Chillin' With FIVE

[Live & Kicking Magazine - ISSUE 77 - February 2000]

Pull up a chair and make yourself comfy as L&K takes it real easy with ver lads…

Have you got a fashion tip for spring?
Well everyone will be wearing stockings tied round their arms, which cuts off your circulation, but puffs up your arms and makes your arms look really muscley! They'll be flesh-coloured so you can't see them! Oh and another tip is wearing no socks. You won't see me wearing any in new Five pictures. The whole point of not wearing socks is that you get smelly shoes! [Erm nice!]

What's your top travelling tip?
Take some bangin' music and a good book. I read about a book a month something like that. I'm reading a book called Gideon at the moment, which is a thriller. It's quite good.

When you're 60, what's the one thing you'll remember most about being in Five?
It'd definitely be good things that I remember. I'd probably cast my mind back over a whole jumble of things like fans screaming, performing in stadiums, photo shoots and video shoots and I'll just think, 'What? I did all that?'.

Have you got any beauty tips?
I'm just a soap and water guy really, but sometimes we all stick a bit of moisturiser on 'cause flying around all the time really dries your skin out. Yes, flying really dries one, luvvie! I have to admit if though, I like the expensive stuff if I'm gonna use anything!

Do you look back at any old pics of Five and cringe at what you were wearing?
Course - big time! I hate the Slam Dunk cover 'cause I'm wearing really, really terrible clothes! I just cringe so much when I watch the video too. We've all cahnged so much since then!

Have you been offered any acting or modelling work?
We haven't really… well we all get offered things, but sometimes we don't hear about them 'cause we're busy working or we hear about it too late. We have to just concentrate on doing Five stuff. I tell you what though, if I had the choice it wouldn't be modelling. We all feel a bit like models already 'cause we're always posing for photo shoots.

If you were ever in a film, what sort of film would it be?
I'd have to be in an action thriller. I'd be erm… a baddie I guess. I wouldn't say I'd be as bad as a gangster, just a natural born baddie-type bloke. I could kind of imagine being a bit of a nutter baddie, what d'ya reckon?

When's the last time you got on a bus or a tube?
I haven't caught a bus or tube for a year or so now. I mostly get taxis when I can, but I took taxis before I was in Five too, whenever I could afford 'em. Which wasn't that often!

What's your favourite word of the moment?
Word of the moment…ummm…love. It's not just my favourite word fo the moment. It's a nice word all year round, isn't it!

What's the last album you bought?
I buy a lot of vinyl - in fact I bough loads the other day 'cause I do DJ-ing and stuff. The best record I bought was this excellent garage mix. [Yabbers on about obscure music peeps for ages!]

Have you ever worn a frock?
No! Honestly, I haven't! Why do you think I have!? Not that I can remember. I might've put one on as a joke at some point in my life for about two seconds, but I really, honestly, truly can't remember. [OK we believe you, Abs!]

Have you DJ-ed at any parties or clubs yet?
I just do it for myself really as a hobby, although I've done it in front of people at mates' parties. Mates will come round to my house and I'll be doing a bit with them all sitting around. I've never played at big clubs. I'd love to. Am I good enough? Umm… I'll send you a tape - it's mainly garage and hip-hop. I just mix everything together really. It could be a future career if it all goes pear-shaped with Five. At least I might have something to fall back on!

Which cartoon character do you most identify with?
Johnny Bravo! Only joking! I think I'm like Hercules 'cause I've got such big muscles!

If there was a film made about Five - who would you like to play you?
Pandora - that girl out of The Diary of Adrian Mole. ['80s progey about a spotty, geeky teenager] She'll be about 35 now, but she'd look good 'cause everyone'd be like, 'Uh? What's going on?'

Who would you go on stars in your eyes as?
Ummm…I'd go on Stars In Your Eyes as Michael Aspel! [Wrinkly TV ol' presenter] I know he's not a singer, but I'm allowed to go on as Michael Aspel if I want aren't I? I'd pull a few surprises out of the bag. I'm in a surreal kinda mood today. Sorry have you noticed! It has to be Michael Aspel or nothing! It'd be something nice to do.

Do your family and friends think you've changed in any way?
Not at all. My mum's never said that I've changed in any way - she only says that I need to see her a bit more and stuff like that. I never name drop at all and go on about who I've met and stuff - it's not a part of my job that interests me. When I see my mum I'm more interested in catching up with what she's been up to and how's she's been. If I have time, I take her round to see my cousins and stuff - so we're all there together.

What's your favourite word of the moment?
Chill out's always a big one or just chill - I say that all the time. I like the word groovy too. It's not from Austin Powers or anything. 'Yeah baby, I'm just groovy!' Ha ha!

Have you been allowed to hear Billie's new single yet?
I've heard Billie's new single, yeah! It's very good, of course! It's not out 'til about April or something so I'm sworn to secrecy about it. I was very impressed though… No I can't tell you what it's like, it's a secret!

Who would you go on stars in their eyes as?
Abs would definitely go on as Michael Jackson, I don't know what I'd go as though. Er… I'd go on as Eddie Vedder [crinkly rocker dude] from Pearl Jam. I'd wear a long flowing wig and everything - I'd really go for it!

What's the scariest food you've ever eaten?
I've never eaten monkey brains or anything that scary! Everyone's probably had this, but I'll never forget when I tried snails! It was in a French restaurant in Paris and it was just so eerrugh! They actually came in their shells and you had to gouge them out with this mad gougy thing! It was horrible! They were just so chewy and I just kept imagining them on the floor sliming along with their tentacle thingies out! No thanks!

