HE is due to hit the road with JLS next year when the band reunites, but for Aston Merrygold it seems his future lies in acting.
In an exclusive interview, the singer, who was a runner-up with the group on The X Factor in 2008, said he was looking to a future on the big screen following the live gigs marking their tenth anniversary next year.
Aston explained: “Not many people know but acting is where I started.
“It is definitely at the forefront of everything for me right now.
“Acting feels like the natural next step. I am going back to my roots.
“It is something I love to do. You know, I am a real comic book geek at heart so anything like a role in a Marvel or a DC [Comics] production would be the dream.
“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. I am a big kid and I love the magic and the action.
“The big blockbuster stuff would be amazing to do.
“But then there is amazing stuff being produced in the UK which would be great to do, shows like Gangs Of London. It is absolutely brilliant. And they don’t pull any punches. They go for it and don’t water it down.
“The BBC are doing some amazing series at the minute.
“There are so many opportunities out there and it’s something I really want to tap into.
“It’ll be good for people to see me in a different light and with a different dynamic and role too.
“The past three years I’ve really delved into acting more. I did a film called Boogie Man with Andy Morahan — a great director and a friend of mine — and then I had more of a regular role on Always Never on CBBC. It’s where I see my future.”
Lockdown saw Aston and JLS bandmates Marvin Humes, JB Gill and Oritse Williams push back their reunion gigs until next summer. But while the group have been unable to get together, Aston revealed they are in touch every day.
He added: “We’ve got our WhatsApp group that we’re always talking on. But it has been nice to press pause on everything.
“We have been able to sit back and enjoy life for a while. We can’t wait until the tour. It’s going to be incredible.”
Along with enjoying a well-earned rest, Aston also used lockdown to help produce — and star in — new short film A Tale To Tell.
He created the production, out now on Amazon Prime, with Twist and Pulse star Glen Murphy.
Aston explained: “It’s a Christmas film which centres around our best-loved pantomimes. I play Peter Pan.
“We tried to bring a bit of magic to everyone who needs it this Christmas.”
LL Cool J-Lo
Jennifer Lopez seemed to be pining for her pal LL Cool J as she posed in a bucket hat just like the rapper usually wears.
The Jenny From The Block singer showed off the red Dior headgear while sporting a beige tracksuit with Timberland boots.
She posted the snap – taken on the stairs of a plane ahead of her trip to New York – on Instagram.
J-Lo will be playing her annual New Year’s Eve concert Rockin’ Eve in the American city.
She is already rocking that look.
Live and let dry, Macca
Looks like a dripping wet Sir Paul McCartney exited his Yellow Submarine a bit prematurely.
The Beatles singer had just been for a dip in the sea while enjoying a festive holiday in Barbados.
He wore swim shorts and a long-sleeve top, ensuring he minimised the chances of getting sunburnt.
Macca and wife Nancy Shevell touched down in the Caribbean at the weekend after learning that his new album, McCartney III, was the most bought record at Christmas.
It was his first solo No1 in 31 years, beating Taylor Swift, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe for top spot.
The music legend clearly deserves a break.
James: My love for Cats
It was a huge flop but James Corden has defended his 2019 movie Cats – while admitting he has never seen it.
The Gavin & Stacey star said: “I haven’t seen it. Here’s what I’ll say about Cats.
“I had such a great time. I went to London, shot the song with a brilliant group of actors – Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, all these people – and I had a blast.
“So I think you have to be really careful not to judge whether something was valuable to you as to whether it was successful at the box office.”
He told the Smartless podcast: “I’ve had really miserable times on things that are really successful. So I should never look upon that as a success.
“I had the best time [on Cats].”
Sorry James, I think you are great but I had a terrible time watching it.
Gwen's all matchy thatchy
Gwen Stefani tried her best to find an outfit befitting her wacky hair.
The Hey Baby singer stepped out in white blonde and black locks while wearing a stripey jacket and skirt.
Gwen was in California with singer fiancé Blake Shelton as they made their way to a studio.
She later completed her day by creating green Rice Krispie wreaths that didn’t look the most appetising.
They were made worse when she dropped most of them on the kitchen floor telling her Instagram followers they were for Blake.
I just hope she wasn’t in charge of the turkey.
Jessie on the juice
Jessie Ware has told how she drank alcohol with Man United football legend Eric Cantona – not knowing she was pregnant at the timeIn her Table Manners podcast, she said: “I met Eric at Soccer Aid.
He is the coolest guy in the world and he said, ‘Do you want to go for a drink?’ I didn’t want to, I was actually really tired, but I thought, ‘Eric Cantona’s asking me if I wanna have a drink.’
“I didn’t actually realise I was eight weeks pregnant at the time, so I had that bloody glass of wine and talked about when he used to play.
He was so kind of philosophical. I wished I could have spoken French then. He was amazing.”
Nile's Future Nostalgia
Nile Rodgers has said he could still release a disco collaboration with Dua Lipa.
The Chic legend worked with the Don’t Start Now singer during the making of her chart-topping album Future Nostalgia, although his efforts did not make the final cut.
But when I asked if they could still release the music they worked on together, he said: “That’s up to her. We got along great, we really liked each other.
“She can call me any time – I’m down.”
Hot or not?
Rita Ora – she’s incredibly brave to open up about her breast cancer scare.
The Queen – she captured the public mood as C4’s “deepfake” take flopped.
Micky Flanagan – for grilling Matthew McConaughey on his Magic Mike role.
Xmas TV – dull and uninspiring. Thank God for beer and Dad’s Army repeats.
Sports Personality Of The Year – went on way too long and was a total borefest.
James Thornton – after wife Joanna Page almost left him over the lack of sex.
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