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Jonathan Wilkes & Brenda Edwards

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The smash hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton, "We Will Rock You" will be coming to Dublin's O2 from 20th to 31st January 2010.

We have two of its stars -Jonathan Wilkes and Brenda Edwards exclusively on The Afternoon Show.

Tickets can be brought from the website www.theo2.ie or by phoning 0818 719 300.

Actor and musician, Jonathan Wilkes plays the role of 'Khashoggi', the Chief of the Secret Police who answers to Killer Queen's every command. X Factor star Brenda Edwards plays the domineering role of 'Killer Queen', Head of Globalsoft, the corporation responsible for the banning of all instruments and musical originality.

The London production alone has been seen by more than four million people, played over 2300 performances, and grossed more than £100 million at the box office.

DUBLIN 02
Wednesday 20th January 2010 - Sunday 31st January 2010
Performances: Wednesday to Sunday 7:30pm, Saturday 2:30pm and Sunday 2pm
Press Night: Thursday 21st January
Ticket Price: 40.00 - 55.00 Euros
Telephone: 0818 719 300
www.theo2.ie


Jonathan Wilkes

According to James Grant Management
"Jonathan's first stage appearance was at the Queens Theatre in Burslem in a Stoke Amateur Operatic Society production of Hans Christian Andersen.

In 1996, at the age of seventeen, he won the prestigious Cameron Mackintosh Young Entertainer of the Year Award by wowing the judges with his version of "Kiss" by Tom Jones. Jonathan then became the youngest ever entertainer to headline his own show in Blackpool, which due to its enormous success, ran for three years.

Whilst in Blackpool, he was approached by the BBC and offered his own show, Hype, on BBC Choice.

In 2000, Jonathan signed a deal with Virgin and began to write and record material for his album with songwriters such as Guy Chambers, Bryan Adams and Elliot Kennedy. His debut single, Just Another Day, was released on 5th March 2000. It went straight into the UK Top 20 and hit the Top 5 in 18 countries worldwide.

Jonathan performed at Robbie's Royal Albert Hall concert in which they performed the duet Me and My Shadow, which was recorded live and featured on Robbie's Number 1 selling album, DVD and video, "Swing When You're Winning".

February 2002 saw Jonathan take the lead role in the hit musical 'Godspell', which premiered in Liverpool and had Jonathan and Daniel MacPherson alternating the roles of Jesus and Judas each night.

Following massive public acclaim from 'Godspell', Jonathan accepted the lead role of Frank N Furter in the Rocky Horror Show 30th Anniversary National Tour. The tour kicked off in October 2002, and was extended until November 2003 due to its enormous success.

In April 2003, Granada Television announced Jonathan as the new presenter for their Primetime ITV1 show, You've Been Framed. The show was re-launched with Jonathan at the helm.

As 2003 drew to a close, he played the lead role of 'Danny' in a special 5-week sell-out Christmas and New Year production of Grease at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and from early 2004, he was on screens weekly for ITV1's Love On A Saturday Night, which continued transmitting alongside You've Been Framed.

Throughout 2004, Jonathan continued touring Nationwide with the theatre production of Grease, and in October he finally got the chance to live out his childhood dream as a professional footballer, when he captained the celebrity team in Newcastle for the Sky One show The Match, during which he scored the only goal for their team.

In the first half of 2005, Jonathan toured Nationwide in The Who's musical 'Tommy' and then in August reported on-course for Sky One's 'All *Star Cup', which took place over the Bank Holiday weekend. The competition saw celebrities from Europe and America go head to head in a live golfing event.

September 2005 saw Jonathan again Captain his team for Sky One's, The Match.

In 2006 Jonathan played in Soccer Aid (ITV1), and then embarked on tour, performing with Robbie Williams on his Close Encounters World Tour. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Jonathan again took part in the All *Star Cup for ITV1.

In 2007 he toured with the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys & Dolls, playing the role of Sky Masterson and completed his third record-breaking year at the Stoke Regent Theatre in pantomime.

