English singer and songwriter Rick Astley
English singer and songwriter Rick Astley

‘It really pisses me off when people say I colour my hair’

What is your earliest memory?

A family holiday we had in Cornwall, which is a beautiful part in Britain. That, I think, was the last family holiday we had as a full family because my mum and dad got divorced when I was about five. I can remember us being all together on the beach. It sounds really dark but it just stayed with me and also because there's photographic evidence.

When are you happiest?

My wife (Lene Bausager) and I are both so happy to have our daughter home at the moment. She's 27 years old and went to live in Denmark, where my wife is from, seven years ago. She went off to study and never came home.

What makes you laugh?

Being with my band and crew, that's really good fun. Now we've all got social media, it's just ridiculous. That's one of the funniest things in my life I'd say - the banter and being on tour because it's like our own little world.

Who do you most admire?

My wife. She's pretty amazing. I know that's a bit soppy and everything. She manages me but she has a career as well - she works in film. She is superwoman and a lot of women are, but she's my superwoman, d'ya know what I mean?

Your pet hate?

Oh my god, I've got loads. You know the saying - "Is it me or is everything shit?" - that's kind of me in a nutshell sometimes. OK, coffee shops that make rubbish coffee.

What's your greatest fear?

Obviously, death. I think that's everyone's greatest fear. If you go back to just instinct. Not being loved and not having people to love … I think that's an awful existence. Bizarrely, I'd rather be dead.


English singer and songwriter Rick Astley
English singer and songwriter Rick Astley

What's the most surprising thing people wouldn't know about you?

What really pisses me off is when people say, "His hair, now that he colours it, isn't the same colour". I don't colour my hair. I'm really grateful for the fact that I've still got hair and I don't do anything with it. It's just got a lot darker because that's just a family trait. It really bugs me sometimes because I don't wanna be seen as the kind of person that dyes their hair. It really annoys me , it gets under my skin.

What new skill would you like to learn?

I've always wanted to make furniture. It's something that at some point I'd like to do, go do a course and get some proper overalls and cut my fingers and just do things with my hands.

What's your most unappealing habit?

I say, "D'ya know what I mean?" a lot. It drives my wife mad at times. One of the other things is I play air drums and bass with my mouth around the house and don't realise I'm doing it.

Who should play you in the movie of your life?

Ryan Gosling. I could say George Clooney but I think George is a bit older than I am. And they may sound preposterous but that's Hollywood for you. If someone's gonna play someone in a film, they're always handsome.

What's your greatest strength?

I'm kind, I think. I know that's a bit of a statement to make about yourself but I think I am - there's just not enough of that in our universe.

And weakness?

I think I'm forgetful. I'm getting more forgetful as I get older.

What is your greatest achievement?

It's our daughter. I think in the times that we live in, there's so much shit for kids to deal with and if your child is relatively rounded and grounded then that's something to be proud of. But I think the reason I quit (music) all those years ago, I was conscious of the fact that if I wanted to be around as her dad, I was either gonna stop messing around with what I was doing or put it on the backburner ... I was conscious of the fact I was going to be a much better dad if I stopped doing all this.


See Rick Astley live as a-ha's special guest at A Day on the Green, Sirromet Wines, March 1, 2.30pm, adayonthegreen.com.au