DigitalSpy-Interview: Craig McLachlan ('Dancing On Ice')
It was a disappointing early exit for Craig McLachlan on last night's Dancing On Ice. The former Neighbours hunk and 'Hey Mona' popstar charmed us with his sense of humour, but his lack of training cost him dear on the ice. We caught up with McLachlan this morning to find out whether he enjoyed his skating experience and whether we'll ever hear him singing again.
It must have been a big disappointment for you to leave last night Craig. Did you manage to enjoy your evening?
"Do you know what? It was a buzz doing that show with the audience and everything. Everyone involved - it was just a great bunch of people. And also in mine and Maria's defence, I thought our routine in the skate-off was on fire. As I told [Phillip] Schofield and Holly [Willoughby], once you've been out there and done it once, knocked those nerves on the head, you can have an absolute blast. So we had a really, really great skate at the end of the night, which I'm thrilled about. But I'll miss it buddy, no doubt about that. It was such a laugh. There is another show happening behind the show and that's been the real fun of it."
And even if your skating wasn't perfect, that was a brilliant costume last night...
"I honestly and openly said all the way along - and I certainly haven't moaned and groaned about it - that I wouldn't have as much time on the ice as other people. I have acting commitments back home... and home is a long, long way away. But, yeah, the costumes - it's a shame about the costumes. I was always cracking gags about wanting more glitter and sequins than anybody else. But I can tell you Alex that the plans that they had for future costumes were... *laughs*... well, they were playing on my history from Henry Ramsay to Frank N. Furter and everything in between. I'm more disappointed about missing out on the cossies than missing out on learning about ice skating. I can tell you that one costume was sequin-studded, diamanté-encrusted dungarees with a beautifully manufactured retro late '80s curly mullet. I'm not lying, I've seen the drawings and they're off the chart. So, sadly, we will miss out on that one."
Have your mates back in Oz not been ribbing you about the diamonds and fake tan?
"Well, all I can say is that we don't get the show in Australia. That is possibly not a bad thing. I've got friends who it has taken 15 years for them to speak to me again after I appeared onstage in fishnets singing 'Sweet Transvestite'. So the fact that it has been contained to British audiences is perhaps not a bad thing."
There's a lot of love for the McLachlan in the UK. Will you be back on our TVs again anytime soon?
"Oh I would absolutely love to come back. That's the other thing that has been lovely - just being back here in the UK. I probably bit off more than I could chew thinking that I could commute - Oz to the UK is not exactly a train down from Oxfordshire to London! But I've loved it and I've loved catching up with old buddies. Especially here at ITV, meeting up with Schofield again and a whole bunch of old mates. So, I've got a bunch of commitments to fill in Australia with two drama series, but I'd love to come back and do something over here on the telly."
Do you find it strange that people still really want to hear you sing 'Hey Mona'?
"It is just amazing and astonishing to me. I mean when was 'Mona'? 1990? It must have been over 20 years ago. But the song, the band and that whole era when I was in Neighbours is held in such affection over here. It is just lovely. Australians are so laid back - and that's an understatement - and even though 'Hey Mona' was the biggest selling Oz single that year, nobody really gives a bugger! It's just, 'Oh mate, you had that song didn't you'. But in the UK it really does generate some excitement and it's lovely."
Do you still dabble in music?
"These days I compose bits and pieces for music television at home. I do a bit of a session guitar work as well just to keep my fingers in. But by God, here in England, if I had a quid for every bugger who in the last couple of weeks has said, 'Why don't you turn out another record? It's been too long between drinks', I could retire. Who knows, maybe I'll do something sneaky."
Who are you tipping to win the show?
"Cor! Alex, that's a tough question mate. With the phone voting it can literally come down to one phonecall difference and you're gone, so it's impossible to call. Plus there are the judges now - you have Jason there as the pantomime villain and Robin Cousins with that rich wealth of skating experience. With the judges involved, you have to fancy young Sammy Attwater, because he's way ahead of the pack technically. He's really put the hours in. But everyone there, trust me, has the potential to win. They all bring something different to the table."
Dancing On Ice continues next Sunday at 6.10pm on ITV1
Source: DigitalSpy (Alex Fletcher)