2008: Jonathan toured in the debut UK theatre production of 'The Wedding Singer' and was England Captain for Soccer Aid for ITV1 in September, live from Wembley Stadium. He once again performed in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent over the Christmas period in the panto production of Snow White.

From February 2009, Jonathan made weekly guest appearances on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in Ant's team for Ant vs Dec, and then went straight into the first National UK tour of We Will Rock You, playing the role of Khashoggi until October 2009".

Brenda Edwards
According to James Grant Management
"Brenda has had a phenomenal time since being catapulted into to the public profile as a result of being the final woman in X Factor 2005. Her journey on the show was unlike any other. She wowed the judges, crowd and audience at home week after week and in turn bought a place in the hearts of the nation. The ultimate acceptance by the public came in October last year when Brenda was presented the Screen Nation award for "Favourite Reality TV Star" which was a people's choice award.

Brenda was snapped up to play the role of Mama Morton in Chicago The Musical and the prestigious position of closing the show at the Adelphi Theatre and reopening it at the Cambridge Theatre. She received great acclaim for her portrayal of the prison warden and played the role for a year, she has just recently reprised the role and was also invited to be part of the 10th Anniversary Gala.

Brenda has also appeared many times on Television on various shows including Loose Women, The Weakest Link and The Wright Stuff, Brenda also continues to be a regular correspondent for GMTV.

Brenda's also performed as part of "In Celebration Of My Sisters" at the Brixton Academy and made a special guest appearance at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium in front of 40,000 people. She has supported Smokey Robinson in concert at Rochester Castle and performed as guest vocalist with The Motown Show performing throughout the UK. Brenda has also performed in New York and on one occasion with the soul legends Ashford & Simpson.

In 2007 Brenda created the role of Pear Pastor in Carmen Jones at the newly renovated Royal Festival Hall receiving critical acclaim for her performance. She was invited back last year for a season of intimate concerts in the Clore Ballroom.
Other highlights in 2008 include recording a concert as special guest vocalist for BBC Radio 2 with the BBC Concert Orchestra, she also performed for the 3rd consecutive season at the Rochester Castle and a one off performance of "Brenda's Gospel Christmas" at the Barbican featuring Tony Hadley and Duncan James.
Brenda continues to perform regularly with her live band".


Jonathan Wilkes Interview

How did you get into singing and acting?
I won the Cameron Mackintosh Young Entertainer of the Year Award when I was 17. Then from there I was the youngest headliner to have a show in Blackpool, then I got signed by BBC to do a show presenting, then I had a record deal, then I went into musicals and then I did You've Been Framed, then I did a world wide tour with Robbie and his swing album. A lot of things.

You are a man of many trades - singer, actor - presenter - any one in particular you love?
Singing I suppose is my first love but I love acting. Entertaining is what I love.

Tell me a bit about your character in We Will Rock You?
I play Khashoggi. He is a baddie who is in charge of the police - he is Killer Queen's right hand man. He is a very sly, snide, cocky guy - there is a lot of tongue in cheek. He thinks he should be in charge and doesn't like taking orders from Killer Queen. It's fun to play the baddie.

Are you a big fan of Queen and Ben Elton?
I don't know anyone who doesn't like Queen. Everyone likes at least one song. I always loved them. I think every song in the show is brilliant. All the songs are huge hits. It is an amazing show and I couldn't think of anywhere better than come to Dublin to show this show off. The Irish crowds are always amazing.

What music do you like?
I like the old classical - a bit of swing music but I like just good music.

What has been your favourite part that you have played?
That's very hard to decide. I loved playing Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and I did that for 14 months. I find it hard to live up to that character. I played Danny in Grease and Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer.


Robbie Williams is your best friend - how old were you when you met?
I have known Robbie for as long as I can remember. My Mom and his Mom are best mates and we were brought up together. There are 5 years difference between us. I was way too young to go to Take That auditions when Robbie went. I suppose I was Robbie's young mate you always got on his nerves. It was great to perform with him at The Royal Albert Hall. We loved listening to swing when we were kids. Then to go on stage was amazing and it was one night I will always remember.

