Scouser Ray Quinn finds his Voice as new role takes him back to his first love of acting
RAY QUINN may only be 24, but he's crammed a lot into his career already.
The Liverpudlian got his break playing Anthony Murray in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside when he was just 11 years old.
He then went on to show off his singing talents on the X Factor and came second to Leona Lewis in 2006.
Since then he's had a platinum selling solo album, won ITV show Dancing On Ice and carved out a successful career in the West End and in touring stage shows.
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He's currently appearing in the Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which plays the Princess Theatre, Torquay from February 25 to March 2.
Written and directed by Jim Cartwright, it also stars Coronation Street actress Beverley Callard.
In this heart-warming northern fairytale, shy Little Voice spends most of her time immersed in her late father's record collection and perfecting her astonishing impersonations, much to the dismay of her fun loving, out of control mother Mari.
Overheard singing by Ray Say, a hapless talent scout and Mari's man of the moment, Little Voice is propelled to stardom as Ray sets about creating the show of the century in a dingy local workingmen's club.
With an agent from London coming and everything counting on this one performance, Mari and Ray's ticket to the big time rests squarely on Little Voice's shoulders, but has anyone asked Little Voice what she wants?
It features songs from some of the world's most iconic divas including Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland and this is a night of star-filled magic to remember.
"We really believe in the show. Jim Cartwright who is a well known writer has done such a great job," said Ray, who plays the role of Billy.
"We're enjoying being on tour with the show and hope it goes to the West End. The tour wasn't supposed to happen, but it got extended due to its success for a further 20 weeks.
"I love doing straight acting again, as it's something I wanted to get back to, and this is the right path to do it."
Prior to getting a role in Little Voice, he's been in some of the country's top musicals playing Danny Zuko in Grease in the West End.
"That was a long time ago now. I was young at the time, but no one can take that credit away from me," said Ray.
"I feel lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity. I made the most of it. I had massive shoes to fill for that role but I'm glad I did it."
He's also since played Billy in Dirty Dancing and as Warner Huntington III in Legally Blonde.
"LB had such a great cast of people and I was on tour with Les Dennis. We are both Scousers so we struck some common ground. It was fun and very different show to be in," said Ray.
He also won the ITV series Dancing on Ice in 2009 and is still skating. He appeared in an ice show in Peterborough with other DOI stars earlier this month.
"I don't believe in putting all my eggs in one basket and like to try new things," said Ray.
" I like to keep my options open and do different things and hope my skills will helps for future jobs. I always do try best to do a job well and learn new things.
"On the new series of Dancing on Ice I'm back with my friends Joe Pasquale and Keith Chegwin and also hope my former skating partner, Maria Filippov, does well with singer Shayne Ward.
Aside from his career, he married his Grease co-star Emma Stephens last year and the couple had a child, Harry Frank, in August.
"I feel so blessed to have such a perfect little boy," said Ray.
And will his bundle of joy follow in Ray's footsteps?
"He can do whatever he likes," he said.
"To be honest I wouldn't push him into anything he doesn't want to do, but if he decides he wants to sing and be on stage I'll give him advice and guidance.
"If he wants to become a footballer I'll let him as then I can retire early," joked Ray.
For tickets to the Rise and Fall of Little Voice, go to www.atgtickets.com/torquay or telephone the box office on 0844 871 3023.