Gok Wan coming to Southend on new UK tour
PUBLISHED: 12:50 24 October 2017
Gok Wan is one of the country’s most recognised faces, but he insists his latest one man show will reveal a side of him not yet known to the public. Kate Everett finds out more
Gok Wan is known to millions as the man who showed women how to embrace their bodies and dress for success. Next month, he will visit Southend as part of his Naked & Baring All UK tour, which goes behind the personality to uncover the fascinating journey he has taken, from his humble beginnings on a Leicester council estate, to becoming one of the country’s most recognised faces.
Now in his forties, Gok Wan has come a million miles from the unhappy, overweight young man who questioned his future. From his 2008 hit TV show How to Look Good Naked, he has a series of hit TV shows and documentaries, as well as being an author, spokesperson, DJ, stylist, fashion designer and a regular presenter on television shows including ITV’s This Morning.
Now Gok embarks on his first one-man tour, which, he says, candidly unravels his life to reveal everything he has not yet dared to bare.
‘I had never considered a one-man show until I went to see Dawn French’s one-woman show,’ he says. ‘We have been friends for years, but I learned so much about her that night that I thought to myself, have I got more of a story to tell?
‘This show is an intimate insight into where I have come from, my experiences, and inspiring and funny stories that we can all connect with. It really is getting up close and personal, where I can chat to the audience and they can ask questions.
‘There is a lot of improvisation and I don’t think any two nights will be the same.’
At 43, Gok’s career shows no signs of slowing down, with new television shows in the pipeline, success as an author and documentarist, and even stints as a DJ.
‘I am really enjoying this part of my life, with a clarity that has only come to me in my forties,’ he says.
‘I’m far more childlike now than I was as a child; it’s like I’ve regressed. Equally, I push myself harder, but I’m far more honest with myself these days about what I expect from myself to be happy.
‘The show will enable me to share myself in a way I have never done before. It is so important to me that people get to know me as me, and not just what they think they know about me.
‘Everyone knows I love shoes, dresses, fashion, but it is so much more than that. It’s about connecting with people, it’s all about connecting with people, making them laugh, dance or just feel better in the time that they spend with me. As long as there are people involved, I’m happy.’
Gok is no stranger to Southend. It was his home for several weeks in 2016 as he starred in panto at the Cliffs Pavilion and he is looking forward to a return visit.
He explains: ‘What makes Southend so special is the people and the community there; it has a very special family atmosphere that you don’t get in London.’
Find out more
Sunday, November 26
Palace Theatre, Southend on Sea