From Corrie to my own stage school - Thundersley actor, 26, on early TV fame, his latest role as a teacher and...dating Chloe Madeley (From Echo)
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From Corrie to my own stage school - Thundersley actor, 26, on early TV fame, his latest role as a teacher and...dating Chloe Madeley
IT would be easy to write off Danny Young as just another pretty boy ex-soap star, but that would be a big mistake.
Although his fame-filled Coronation Street days are behind him, the 26-year-old has plenty going on – including running a personal training business and a stage school in Rayleigh.
He’s also had a stint on Dancing on Ice and is now dating TV presenter Chloe Madeley, with whom he also runs a health and fitness website.
And running his own drama school means just that – he doesn’t stand aside and watch others do all the hard work for him.
Danny, who grew up in Thundersley, is at the school every Sunday morning, teaching wannabe performers, aged six to 16, singing, acting and dancing skills. But just as importantly, he’s a mentor for his young students.
After stepping on to the cobbles, playing the role of Warren Baldwin when he was 18 and finding himself thrust into the world of showbiz and celebrity at such an early age, does Danny wish he’d had a mentor to guide him?
“A little bit, yes,” he says. “That’s why I really try hard to be there for the kids. To be their friend, as well as their teacher. I tell them about my days on Coronation Street, all the funny stories and stuff, but also the hard times and the mistakes I made. They need to know it’s a tough business.
“When I started up this theatre school, I knew it would become a big part of my life. I’d never put my name to something then just walk away. “ Born and bred Essex lad Danny says he’ll always look back upon his time in Corrie – playing the son of Bradley Walsh’s character Danny Baldwin – as a gift, even if it was one he maybe didn’t appreciate at the time.
He says: “I had a great time. I really did. Bradley Walsh was wonderful to me. Being in a soap is hard work and it’s something I’d be up for doing again if it came along. I worked hard and I enjoyed it, but if I have any regrets it would be I didn’t respect the craft of acting enough at the time.
“I was a teenager and, I suppose, was more interested in going out to parties and enjoying the great money that came with such a fantastic job. But then, you know, I was young. If I could do it all again, I’d certainly appreciate it more.”
Labelled a heartthrob and lusted after by TV viewers, it’s no surprise Danny, who also appeared in Dancing on Ice in 2010, where he came fifth, was bombarded with fan mail at the height of his soap success – even if not all of it was “appropriate”. He says: “Oh God, I got some weird and crazy stuff back then. So weird I can’t even tell you – sent from men and women. It’s funny now I think about it. Any actor in a high-profile soap will get bags of fan mail though.”
A lot of the youngsters at the Danny Young Theatre School are too young to remember him from his Corrie days.
He says: “They don’t really know much about it, but their mums do. On the first day the theatre school opened, I think there were more mums here than kids!
“Some of the kids from the school remember me from Kerching, a children’s TV show I did, which is nice. We’re a really close bunch here. Last year I was in panto and all the kids from the school came to watch me.”
As well as having other acting projects in the pipeline, Danny is busy preparing for another gruelling panto season this Christmas.
He’ll be appearing in Dick Whittington in York, playing the part of Idle Jack.
Danny’s real-life girlfriend, Chloe Madeley, will also be starring in the production as Alice Fitzwarren.
Although not on the scale of Brangelina or the Beckhams, the couple often find themselves “papped” and the subject of fodder for celebrity websites and national papers.
In fact, Danny was behind 26-year-old Chloe’s amazing health and fitness transformation, which has led to her now studying to become a personal trainer herself. The couple now run the motivational health and fitness website – www.fitnessfondue.com – where they aim to inspire others to have fun working out.
Danny explains “It all started when Chloe said to me, ‘I need to get abs in under four weeks’. I was doing personal training at the time and I said to her, OK, I’ll get you abs in that time!
“So we set about training really hard and she got the body she wanted. It’s led to a lot of photo shoots and stuff in magazines and my mates ringing up asking me to do personal training for them.
“I do enjoy it, but if I’m honest, acting is where my heart is.”
As for Chloe’s dad, TV star Richard Madeley, how does he get on with Danny? “You know what? He is an absolutely top bloke,” says Danny. “He’s an Essex boy like me and he’s taught me a lot about how to cope in this industry.”
So would Danny ever consider letting his honed physique go to pot for an acting part?
He says: “Absolutely. As I’ve got older, I’ve learnt to have the utmost respect for actors like Christian Bale, who will immerse themselves in a role by changing their bodies, like he did in the Machinist. I’d love it if a part called for me to lose weight – or even put it on. Even if it’s a really dark role, I’d love to get the chance to prove I can do it.”
Danny was spotted when he was 14 by a talent scout, while he was singing karaoke on holiday. This led to him enrolling in the Sylvia Young agency. Parts in TV shows and later films then just seemed to fall at his feet.
He says: “I was really lucky. I didn’t have to try too hard. I seemed to have the young, cheeky sort of look casting agents wanted.
“That said, as I’ve got older and I’ve changed physically, it’s not been as easy. I’ve had to learn to have a thick skin.
“That’s something I tell my students. Be prepared for rejection and knock-backs if you want a career in acting.
“But it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. If anything, it’s character building.
“You can either think, ‘OK, they don’t want me’ and bury your head in your hands or you can take it as, ‘OK, I’m going to learn from this and be even more determined to succeed’.”
Danny runs theatre school sessions every Sunday at Sweyne Park School, Rayleigh. For more information, Visit, dannyyoungtheatreschool.co.uk
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