Insania as Peter Andre heads to Derby

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The Darley Park Weekender, “a highlight of the Derby events calendar”, is to return this summer – and there’s sure to be a bout of Insania when Peter Andre takes to the stage.

This won’t just be the Peter Andre who became the sixth highest-selling artist in the UK in the 1990s. This will also be a thespian nominated for best actor in a short film and an author with two books which have just found their way into the shops.

For the third year the Darley Park Weekender will feature three days of entertainment. As well as the returning ’80s Mix Tape and the classical music concert, the event will feature for the first time ultimate ‘90s.

East 17, Liberty X and Five will perform on Friday 25 August, with Peter Andre topping the bill and hopefully getting the Bank Holiday weekend off to an exciting start.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” says Peter. “I started entering talent competitions from 13 years old. So for me being 50 now and being able to be on stage for all these years is just a joy.”

“I just think people like nostalgia. There were a lot of great melodies in the ‘90s . . . that’s what people miss.”

Surprisingly Peter admits that his favourite era of music was the 1980s.

“Isn’t that strange? Superstars were superstars then. You had Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses.

“But the ‘90s was great because it was distinctive in so many ways: you had Britpop, R&B, then you had Take That and Boyzone – you had a very diverse sound. We’re going to have a great time (at Darley Park).”

What is it about ‘90s music that makes it so popular these days? “I just think people like nostalgia. There were a lot of great melodies in the ‘90s. That’s what the ‘90s were best for and that’s what people miss.”

Peter James Andrea was born on 27 February 1973 in Harrow, London to Greek Cypriot parents. When he was six his family moved to Sydney, Australia.

Peter entered the Australian talent show New Faces in 1989 and was offered a recording contract. He was sent back to the UK to work with a couple of producers. Between 1995 and 2004 he had three number one singles in the UK, Flava, I Feel You and his biggest success Mysterious Girl.

He’s also known for Insania, the song he wrote in 2004 while a contestant on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! It peaked at number three on the UK singles chart.

Although he made his name as a singer, Peter was determined to do other things.

“I studied acting as a kid and I always said that when I got into my forties I was going to move into acting which is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve just finished my first feature film which should be released later this year which is amazing. Music and film: that’s what I like the most.”

The film is called Jafaican which means a fake Jamaican. Peter plays Gary Buckle, “a likeable rogue who’s up to all sorts of mischief. Gary’s brilliant because I can relate to parts of his character – there are elements of me there. It’s very funny.”

The creator of the film, Fredi Nwaka, is an award-winning director who also wrote the script.

“He’s a genius,” says Peter. “He said to me ‘I want to make a film that all people from different cultures can watch in a cinema together and laugh.’ I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Peter who’s also an executive producer of the film likens it to Cool Runnings, the 1993 sports comedy about the Jamaican national bobsleigh team making their debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

“It’s a really fun comedy,” says Peter who is glad that cinemagoers will be able to see it, unlike his 2019 picture The Inheritance. That was a short film, so it wasn’t on general release. A pity because Peter was nominated for best actor in a short film at the North Hollywood Film Festival, losing out to experienced American Billy Zane.

Peter played Harry, a recovering heroin addict in The Inheritance, so-called because the character inherits a second chance to clean up his act and change his life.

Peter went to extraordinary lengths to prepare for the film: “I’ve never in my life done heroin or anything like that. I had to go and speak to people who were recovering from it, speaking to them about what the come-down is like, even researching things like how many times you cough when you’re coming down, how your breathing is. All these things are very important.

“I went to Los Angeles a week before the shoot. I put on the clothes I was going to wear as Harry and I stayed in them day and night. I didn’t shower, which was a first for me. I tried not to sleep so that when I went on set I could genuinely feel exhausted. There’s a lot of research involved.

“When I was nominated for best actor in a short film you can imagine how happy I was that the research had paid off.”

While he was on I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! he met the former glamour model Katie Price. They married the following year but divorced in 2009. They have two children, 18-year-old son Junior Savva and daughter Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther who’s 16.

He walked down the aisle again in 2015, marrying Dr Emily MacDonagh. They have a daughter Amelia who is nine and a six-year-old son, Theodore James.

Stories he told his kids when they were younger are included in his first book for children aged three and above, Super Space Kids! Save Planet Drizzlebottom.

“It’s about intergalactic adventures, with kids becoming superheroes because they’re discovering about other worlds and how scientists can’t figure it out. Sometimes it just takes kids to think simply about these problems. So there’s always a good little message in these books,” says Peter who reckons he has a few great ideas for the next one in the series.

He has also just released a lifestyle book which he reckons is a “gamechanger”. He wrote it with nutritionist Ben Smith who lost 11 stone by living the lifestyle which they advocate in #ItsFine.

“Basically no food is off limits,” says Peter. “It’s based on how much you eat rather than what you eat because diets restrict what you can eat. We take a different approach and say we eat everything including pizzas, pasta, burgers and whatever.

“I treat myself every single day. I eat a lot of healthy things too but I either have a doughnut a day or I’ll have chocolate or biscuits. But here’s the thing: when you do that you don’t feel the urge to completely binge.

“People say ‘healthy mind, healthy body’. For me, a healthy mind is so important. A lot of people are depressed and suffering from anxiety and it doesn’t help when you have to restrict yourself from all the good things that you love in life.”

Peter has already started working on a new album which will commemorate his 30 years in showbiz. But despite being so busy, he still has priorities.

“The most important thing for me is family – everything else is secondary.”

“Family is so important. I really feel like I’m getting the balance right. I’m working a bit more this year than usual but family is everything. Something has to give when you’re busy, so I’m focussing on all the things I really want to do.

“The most important thing for me is family – just work as hard as you can and provide for your family. Everything else is secondary.”

In the meantime Peter is continuing to prepare for his appearance at the Darley Park Weekender.

He enthuses: “This will be full-on ‘90s nostalgia. Brilliant. We’re still doing the dance moves from those days. People love it. It’s good fun. Get ready to have a great time.”

  • The Darley Park Weekender takes place from Friday 25 until Sunday 27 August

* This article originally appeared in Country Images magazine

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