For decades, a permanent fixture on the city’s festive calendar, Brighton will once again succumb to the allure of Holiday on Ice. In a celebration of its history, a new production – ‘Platinum’ celebrates the timeless charm which defines this touring ice spectacular. Taking a lavish journey through its 70 years of figure skating entertainment, this perennial favourite makes a welcome return to Brighton in January.

So if you’re producing an ice spectacular, it’s only appropriate to feature the undisputed king of celebrity skaters. Since being second only to soul diva Leona Lewis on X Factor, Ray Quinn has continued to put his heart and soul into everything he undertakes. This includes winning ITV’s Dancing on Ice twice with his partner Maria Filippov. “I was so pleased with that,” he tells me. “It was a challenge, but I always want to win!”

When it comes to performing, Quinn has the complete skillset. He’s appeared in West End musicals, appeared in Brookside, been the first artist to have a UK chart-topping album without releasing a single and now he’s become a part of the most popular ice show in the world.

Founded in Ohio as a small hotel show, Holiday on Ice has gone on to become a goliath in the live-entertainment world. Its travelled the globe ever since, visited 80 countries and thrilled over 325 million people. “The history of it was why I wanted to take part. If I ever was going to do another skating show it had to be the best!”

Combining speed, daring lifts and awe-inspiring throws, the show is simultaneously thrilling and graceful. Sound-tracking the spectacle is a wide variety of music from Brazilian electro to classical waltzes, swing and gospel to samba. With magnificent staging, captivating figure- skaters, glamorous costumes and elaborate routines, Quinn is certain Platinum will wow the city.

“We’ve been touring and rehearsing for a while, so it’s going to absolutely tip-top when it comes to Brighton. It’s a fantastic thing to look forward to.”

Undeniably Quinn has embraced skating, but there’s a new stage in his career approaching fast. “It’s going to be my last ice skating show. I’m going to be concentrating on my music, but I wanted to do a skating show to say thank-you for what it’s taught me, given me and the achievements I’ve got out of it.”

The return to singing sees an album next year and a single this month. He’s also taking a slightly new direction with his style. Whilst still retaining the familiar jazzy, big band edge, it’s now moving towards ballads. “It’s going old school. It’s just raw music that will touch people.” The new album has seen him work with such luminaries as Linda Lewis and Andy Roachford. There’s even a dance track floating about, which was recorded with his manager. “…It’s just because we can!”

While showbiz never previously ran in Quinn’s family, his West End actress wife, Emma and their two-year-old son Harry, both have performing traits. “He’s bang into entertaining people. He’s always bowing and singing. I know he’s going to be getting into what I do. But it’s great because we can help him.”

This knowledge of the industry, combined with his passion for doing things his way, sees Quinn setting up his own record label to release his material. “I’m a bit of a chancer. But I never
do anything by half.” Chancer perhaps, but no“w he’s taking charge of his destiny, without trend-obsessed and profit- conscious record executives stifling his creativity.

There are even plans for a tour next year, after his stint with Holiday On Ice. Titled ‘Ray Quinn – Unplugged’ it will see him perform with a minimal set up, allowing the quality of his material and incredible voice to shine through. “I love what I do. I’ve been very blessed with so many things I’ve done in my career so far.” He’s humble, regardless of the considerable accomplishments for a man of his age, describing himself as nobody in the grand scheme. “Just because I’m Ray Quinn, doesn’t mean people are going to buy my music.”

As much as he’s self-effacing it’s evident how passionate and resolute the singer is about what he does. Passionate is a good word, it could be applied to much of what he does and says, but most of all he’s passionate about the value of believing in yourself.

Naturally this Merseyside Sinatra appreciates the opportunity the X Factor presented him, but maintains that the hard work truly begins after the process ends. The dedication is paying off. Quinn’s had a sell-out tour recently, is performing in the world’s greatest ice show and confirmed his reputation as a total entertainer. So he’s justifiably proud of everything he’s working on and what’s already been realised. “It’s amazing what you can do when you pull your finger out,” he laughs.

Holiday on Ice comes to the Brighton Centre on Tue 6 – Sun 11 Jan.

www.brightoncentre.co.uk www.rayquinnworld.co.uk