Belfast Telegraph

Jason Donovan: Desire to be cool drove drug use

The Australian said his roles made him question his image.

Jason Donovan has been frank about his drug use (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Jason Donovan has been frank about his drug use (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Jason Donovan has revealed that his drug use was driven by a mistaken desire to be cool.

The chart-topping Australian artist rebelled against what he perceived as his clean-cut image by indulging in cocaine.

He said the sight of himself in a loin-cloth for the family-friendly Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat made him concerned about his own identity being eroded by the uncool.

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Jason Donovan (right) as Joseph during Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at the London Palladium. (PA)

Father-of-three Donovan, 51, said he would never want his children to follow his path through life but does not totally regret his experiences.

The singer, who enjoyed huge success with his 1989 debut album Ten Good Reasons, is launching a new tour and is focused on family and his work.

Donovan said that nostalgia ensures a great reception for his classic tracks, and while he enjoys looking back on his achievements, there are elements of his life that he does not miss.

Reflecting on addiction and excess, he said: “No life is perfect, you know, and I’m far from it.

“I got very lucky very young, I got a little sidetracked by my own desire to think that by going out there and ‘crashing the car’, as I see it, that I was going to be cool.

“I always thought coming out of Joseph when I looked at myself in a loin-cloth and a pair of white fluffy socks that I was turning into something I wasn’t.”

Donovan, who became a global star after first appearing on Neighbours and then launching a music career, was at one point getting through several grams of cocaine a day.

Would I like my children to go down the path that I went? Absolutely not.

He said that his motivation to be cool was an error, and he has appreciated his work with maturity and experience.

The star said he does not want his children to follow his example, which has nevertheless yielded him a different view on life.

The singer said of his roles: “The irony in life is that’s as cool as it was going to get, it just takes time to mature, and seem a little more palatable.

“I now know what I don’t want to do in my life, I’m very honest about that period. Do I regret it? Not really.

“It was wasted time. There were a lot of relationships that suffered. But I got out at the right time and I’ve learned from it.

“There are a lot of life experiences that I’m aware of that maybe other people wouldn’t be, having not experienced that.

“Having said that, would I like my children to go down the path that I went? Absolutely not.

“There’s nothing cool about taking drugs, full stop.”

Donovan is now focused on his family, and is driven to work by a love of music and the joy of engaging with his fans.

He has announced a new, extensive tour to bring his hits to an audience that still has an appetite for classic tracks.

The singer believes the 52-date tour will match the nostalgia of his audience.

He said: “I’m part of the soundtrack to many people’s lives.

“Nostalgia is massive at the moment. People love to look back. I think it’s a comfort.”

He joked about his drive to perform: “I like to face my fears, my anxieties, take risks. I also like to live quite will. I like to go to restaurants, I’m not ashamed of that, and that costs money mate.

“But let’s not forget, I absolutely love my job. I’m very lucky, very grateful.”

The Even More Reasons Why tour kicks off in Cheltenham on September 16 next year.

PA

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