When Lee Mead auditioned for the TV talent show Any Dream Will Do, he had no idea that all his dreams really were about to come true.
Not only did he win the leading role in the West End revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, he met his ex-wife Denise Van Outen, a judge on the programme. They have one daughter, Betsy.
Among the many famous characters he has tackled in the West End, Mead says that playing Emmett in Legally Blonde was ‘brilliant’. ‘It was the hardest music I’ve had to learn for a new part in a musical,’ he told FGW. ‘It’s clever in the way it’s written. You’re often singing in different keys to what’s being played and there are lots of layers of music going on so you really have to focus. It’s a real challenge. But when you get it right it’s really rewarding and you feel great.’
“Any Dream Will Do is something I’ll always be grateful for. It changed my career and now I'm trying new things. And thank God, it’s working out ok”
But Lee can not only be found treading the boards. A successful solo singer, his debut album went double gold and he has toured around the world. It’s a far cry from his humble beginnings: Lee used to perform to passengers on ferries from Portsmouth to Bilbao!
It’s no wonder he will always be thankful to the TV programme that propelled him from understudy to centre spotlight. ‘It’s something I’ll always be grateful for. It changed my career and put me on a platform. Now I’m trying new things. And thank God, it’s working out ok.’
Catch a First Great Western train to London and check out its famous theatreland.