Skip to main content

No results found

Subrooms Leaderboard1110x120px nz9jo5
What's On, Culture, Music, Theatre

Christmas with John Barrowman

divider
Sam Bennett
JOHN BARROWMAN zs9tfx

In show business, budding young entertainers aspire to become a ‘triple threat’ – an all-rounder capable of excelling in anywhere they need to. John Barrowman has at least twice as many strings to his bow, having authored, acted, sung, danced, judged and presented his way to national treasure status. Following the sell-out success of his summer shows, John is gearing up for a dazzling Christmas tour A Fabulous Christmas that will coincide with a new album of the same name. We catch up with him to chew the festive fat and discover his memories of Oxford.

What is Christmas all about to you?

It’s about family, friends, celebrating the birth of a child, and basically coming together and enjoying people’s company. Everybody talks about presents, but my favourite time is Christmas morning after all the presents have been opened, having brunch, relaxing, playing games, all that stuff. Of course, I have to fit music into Christmas, and that starts on Christmas Eve. We have all the Christmas songs on, line up bottles of Champagne – from the most expensive to the cheapest – and by the time we get to the cheap ones, they all taste exactly the same anyway.

Home is obviously Palm Springs, but you’re still very much attached to your Scottish roots. Where do you spend Christmas?

Prior to last year, Christmas has always been spent at my cousin’s in Dunblane, as when I’ve been working in panto, you only really get Christmas day off, so not much chance to travel too far. So last year was the first time in many years where I’ve actually been at home with family, in the States, for Christmas, and that’s where we’ll be this year too.

Do we assume your house looks fabulous at Christmas?

Absolutely – my house gets decorated to the hilt; pilots could mistake our house for a runway! That said, by the time I’ve actually finished the tour and other work I’ve got on, there’s only going to be about five days to do all the decorating and shopping. We have two trees. One is decorated in a Scottish/American/Welsh/British traditional style, recognising all the places I’ve lived in. The other is more glitzy and sparkly, with a dash of Star Wars – we have a Star Wars tree topper… All the trees outside have huge baubles on and we really go all out.

Who will you spend Christmas with and what’s the plan?

Mum and dad are just down the road so they’ll be with us, and my aunt and uncle and [husband] Scott and my best friends – just the eight of us. Everyone shares the jobs, although one day I’ll get a chef booked so no one will have to cook at all. But we’re a diverse family, so we really try to include lots of different elements. Mum will obviously make shortbread, being Scottish, my aunt is from Belgium and she does the hors d'oeuvres. Then it’s a traditional turkey dinner with everybody pitching in to help. One rule though, whoever cooks does not clean up – so I make sure I get really stuck into the cooking, and make a mess…

Are you a gift giver, or receiver?

I like to give more than receive, for sure. But I do absolutely love to receive gifts which are made personally; crafty gifts. There’s so much more heart to those things.

What’s the best present you’ve ever had?

I remember one year as a kid, all I wanted was a silver flute. I’d come down, opened all my presents from Santa and I didn’t get it. Mum and dad asked me to get something out of the drawer in the other room where they kept the silverware, and there among it all was this very particular flute. I like to make gift giving an event like that – it really adds to the occasion.

The tour is coming to Oxford – any fond memories of the city?

I’m really looking forward to coming back. I have spoken at the Oxford Union and have been thrown out of one of their libraries! It’s such an honour to be invited to speak, I was very proud of that. I did it during my time as Captain Jack [in Torchwood], and spoke about my time in Doctor Who, and it wasn’t publicised at all, beyond the union itself. It was very much on the lowdown, and I loved it.

John will be at New Theatre Oxford on 14 December. Tickets are on sale now from cuffeandtaylor.com. His album, A Fabulous Christmas is out on 6 December on Decca Records.

RECOMMENDED

DSC 5262
Thu 8 Jul 2021

The Ice Women Community

Laura and Isabelle Hof talk with Rach Cox about a more female-centred approach to the Wim Hof Method

Unless you have been living under a stone, we’re willing to bet you’ve heard of Wim Hof, the Dutch extreme sportsman whose Wim Hof Method (WHM), combines cold water immersion, breath technique and mindset work. Om & Bass founder, Rach Cox spent time with Laura and Isabelle Hof, Wim’s fierce daughters, who are on a mission to make their father’s learning more appealing to women

Etype Evolution Exhibition 20210312 9 copyright 77 RW PopBangColour nm4bbf
Thu 20 May 2021

Explore the world’s largest collection of historic British cars at the British Motor Museum. From the very first Land Rover to Lady Penelope’s FAB1. 

uROo78gA
Wed 19 May 2021

Oxfordshire Artweeks 2021

Portraiture, Pets and People

On day nineteen of the Oxfordshire Artweeks May festival see portraits, pets and people in art, craft and design.

Ferris wheel
Wed 19 May 2021

Wellnergy:

The UK's First Theme Park For Wellness

Taking place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021, Wellnergy is the UK’s first ‘theme park for wellness’, designed to enhance the mind, body and soul.