It’s been ten years since Lee Mead first donned the coat in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He is the marking the decade with an anniversary tour which brings him to venues including Eastbourne on June 24.
Lee promises to take you through the last ten years of his life, featuring songs from the epic shows he has starred in including The Phantom of The Opera, Miss Saigon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Legally Blonde and Wicked.
He said: “I am really excited by the anniversary. I just feel very lucky and privileged to have worked for such a long time in this business.”
Lee won the Joseph role through the BBC TV casting show Any Dream Will Do: “And I think you see that with a lot of shows like that, X Factor and so on, a lot of the winners go off the radar after three or four years. It feels like a real testament to have carved out a career for so long.
“I think I have been very lucky. A lot of this profession is about luck and timing. I have also worked really hard, and that ethic stems from my father, a postman for more than 35 years. I grew up in a working-class family and that is where I got that work ethic. My dad would be doing 80-90 hours a week.
“When I was training, I had no money. I would be doing two jobs, bar work and waiting tables, and we did this yearly show and I needed about £250 for the costumes, which was a lot of money. My dad paid for it on his card. I didn’t even realise he was working extra hours to help me through college, and I think it is my father’s work ethic and drive that have kept me going.
“I never take the business or anything in life for granted. My first job was on a car ferry, for P&O as a singer. It was not the most glamorous job! And then I got a place at the Guildhall, but there were only a certain number of scholarships or grants, and I didn’t get one so I couldn’t go. At that point, I could have given up. Lots of people would have done. But I think it was about being realistic and being quietly confident about knowing what I had to offer.”
For Lee, it has been very much about being and remaining a decent person: “I have been doing this for 15 years, and without naming names, there is a large part of the profession that is full of very driven people who feel the way forward is to be rude to people or to step on people, but I have never had that mentality. I have always been really determined to work hard, but also to be good to people.
“In the early days, maybe it held me back on auditions. The more forward people in those early days would often get through to the final stage, people that had more confidence and were better at bigging themselves up.
But as your career goes on, people realise who you are, and I always think it is all down to how you treat other people. It was very hard at the beginning to establish yourself, but in many ways when you are at the start of the journey, that’s the most exciting time. But I just feel really lucky and privileged to still be doing this.”
Lee comes to the Royal Hippodrome on June 24 from 7.30pm. Tickets from £25-£52 on 01323 802020 or royalhippodrome.com.