roots.
The X Factor was a superb boost to my career and those music tours were amazing but I always wanted it to be this way. I trained in theatre. I was dancing from the age of three. Thats the great thing about the entertainment business, if you do it right youve always got a second chance.

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