INTEVIEW | Adam Rickitt
‘Putin You’re A Prick…’ Is the last tweet that Adam had posted before I picked up the phone to the “I Breathe Again” singer and former Coronation Street actor. Something tells me that he’s back and ready for a fight…
So… That tweet! Tell us your thoughts…
I’m quite into current affairs and politics, and I think the whole thing is a complete joke. He’s like some big Panto baddie, some horrible nasty from a Disney film. He’s there trying to show his own strength to his own people and there’s no justification for it whatsoever. The guy’s a twat. For someone to come out so blatantly homophobic, but at the same time posing for the gayest photo shoot, riding on a horse, is absurd. I think it’s bad form, I really do.
Is sexuality a big deal?
I genuinely find it incomprehensible that in this day and age someone’s sexuality is still a definition about the person they are. You don’t say, ‘so and so is a nice person but they are black…’ It’s always amazed me, because I was raised by my Mum to be like ‘if somebody’s black and a lovely person – they’re just lovely – if somebody is black and they’re an arse – they’re an arsehole!’
If somebody’s gay and they’re a lovely person… it was never about the colour, the creed, the sexuality or anything like that…
So it amazed me when I was doing pop first time round, everyone was asking ‘is he gay, is he gay? Well I’m not, but I’m not going to make a big deal about it. It should be an issue.
Did you get a lot of sexuality questioning?
When I first started I didn’t. I was seen as a bit of a Lothario because they kept getting pictures of me with girls all the time. I kind of found all that attention a bit freaky. So I became a bit of a hermit. Because the press didn’t have anything to print about me, because I never went out, they just started making stuff up – let’s be honest, I did look like a prepubescent girl and I am slightly camp. So it wasn’t the hardest thing in the world for them to start making that up. It never bothered me. I was so lucky for the support I got from the gay community in my career, the last thing I was going to do was do a bit of a Jason Donavan and insult them by making out it was a big issue.
So are you still Torying around?
I’m not a career politician. They’re lots of them out there who went to university and studied politics and then did an internship with an MP and then became an MP themselves, I’ve got no desire to be a front bencher, my thing in life is that I’ve had such an amazing family and so many opportunities and I’ve always felt that if you get dealt a good hand in life, you owe it to pay it forward. I don’t have the skills to be a doctor, I don’t have the temperament to be a policeman, and so one way I thought I might be able to help would be to get involved in politics – arguing for a local community. It would have to be the right kind of community. I’m a bit of a country bumpkin, so there’d be no point in me standing for Toxteth or something. It’s meant to be a partnership – you being their voice in Westminster.
So we won’t be seeing Adam Rickitt for PM?
Probably not, no. Politics nowadays is not so much about having a view; it’s trying to offend the least amount of people. Nobody says anything anymore, they just all try and appeal to the masses. My point of view is that politics should be – ‘You stand up there, and say this is how I think it should be and this is how I think you should solve it. If you don’t agree with me vote for the other guy.’ I kind of always get in trouble because I always mouth off and say what I think, which doesn’t always go down very well, because you’re not meant to do that anymore in politics. I think that’s a shame. People get frustrated with politics and lose interest – because nobody ever says anything.
Do you think that UKIP is a viable threat to UK politics?
Here’s my theory about them: Everybody thinks they’re a bit of a joke – and they are a bit of a joke. But at least they stand for something. That’s what attracts people more than anything else. It’s basically because of the Europe situation. They are standing there and they are saying, ‘we’ve got a view on this matter – agree with us or don’t agree with us’ and that’s what’s drawing people to them. At least they’re standing for something. The problem with them is that they are literally just a one-issue party, and when you go beneath that one issue there’s a slightly uncomfortable veneer to the rest of it. They’re such a new party and if you scratch the surface of a lot of them, I’m not sure they are the best option.
What did you make of David Silvester’s gay flood controversy?
That’s exactly my problem. It’s such a new party that you’ve got people like that who have snuck in. The saving grace about Labour or the Conservatives is that anyone who is quite such a prat would get found out well before that.
So you’re quite a political animal…
I don’t know about animal… It does interest me. When I first got involved, back in the day, I was doing some ghost writing for The Spectator when Boris Johnson was editor and it was a piece about ‘Why are the youth today so apathetic about politics?’ It was after the election where the statistics showed that more young people voted in Big Brother than they did in the election and you just kind of think – that’s just really f**ked up. But it is up to the younger generation to step up to the plate, if you want to have a voice.
So how does that fit in with The Big Reunion – cause they’re kind of worlds apart – or are they?
