LOVE is all around for Marti Pellow – he credits the affections of his broad fan base for helping his transition to musical theatre star.
The Wet Wet Wet frontman is now more familiar for his roles in a string of successful stage shows.
His first move was into Chess at the Royal Albert Hall, and the same year, 2008, he visited the Theatre Royal Plymouth with a tour of The Witches of Eastwick. Marti returned last year in Jekyll & Hyde and is back again next week in Blood Brothers.
All that after 14 top ten singles, eight top ten albums and a total of seven number ones in 30 years with the Scottish pop band and as a soloist. The biggest success was, of course, with their version of the Troggs' Love Is All Around in 1996.
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"I am lucky enough to have a fan base that support me and follow me into different genres," the 47-year-old says.
"I tip my hat to them. For some of them it's a big thing to go to see musical theatre, something completely different."
He's grateful too that those who are regular theatre goers have received him warmly as he switches from Wet Wet Wet frontman and soloist to the different demands of the stage.
That's assuming he has left the enormously successful band behind. Wet Wet Wet split in 1999, reformed in 2004 and have performed intermittently since.
He says: "Promoters ask us constantly to do gigs but for us it's about why are we doing it.
"We enjoy getting together as friends, which we can do around the table. That's how it should be: about fun and friendship."
For now he is focused on Willy Russell's gritty musical and the tour which brings the show to Plymouth for the seventh time.
Marti plays the narrator in the heart-tearing story of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with shocking consequences.
"I think the continuing appeal is that it is a very British musical," he says.
"It is not your big, smiling, jazz-hands show. There are characters at the heart that the audience really care for.
"Mrs Johnstone alone is a character worth the price of the ticket." The boys' birth mum is played by The X Factor's Niki Evans.
Plus there is the music. "Willy is a great musician in his own right. He comes from the folk world tradition of telling tales stories.
"It is fundamentally a story with songs – and the story of unemployment and inequality is very much about now.
"It is very powerful. I mean opening a show with a funeral – how brave is that?"
Blood Brothers will take Marti back to his native Scotland at the end of an extensive tour.
Within days of finishing the run in Aberdeen he'll be across the Irish Sea to Dublin for another musical.
A hi-tech "new generation" production of Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical adaptation of HG Wells' sci-fi novel War Of The Worlds has Marti as the Voice of Humanity in a show that features holographic versions of Irish actor Liam Neeson, another actor/popman Jason Donovan and Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson.
And, when time allows, Marti will be working on what he hopes will develop into another musical theatre hit.
"The working title is Parcel of Rogues from the [Robert] Burns poem," he says.
"I think the timing is right, with the talk again of Scottish independence and how we feel as a nation. I believe, though, that it shouldn't be about borders, it should be about cultural identity. You should have your culture in your heart."
Blood Brothers runs at the Theatre Royal Plymouth from Monday to Saturday next week (box office: www.theatreroyal.com and 01752 267222)