Antony is loving panto in Southsea

11/12/14 ''The cast from Aladdin entertain the audience at The Kings Theatre. Anthony Costa of Blue.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143520-4) SUS-141222-072151003
11/12/14 ''The cast from Aladdin entertain the audience at The Kings Theatre. Anthony Costa of Blue.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143520-4) SUS-141222-072151003
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In 2001 at the age of 20 Antony Costa shot to fame as a member of the multi-million selling boy band Blue.

After a break, the band are now back and riding high again

But in the meantime, he’s enjoying panto at Southsea’s Kings Theatre this Christmas, with Antony lining up in the title role Aladdin (December 9-January 4)

“I have done a few pantos in the past,” Antony says. “The first was in Cardiff in 2008, and the year after that, I was in Ipswich, and then after that, I have been really busy with the boys from Blue again.

“And now the opportunity has come up to go back to pantomime in Southsea. This is my first one for five years. The thing I love about panto is the way that everyone gets involved. For me, it is all about putting a smile on people’s faces. You go to a panto, and there are no age restrictions. It’s just a great day out. I have got a little one, Savannah, who is four months old. The Mrs will be coming down to watch me in panto. It will be great. I just can’t wait.

“And it is something different to what I am usually known for. I can’t wait to get stuck in. You have just got to take it for what it is. People say that they don’t want to do it, but it is just such great fun. You put the barriers down, and you just have to do it with a great big smile on your face. That’s another thing I love about panto. There is no snobbery in panto. Everyone is equal from the people right at the back of the stage to the front. It is just great family entertainment.”

Acting has always been a part of Antony’s life: “I was in a programme called Grange Hill for a couple of episodes. I was about 14. I just loved it. I was in all the school plays from Danny in Grease to Emcee in Cabaret. I always loved performing. When an audition came up, I would always take it.

“But music was always a big part of my life. I didn’t realise it would be such a major part. I never thought for a moment that I would be in a boy band, but you leave school, you get to 16-17, and you are too old to play 14-15 year-olds and you are too young to play 21-22 year-olds. I just started going to boy band auditions and went from there. I decided to put a band together.

“Blue was just amazing. It was mental in the sense that one moment we were getting signed by Virgin and then a year later we are singing with Elton John. I would never have predicted that in a million years. We were singing with Stevie Wonder. I was on stage with Tom Jones and Lionel Richie. It’s something that I will always have.”

The band was together from 2001-2005, reaching its peak from 2002-2004: “We decided to call it a day in 2005. We just wanted to end on a high. We didn’t want to rinse the whole Blue brand off. We decided to take six months off and it ended up being six years. We all did different things, but we were still best friends.”

And so it was that they were back together again representing the country at Eurovision in 2011. As Antony admits, the UK are probably never going to win; more important was the fact of standing there on behalf of the nation.

“But it’s interesting. Germany gave us no points. The next day we were in the top ten in Germany!”

Tickets on 023 9282 8282.