Laughter – I’ve always been a bit of a freak in that way. The Big reunion for me is about having fun. It’s pure and simple about having fun. I didn’t enjoy it when I was a younger kid and I always regretted it that I didn’t enjoy it – and there’s no one to blame but myself – I was always insecure, and I wasn’t in the right place in my mind and I kinda went through it by numbers and got road rushed into it all. It’s not rocket science let’s be honest – it’s just really good fun. The advantage this time round is being in a band. When you’re a solo artist it is pretty lonely. Back in the day it was me going from Travelodge to Travelodge and it was just really boring.
Are you still really self-conscience?
Not really – only as much as the next person. My major paranoia first time around was that people thought I was an arrogant prick. I was so fearful that people would think that I was an arrogant prick, just because I was on TV or because I was doing a pop song, I went so far the other way. I became this really servant like, this pathetic thing. The record company would be asking ‘what do you think about this?’ I would say, ‘whatever you want, whatever you want I’ll do!’ You don’t enjoy it when you do that, because there’s so little of yourself in it. All you end up doing is living a caricature of something you think somebody else wants.
Do you regret any of pop stuff?
I don’t regret it, because if it hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t be in the frame of mind I am now, I wouldn’t be where I am in my life now, so I don’t regret it. I was lucky enough that from the age of 18 to 32 the longest I had off between jobs was 2 weeks. I literally worked for 14 years. I had amazing opportunities, I’m not saying I enjoyed them all, but they were amazing life experiences.
Has it been depressing or hopeful revisiting the pop world?
It depends on your mentality. If you’re going in there to become the next Beatles I think you’re setting yourself up for a life of terrible disappointment. We haven’t done that as a group. We’ve basically said lets just enjoy it. We’re grown men getting to do something really silly and luckily we get on so well we’re having fun. Do we think we’ll be winning Ivor Novellos- probably not! The music industry has changed. First time round I found it so monotonous, Smash Hits interview after Smash Hits interview where they were asking you – ‘What’s your favourite cheese…’ It doesn’t really stimulate the brain cells. But this time around we can go off and do other things.
When did you all meet?
Well they approached us all individually, and we all kind of said yes, but on the proviso that we all get on together. For example I didn’t sign my contract until I met all the boys for myself. The nice thing was, if we had all met 15 years ago there would have been egos in the room, there would have been a pissing contest between all of us – whereas because we’ve all been through the mix a few times and we’ve experienced the highs and lows of it you realise what’s important, and what’s important is to enjoy it.
Do you think that makes you better pop stars?
I think it does because it makes you more confident. Your relationship to the audience is so much stronger. When you’re doing it first time round you’re so paranoid about where you’re going to come in the charts or whether people are going to buy your single that you’re almost begging them to. But now you don’t make money on album sales you make it in performing, so you might as well go out there and have a good time with your audience. If you enjoy it – they see it.
Your first album deserved to do better than it did. Why do you think it didn’t?
It was weird. Abroad it did really well. South East Asia went mental for it. Here It didn’t do so great, it did shit – let’s be fair. I think first of all I wasn’t very happy doing it and I think you can see that. You start looking like a Panto character. I also got famous for being an actor and I think a lot of people think of you as just an actor or a pop star – and because I had that slight crossover it was weird. The record company spent millions of pounds doing research in the market place – I always came up as really popular but that didn’t always translate into sales. I was seen more as an entertainer than a pop star. I’d get bookings for ridiculous amounts of money, but then it didn’t translate into album sales.
It was a five-album deal I signed, but I knew after the first one, or even before the first single came out that I wasn’t enjoying it. I sat down with the record label and said, I know it’s a five album deal, but I can’t do five it will kill me. They were like ‘we’ve spent all this money on you can you do the first album and let us cover our costs and make a little bit of money and we’ll let you go.’
So, the Corrie gay kiss…
You know what – that was the thing that really disillusioned me. One of the characters was gay and the other wasn’t. The one that wasn’t was asleep – it wasn’t a tongue marathon it was a tiny peck on the lips. The fact that made the front page of The Sun or the fact it was promoted as such a shock horror thing, I was like Really? In this day and age, really? Is it such a big issue? I found it so disappointing.
The body. Are you still as ripped?
Yes I am for my sins. I do it all at home. I have a really bad back so from the age of 17 I had to exercise everyday otherwise my back gets really knackered. I always felt a bit of phoney, because everyone was like ‘oh my god look at his body’ and I was like, well if I don’t I’m f**ked. I still do all the sit-ups and I’ve still got my six-pack.
(Eight!!!) A shout from in the background as Katy, Adam’s Fiancé corrects Adam!
Eight-pack – Katy’s is shouting. My wife in about 10 months!
It’s not about size, it’s about health.
What is your favourite cheese?
Goat’s cheese. ∎