Liam Tamne trained as an actor at Laine Theatre Arts. He has an impressive list of theatre credits to his name, including Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Link Larkin in Hairspray and Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.
Liam became popular across the UK when he appeared on the second series of The Voice UK with his rendition of This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush. After leaving the competition, Kate Bush wrote to Liam on her website, saying that he’s a ‘fantastic singer’ with a ‘special talent’.
Liam is one of six artists who are competing to be the UK representative for Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. Eurovision: You Decide is aired live on Wednesday 7th February 2018 on BBC 2 at 7:30pm from the world-famous Brighton Dome. The 90-minute programme gives you the opportunity to vote for the act you want to represent the UK at the biggest song competition in the world! The selection show sees six shortlisted acts take to the stage in a bid to impress the viewers at home and a jury of music professionals.
Liam’s song is Astronaut – Written by Ashley Hicklin, Jacob Pedersen, Jeanette Bonde & Rune Braager. After the telephone and online vote has closed, the public votes are combined with the results of the jury vote and the winning song is revealed!
Liam recently took time out to chat with us about his life, career and Eurovision.
Q: You were born in Coventry. Can you tell us about your childhood there and school etc?
Liam: Growing up in a mixed heritage family in Coventry, I was very fortunate as the city was the perfect place for that. It was culturally diverse and I never felt like an outcast, though it did come with its challenges at times. Being the middle child I was destined to be the one that wanted to be the centre of attention and at a young age, my parents realised I could sing. So music became my love. I was heavily influenced by a variety of styles because of my Dad’s passion for music. I am so proud that Coventry City has just been awarded the UK City of Culture 2021.
Q: When did you first ‘get into’ drama and singing?
Liam: My mum said that I was always going to sing as she heard me humming, pitch-perfect to a song on the radio as we were driving to my Nan’s house. From this, I joined the school choir, as I thought this might be something I would like to entertain. As I got older I also joined local Amateur Dramatic Groups “Bare Essentials” and “YOG” Local dance schools “Timms school of dance” and “Allesley School of Dance and professional productions with the Belgrade Theatre Youth Group. Whilst still attending my primary and secondary schools “Sacred Heart Catholic school” and “Cardinal Wiseman” who were very supportive and understanding of my desire to make a profession out of this.
Q: You trained at the Laine Theatre Arts School in Epsom. Can you tell us about your time there?
Liam: Laine Theatre Arts was a great school for me as I knew I could already sing, I felt it was the perfect place to make me an all-rounder. I was fortunate to have some great teachers that encouraged my strengths and diversity and to this day I remain the only man to win the singing prelims three years in a row. I also was pushed to my limits and challenged which is what I thrive on. I also made lifelong friends from this fantastic establishment.
Q: You have performed in several leading stage productions – could you choose a top 3 and tell us about your time in them?
Liam: It’s tough because I have enjoyed everything I have done but if I had to name three they would be:
1. Hairspray – It was my first leading role. I love the message of the show and I loved performing it every night to audiences who were so moved by its heart. I also made friends who have become my best mates and I met my gorgeous husband on this show.
2. Hair – To work with the Broadway cast of Hair was such a privilege and honour. Americans have a different way of working which I really admire. Again the message of the show was so powerful and moving, it changed me as an actor. I also made lifelong friends across the pond on this show.
3. The Rocky Horror Show – This was my first ever tour and I loved it. Working with such a small company was amazing because everyone became really close. This part was the most challenging of all the roles I have played but became the most rewarding. The heart and message of this show have never been truer. Again some of my closest friends have come from this show.
You may notice that my three favourite shows all have a certain similarity. They all deal with issues of equality and being true to who you are. These values are something I am very passionate about.
Q: You were a contestant on Series 2 of The Voice – How was that experience?
Liam: This experience was both positive and negative but so much fun at the same time. I loved the recognition for my talent, but I found it very hard emotionally and mentally. The Voice UK opened up doors that would not have been opened to me in the music industry. I met and worked with some amazing people and continue to work with them and remain having my foot in the door. I learnt a lot about songwriting and the music industry and how it all works but most of all I learnt so much about myself. The Voice UK was more of a life lesson than anything else I have ever faced.
Q: You are competing to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. Can you tell us about Astronaut, the song you are performing?
Liam: I’m so excited to be a part of Eurovision you Decide 2018 as I’m a Eurovision fan and what a great opportunity it is. So when they called me to ask if I was interested I was chuffed but asked if I could hear the song first. They then sent me ‘Astronaut’ and instantly I thought this is the right song for me. Everything timing wise and scheduling all fitted in perfectly around my work commitments. Astronaut is a song written by Ashley Hicklin, Jacob Pedersen, Jeanette Bonde & Rune Braager. It’s a song that is easy listening, ageless and very relatable. It’s about picking someone up when they are down or going through a difficult time in their lives and being there support/rock, whisking them away and making them realise that there is always someone there for them.
Q: What would it mean to you to represent the UK at Eurovision?
Liam: It would mean a lot to me as representing your country is a huge honour and privilege that not many get that opportunity to have. It’s also a chance for me to be challenged and do something different and exciting.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
Liam: People should vote for me on 7th February during the LIVE broadcast on BBC 2 because this is what I do for a living. I perform 8 shows a week and I’m confident in my ability to deliver a performance that will be unforgettable. I also believe that my message of equality and unity is my driving force in all I do. As an open gay actor and wanting to represent the United Kingdom and my communities in Eurovision I want to send out a positive and supporting message to all. I believe this is the right message we should be sending to the world. When one door is slammed shut, we open the other.
Q: What are your thoughts about Eurovision, as a concept?
Liam: I love Eurovision as it’s the second biggest televised show after the super bowl pulling in 250million viewers around the world. It’s also amazing how every one of different walks of life come together to celebrate music and unite. Its one huge celebration, the power of music.
Q: What are your career aspirations?
Liam: My aspirations are to be happy in life and to do work that I want to do but mostly enrich my growth and challenge me to always want to succeed.
Q: You recently made the choice to become a vegan – can you tell us about this?
Liam: I made this choice because I felt I wanted to be more aware of what I eat and my health. I feel so much stronger and clearer in my mind. I have more of a positive outlook on life.
Listen to Liam Tamne on Youtube:
Check out Liam’s profile on the BBC’s website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vvv3d
Eurovision You Decide is aired on Wednesday 7th February 2018 on BBC 2 at 7:30pm