Peter Andre: ‘I remember praying to God: please get me through this day’
The singer has played out much of his life on reality TV – but off-camera he has struggled with panic attacks and depression. He opens up about racist abuse, violent assault and his new career in acting
In 1998, Peter Andre disappeared. This was at the peak of his early fame, when he couldn’t have appeared more confident in his own skin – a sun-kissed, six-packed beefcake singing cheesy songs. He had made his name in the UK with the reggae single Mysterious Girl, had two No 1 hits (Flava and I Feel You), and four that reached the Top 10. “That’s when the panic attacks started,” he says. For six years, no one heard a thing from him. He became so invisible, so swiftly, that radio shows ran Have You Seen Peter Andre? competitions.
Now he is a boyish 46 – black hair and stubble, not an ounce of fat on him, wearing his skinny jeans with conviction. We meet in a London hotel where he is promoting Grease the Musical. Andre is playing the Teen Angel – his first theatrical performance since he was a 17-year-old in Australia. But he also has a lot to say about reality TV and mental health, two subjects he knows a lot about. It was on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here that he met the former glamour model Katie Price, they married on their reality show, their children Junior and Princess Tiaamii grew up on reality TV, and he started a new chapter on his own reality show after their divorce. Reality TV allowed him to reinvent himself after a breakdown, gave him a huge profile, considerable wealth and a second chance at celebrity. So when he says reality TV can be dangerous, it’s worth listening.Continue reading...