Does Robbie give you good career advice or is it the other way round?
We just support each other. It's not advice - it's encouragement.

What are your future plans?

I am talking with people about doing a couple of things but I'm really looking forward to a break.

Stephen Gately tragically passed away this week - did you know him?
I knew Stephen very well - I am absolutely devastated. It's very hard to sink in. I was with him not that long ago with my wife at dinner - we had such a laugh and the next morning we all had breakfast together. Stephen was such a lovely guy and he will really be missed. It's very hard to sink in - it's a great shame and a great loss. He was very very funny and he was a lovely lovely guy who wanted to entertain people and to make them smile. It is a horrible tragic death.

Brenda Edwards Interview

When did your love of singing begin?
I started singing in the church choir from the age of 7 we were called The Sunshine Band. My grandmother raised myself and my brother when my parents died and she was a mother of a church and so we had to go. We went about 3 times a week and when I got older I joined the adult choir. It was in Luton.

Why did you decide to take part in the X-factor? What job were you doing before X-Factor?
I was an accounts manager. I saw the advertisement for the XFactor when myself and my husband were on a weekend in Belfast. The hotel we were staying in was holding the auditions and my husband put me forward. We were supposed to be just staying for the weekend and then I got through on the Sunday and I had to stay another night. I sang 'River Deep- Mountain High'. I was still learning the lines on the day.

Who was your favourite judge?
I loved Sharon - most definitely. I have always looked up to her and admired how she works and how she looks after her family. She came to see me when I was in Chicago. She is doing America's Got Talent and hasn't seen me yet in We Will Rock You.

Do you think some of the young kids are going to have a hard time when they leave the X-Factor (Grimes Twins) - do they know what they are letting themselves in for?
They have put the age limit up - I guess it's better but I think you are still not really going to be mentally prepared at that age. The Irish twins are quite mature for their age and they have each other. That will make it easier. I think it's how much you can prepare for it but personally I don't know how much preparation you can do for it. I guess it's how much you really want it but there is so many surprises around the corner and so much work involved in getting you prepared for the Saturday show.

When you leave the show it is hard - I don't know which is worse coming out first or later on. When you are in the house you are in a big bubble. It's not till you leave you realize people were voting for you and how big it is. I was on the second year of it. I don't think anything can prepare you for it.

Did you do the X-Factor tour?
Yes I did and it was brilliant. Unfortunately we didn't go to Dublin. It was 27 dates. I loved every minute of it and I loved every minute of the X -Factor. It's such an adrenaline rush and a great thing to be a part of. If I didn't do it I wouldn't be where I am now.

What was it like to win Favourite Reality TV Star?
It was such a great experience. I really thought I wouldn't win and it was so nice it was voted by the public. I was so grateful. It is taking pride and place on my mantelpiece.

What was it like to star in Chicago?
That was brilliant it was my first West End show and I didn't know what to expect. My voice is big so it worked well in the theatre. I was received well and they have had me back a couple of times and I got to do the 10th anniversary with them.

I'm the Killer Queen and I am responsible for banishing all live music and instruments in general. There is one live instrument left and the people are searching for it. It's nice to play the baddy - or maybe a shrewd business woman.

Tell me about your role in We Will Rock You? Had you seen it? Are you a fan of Ben Elton and Queen?
I never saw the musical before I starred in it. I saw it when I got the part and I was a little scared as it's such a big role. I get to sing 7 brilliant songs and wear beautiful costumes. I love the hair and make -up too. It's great and I have learned so much since I have been here. Everyone is so supportive.

I sang Don't Stop Me Now when I was in the X Factor. That song got me to LA. It's funny how things happen.

What music do you like?
I love all types of music. I love rock, soul, Hip Hop, Grime. Music is music - it pulls a lot of people together. It has a happy vibe to it.

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