Oh yes he is: Dancing with the Stars winner Jake Carter gets leading panto role

CENTRE STAGE: Jake Carter is preparing for his role as Aladdin in ‘Polly and the Magic Lamp’, at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin.

HIS twinkle-toed talents helped him foxtrot his way to the winner’s podium on RTÉ’s Dancing With the Stars. It also helped him get into the best physical shape of his life — and while he hasn’t quite maintained it at that level, Jake Carter is getting back into the gym in the run-up to Christmas.

“I am trying now to get myself back to where I was if not better,” he says. That’s because he wants to reach peak physical fitness for his latest role, that of Aladdin in this year’s Olympia Theatre Christmas panto. The iconic Dublin theatre will host Polly and the Magic Lamp from December 21 until January 6.

Joining him on stage will be Rory Cowan and Erin McGregor, capping what has been an incredibly busy year for the singer and performer.

As well as onscreen success, Dancing With the Stars brought him romance, and the Liverpool lad is now dating professional dancer and DWTS partner Karen Byrne.

Born and bred in the northern English city, the 20-year-old shares the singing talents of his big brother, superstar Nathan, though his focus is more on pop and rock than traditional country. Inspired by his sibling’s success, Jake started performing on stage with him in his teens and later decided that he too would try his hand at a music career, embarking on his first solo tour.

Like his brother, Jake was raised to have old-fashioned good manners — those who don’t mind their manners are among his pet hates.

What shape are you in?

I would say I’m in OK shape. Coming up to the panto, I’m trying to get myself into better shape but after doing so much exercise at the start of the year with Dancing With The Stars, it was hard to keep up that amount of work. My body wouldn’t be in as good shape it was then. However I am trying now to get myself back to where I was — if not better.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

Eating porridge in the morning. I try to start the day off right as I believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If I have a good breakfast I find myself not being as hungry throughout the day and not eating as many bad treats.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Probably a spice bag late at night on the couch watching a film. I love a good spice bag.

What would keep you awake at night?

Work and thinking of what I have to do is probably the thing that keeps me up at night the most. However, I love sleep and if I’m tired I usually don’t find it too hard to get to sleep.

How do you relax?

By going to the gym and then going to use the steam room and sauna. I would then usually sit in the jacuzzi for a good 15-20 minutes in the gym. However, I do love going to the cinema to relax or shopping, as long as it’s for me and nobody else.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé. Some of music’s greats.

What’s your favourite smell?

A Yankee candle. I love the white ones especially, Clean Cotton and Snow In Love are two of my current favourites. I also love the smell of petrol and cooking. There are too many to choose from.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’d love to be dedicated and able to just go to the gym every day so I was more toned. It’s hard being in the music and entertainment industry trying to find time to fit it all in.

When is the last time you cried?

When I won Dancing With The Stars. How embarrassing!

What traits do you least like in others?

Lack of manners — they cost nothing and I think everyone, no matter who they are, should have and use them.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

The thing I probably least like about myself is I often can be quite stubborn. In some ways it’s good but sometimes I need to take a step back and not answer back to people as much as I do. I’d say my mum will agree.

Do you pray?

Not really. I would probably go to Mass once or twice a year with my busy schedule.

What would cheer up your day?

Seeing people smile always cheers up my day. Especially if it’s because of something I’ve done whether it be at a gig, getting a picture with someone or making someone laugh. I think smiles and laughs are infectious and brighten anybody’s day.

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