What was the last good deed you did?
Actually, it was last night when I drove somebody home from the record company who needed a lift. They'd done me a favour and popped round to drop something off for me, so I'd owed them one really. It was only about 9 o'clock so I didn't mind. I quite enjoy driving anyway.

What's your next hair style gonna be?
I'm sticking to the one I've got for the moment I'm quite enjoying being dark to tell you the truth. Do brunettes have more fun? Well, I have fun whatever colour my hair is, I can tell ya! I'm naturally brown anyway. It cuts down on the time it takes to get ready as well.

If there was a film made about Five - who would you like to play you?
Brad Pitt! Ha ha ha! No not really, I'm only joking! I really don't think he'd go for that, but if you don't ask you don't get do you? It's a nice thought though, isn't it?

So Rich what's the trendiest item of clothing you've bought recently?
I'm not really a fashion freak, but if I go out to buy clothes for chilling out and messing around in then I'm into hoodies. You know, jumper things with a hood at the back - I like them 'cause they're cosy and comfy.

Has the novelty of being in the public eye worn off?
A little bit - but not a lot 'cause it's still quite nice. I have on and off days. I think I'm a bit off today 'cause I'm tired. If I walked down the street and loads of people recognized me I'd feel a bit annoyed, only 'cause I'm so tired. I'd still say hello and not be rude. I don't look my best either 'cause I've got my tracksuit bottoms on, old t-shirt, baseball cap and all that!

Do you ever yearn for a quiet life with 2.4 kids, the car in the drive and doing the gardening?
I don't know about doing the gardening, but I often think about having a normal life with two kids and being marreid and stuff. I think that in about 10 years my kids'll be about nine. Am I trying to tell you something? No, not really! But I'm quite into that sort of stuff. I used to be into gardening though. Me and my mate, Chris, dug up the whole of my mum and dad's garden 'cause he thought he could dig to Australia! I told him that we could and he believed me! The hole was getting bigger and bigger until my mum and dad came home and shouted at us! Chris'll never forget and he'll be gutted that I've told L&K!

What's your favourite word of the moment?
I've been watching loads of Friends on videos and I love Chandler, so I'm being him and talking like him a lot f them time. I keep saying 'Could the situation be any worse?' just like him!

What's the most ridiculous rumour you've heard about yourself?
Well there's one about me having strangely sized personal bits! Ha ha! Oh, is that too rude? Sorry!

Who would you go on Stars In Their Eyes as?
Actually when I was younger I auditioned for it as Marti Pellow from Wet, Wet, Wet. Just think, I could have been in Stars In Their Eyes! I was about 13 but I didn't go on in the end 'cause there were too many Marti Pellows. Now I'd probably do someone like Richard Marx. [American crooner].

If there was a film made about Five - who would you like to play you?
Edward Norton 'cause I think he's a very, very good actor. He's quite good-looking but he's really weird 'cause he looks really mean and evil with a skinhead, and then when he was a normal haircut he looks normal. Obviously, I'd prefer him to play me with a skinhead!

Well what about the rumours of you snogging Lisa Steps?
It'd have to be that one would it? I wasn't even there, I was in Ireland so it couldn't have been me! I think that was her boyfriend (who's a dancer or something). He does look a bit like me!


What's your favourite word of the moment?
Erm…well that would be hoppadoppaloppa! No. I didn't just make it up! It just means have a nice day in Swangelesh! And we're all having a fantastic day today. We're just rehearsing for a new video, but I'm in a really good mood today. I don't know why, but everything's superb. I've had me breakfast, a nice cup of tea, done some good dance moves - everything's cookin'!

When did you last go home, what did you doa nd what's your fave place at home?
Calm down L&K! The last time I went home was a bout a month ago and I nothing but sit with my family. It was very nice indeed just sitting on the sofa watching TV. We all watched The Bill! It was great! I love just being in my mum's house in the lounge chatting about what I've been missing and what I've been up to.

Who would you go on Stars In Their Eyes As?
I'd go on Stars In Their Eyes as Barry White! I'd wear all the kit and practice singing really low down in the boots. I'd have to try to get a hoarse throat before I performed my song, would I?

What was the last book you read?
I haven't read a book for ages, sorry. But I read The Mirror and The Sun today. I read the sport bits and, 'cause I didn't have much time, I just skimmed over the news pages.

Do you ever wonder whether you've missed out on your youth being in Five?
Nah not really. The way I see it is that it's all right 'cause everything will be there when I'm not in Five any more.

Have you ever done karaoke?
I think I've done it once, but I can't remember what song I did. It was just one of those karaoke songs. No it wasn't I Will Survive! Don't be so cheeky! I really can't remember… I know I definitely sung solo though.

When did you last make a show of yourself in public?
Just a minute ago when J was messing about pointing at me, but his finger poked me in the eye and scratched my eyeball! It hurt so much! The room's full of people and I felt like a bit of a berk 'cause my eye was streaming and crying. [Aaw poor fella!]

If there was a film made about Five - who would you like to play you?
I don't know really. Do you know who'd I really like…I'd like Jack Duckworth off Coronation Street to be me! What do you mean I'd have to have the actor Bill Tarmey play me? Nah I want the Corrie character! That'd be superb wouldn't it? I'd really like that.