Life was never going to be quite the same for Heanor firefighter Andy Quinn once he became the Unexpected Star on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.
But it took him a few months to realise that if he didn’t pluck up the courage to take advantage of his new-found fame, life would just back to the way it was before he stepped out onto the Drury Lane stage in front of a live audience of 2,500 not to mention the BBC1 show’s 6.5million viewers.
Now a year later he has got a handle on what he needs to do and thanks to help from a Kickstarter campaign he is about to launch his first album (called Unexpected Star of course) of songs from musical theatre, which includes his debut single that has been written especially for him.
He has a promotional website and professional photographs and he is in demand to perform as a soloist at top class concerts.
If you want to see him sing he will be the vocalist at the New Year’s Eve Gala at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.
At the concert, named Always On My Mind, he will join Derbyshire-based Sinfonia Viva to perform a number of musical theatre and swing numbers.
“This year has been amazing but it would be very easy for things to go back as they were so I have to push myself to take the opportunities in front of me,” said Andy.
“What I dream of doing is taking a year off from the fire service and performing in a big show.
It would such an experience and I would be able to say that I had done it. If it proved to be successful then I might have to rethink my future.
“It would have to be something really appealing to make me go. I think the first thing I have to do is find myself a good agent who would be able to help me find the right show for me.”
Andy, 37, is a full-time firefighter for the Nottinghamshire service and he is also a retained firefighter in Heanor.
He’s been interested in musical theatre and singing since the age of ten and it sounds as if there aren’t that many musical theatre groups in the area that he has performed with.
He’s been on the stage many a time in Derby, Chesterfield and Mansfield and says he has been lucky enough to take on many lead roles such as Freddie in Chess, Curly in Oklahoma and Fred in Kiss Me Kate.
He first met his wife, Emma, while they were on stage together in Calamity Jane in Belper.
She knew her husband had it in him to be a star but that he just needed a bit of a push.
“If she had put me up for X-Factor or something like that she knew I just wouldn’t do it. The only way was to surprise me so I couldn’t get out of it,” explained Andy.
She certainly didn’t do anything by halves and with the help of a couple of his pals in the fire service she tricked him into travelling to London under the pretence he was delivering a fire safety talk.
His face when he walked out on to the stage and suddenly realised what was happening was a picture.
An hour or so later he was performing a rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.
If you haven’t seen it then you need to watch here.
It will make you cry. Especially when you see the reaction of his father and Emma in the audience.
“My parents supported me through all my years of theatre and singing and have always been so supportive and I have to thank them for everything,” he said.
“They’ve also had to buy no end of tickets to come and watch me perform,” he added with a laugh.
If you want tickets to see Andy sing on New Year’s Eve go to trch.co.uk
To find out what he is up to next year go to http://www.andy-quinn.com