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Captain Jack of all trades

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2006-01-14 Radio Times p16.jpg

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Sound and fury — John Barrowman is in The Sound of Musicals and Dancing on Ice!

To Doctor Who fans, John Barrowman is now immortalised as the lecherous action-hero Captain Jack. But before he entered another dimension, his main claim to fame was as a Broadway and West End musical star. Back in 1989, aged 22, he won the lead male role for Anything Goes, opposite Elaine Paige, and went on to star in Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Sunset Boulevard. More recently he's sung Springtime for Hitler in the new film version of The Producers.

Which is why, along with Ruthie Henshaw and Mica Paris, he's co-hosting BBC1's The Sound of Musicals, in which stage stars perform classic show-tunes. "It's not just singing songs," says Barrowman, who was born in Glasgow but raised in the USA from the age of eight. "There are backstage interviews, rehearsals, guest stars, comedy numbers, dramatic numbers and — one of the most important things — glamour."

Care to see him ice-dance? The same evening on ITV1 he's among a group of celebrities (see box, left) learning to pirouette in Dancing on Ice, trained by Torvill and Dean. But as a dancer, does he have an advantage on ice?

"No! That's like saying, 'If you can walk, you can skate.' No! Stick blades on your shoes then try to dance on that!" A couple of weeks ago, in training, he tried lifting his professional partner, Olga. "I lifted her and fell because my centre of balance was off, and being the gentleman, I threw myself under her to catch her. It really hurt."

There's a lot coming up for Barrowman. Not only is he back in the new Doctor Who series this year, but also Captain Jack has his own show, Torchwood. "Everyone says it's the X-rated Doctor Who, but it's not. It's going to be Britain's answer to The X-Files, with the craft and the humour from This Life."

His career sounds idyllic. Surely something has gone wrong at some point? "I was in Putting it Together on Broadway, with Ruthie Henshall. I bent down to lift Ruthie and I ripped my trousers from front to back. It's on DVD. In that sequence, you watch, they have duct-taped my ass."


SCENE SHIFTER Barrowman in the Tardis, and on ice

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2006-01-14). Captain Jack of all trades. Radio Times p. 16.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Captain Jack of all trades." Radio Times [add city] 2006-01-14, 16. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Captain Jack of all trades." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2006-01-14
  • Turabian: "Captain Jack of all trades." Radio Times, 2006-01-14, section, 16 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Captain Jack of all trades | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Captain_Jack_of_all_trades | work=Radio Times | pages=16 | date=2006-01-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Captain Jack of all trades | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Captain_Jack_of_all_trades | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2020}}</ref>