It’s been a surprising year so far, what with Brexit, a new prime minister, Bake Off being sold to Channel 4, and right up there on the “wow!” front surely was seeing Jimmy Osmond do so well in Celebrity Masterchef 2016.
Not only was he a talented cook but a warm and loveable personality who won over a new generation of fans as well as some of the older ones who’d forgotten the magic from back in the day.
Now 53 he is of course the youngest of an astonishing musical family who achieved worldwide adulation in the 1970’s - brother Donny most of all - and Jimmy had his own success with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool in 1972.
It’s been an amazing time for Jimmy who is now in Britain preparing for an upcoming tour. He is back this Christmas with The Osmonds’ Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza. Jay, Merrill and Jimmy are sharing the bill with Eastbourne ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and singer Charlie Green on a tour taking in Eastbourne’s Hippodrome Theatre on December 15.
Jimmy said: “This is the Andy Williams traditional Christmas show. I actually grew up on his show, and we were regularly on his television series but Christmas was always magical.
“As he was coming to the end Andy asked if I would acquire the theatre and keep his legacy going. I did, and we kept the same formula that works so well in America but we decided to do it over here, and it went so good that we have a handful of dates we are doing this year. It’s all about variety and we have no more than three minute songs, and multiple acts. We sing the songs like Its A Wonderful Time Of The Year that we sang with Andy for years, but we are also doing everything from Slade to George Michael.
“Then we have Steve Hewlett, from Britain’s Got Talent, with his Uncle Arthur and Simon Cowell puppets that are so funny, and we have just got a real cross-section of people coming to take part, like singer Charlie Green from Britain’s got Talent, who sounds amazing and all the girls love him.
“Of course we’ll be singing Andy’s Moon River. It guarantees to be a warm and fuzzy festive time.”
Some of us might think it tough to be working over Christmas - but not Jimmy.
“I have always worked at Christmas,” he said this week. “Ever since I was three years old. For me, that’s all part of it, part of the season, it’s about sharing the music ... I can be happy anywhere. And panto is the best! The truth is I have grown up being on the road, and I learned how to enjoy myself wherever I am. My relationships are intact with my family, I have a wonderful wife and great kids; what is there not to be happy about? So even if I am working I can have my little family with me and focus on the important things of the season and our time together. I think that is really what it is about.
“You can decide to be happy. I think you are as happy as you decide to be...and I choose to be happy. Why not? Some people might think that’s obnoxious - but I notice they are always the miserable ones.”
Apart from performing with his brothers Jimmy has worked in Britain appearing in shows like Chicago as well as regular panto but nothing prepared him for the challenge of Celebrity Masterchef. He says he is still recovering from the show which aired in summer and was won by actor Alexis Conran at the end of July with Jimm and BBC Breakfast News anchor Louise Minchen as runners-up.
“That was full on. I never expected to do that well, it was a surprise and a treat that I did. But Alex totally deserved to win. he is a friend now and Louise too, Sid Owen of course I was with in the jungle in Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, so we’re friends and it was a really great time. I did get emotional because something cool happened to me that I didnt expect and that is now such a treasured memory.”
Jimmy has been to Eastbourne before - he toured here in Boogie Nights just a few years back - and is looking forward to his return trip.
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