I'm Alfie Boe and growing up on the Fylde Coast made me the singer I am today

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Over the weekend, Alfie Boe wowed during his show at the Blackpool Opera House and in this exclusive interview, he explains why the Fylde Coast means so much to him.

Last month, we had the chance to chat to Blackpool born singer Alfie Boe, 50, ahead of his show at the Blackpool Opera House, which took place on Friday night.

During the interview, Alfie, who grew up in Fleetwood, spoke very highly of the Fylde Coast so we wanted to delve into his local roots even further with this story.

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In the below half of our exclusive interview, take a look what else Alfie had to say about the place that made him as he reflects on his life growing up on the Fylde Coast, his career so far and his plans for the future.

How did growing up in Fleetwood inspire you to become the singer you are today?

“When I was growing up, my dad had this incredible record collection. He taught me a lot, he gave me a lot of information, musically, from different artists, country artists, Big Band artists, classical singers, Irish folk artists….Then my brothers and sisters had their own interests so I learned a lot of their sort of music, and then their boyfriends and girlfriends came into the household and brought their interests. My sisters’ boyfriends were into lots of rock music and things like that so I started educating myself with Led Zeppelin and ACDC and Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones and all that growing up, and it was fabulous -  the Beatles! 

“It was really a plethora of music that educated me so I've got this catalogue of incredible tunes and incredible memories that I can try and recreate on stage for the audience to just show them what my life was like growing up in the northwest. 

“I come from a working class family and my feet are still firmly on the ground, despite where I've been and what I've done, my feet are firmly on the ground and I love deeply the northwest to a point that I'm wanting to move back there. I’m wanting to pack my bags and get on a train and come back up north again. It's amazing what happens when you get older and those sort of feelings come back, you think I need to get home and it feels lovely.”

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L: Alfie Boe as a baby with his mother. R: A present day photo of him in Blackpool.L: Alfie Boe as a baby with his mother. R: A present day photo of him in Blackpool.
L: Alfie Boe as a baby with his mother. R: A present day photo of him in Blackpool. | submit

Do you still have family on the Fylde Coast?

“Yeah, my sisters live up there, I've got a brother that lives there, my mother's up there as well. We've just literally sold the family home unfortunately- my mother is in a nursing home now - and that was quite sad to see go out of the household, but hopefully it can be as welcoming and heartwarming home for some other family now because I had some wonderful times there and played some amazing music. I had a lovely childhood.”

Were you parents musicians?

“No, they weren't. My dad was a good singer but we didn't come from a musician family. There's no musicians, they just loved music. It was the first thing that went on in the morning, - no television, literally the radio went on - and when I’d come home at night, I’d walk through the door, and the record player would be playing. 

“If it was a Friday night and the record player went on at say, five o'clock in the afternoon, I knew there was going to be a party. My mother would be on the phone, ringing round all her friends saying ‘come over for dinner, we're gonna have a bit of supper, we're gonna have a dance and a drink’. It was fabulous, those spontaneous parties were great, and I loved it. That was my life, it was totally a surprise.”

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Left: a young Alfie. Right: Alfie pictured with his dad and one of his sistersLeft: a young Alfie. Right: Alfie pictured with his dad and one of his sisters
Left: a young Alfie. Right: Alfie pictured with his dad and one of his sisters | submit

Have you continued their spontaneity in your adult life?

“My life has always been a surprise. I don't know what the day's gonna hold for me when I wake up in the morning and it's lovely, it's really nice. Because I love what I do for a living and it does bring surprises and brings last minute sort of opportunities and chances, and associations.  I meet so many people that become lovely friends and I've got so many beautiful friends in the northwest that I still keep in touch with so like I say, I really do want to get my roots back there.”

Speaking of spontaneity, you abseiled down the Empire State Building last month- how was that?

“That was something that was very spontaneous for me! I'm an ambassador for a charity called the Outwood Bound Trust and I was just invited to attend a drinks reception to talk about this project, just to show my face and my support for the event. I went and then when they told me what the stunt was going to be, I said ‘Sign me up! I've got to do it. I mean, this is once in a lifetime experience’ So I did, I went to New York a couple of weeks back and connected myself to the building and threw myself down it  and it was incredible. absolute incredible. I loved every single minute. It was like a real freedom and then a real sense of achievement when you got to the bottom. It was something unique, something very special to have done, and like I say spontaneous!”

Blackpool's Alfie Boe abseilling down the Empire State Building.Blackpool's Alfie Boe abseilling down the Empire State Building.
Blackpool's Alfie Boe abseilling down the Empire State Building. | Alfie Boe

Looking back at your career so far, what have your highlights been?

“Despite all the stuff I've done from singing for the Queen's Birthday, singing for the current king, Prince Charles, and then doing Les Miserables and playing Broadway and the Royal Opera House. The highlight of my career at any moment is the last time that I've sung. The last time I sung was yesterday. I was at the Chelsea Flower Show, and I sang one song with the Chelsea pensioners. So it's always the last event that I've sung at that is the highlight because it means that I'm carrying on, I keep going. I don't want to stop for a very long time. I want to keep being as professional and successful as I possibly can be in this music world. I don't ever want to retire,  I'll stick around for  as long as I possibly can.”

Alfie Boe with the Chelsea Pensioner's Singing Group attend The RHS Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 20, 2024. Credit: GettyAlfie Boe with the Chelsea Pensioner's Singing Group attend The RHS Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 20, 2024. Credit: Getty
Alfie Boe with the Chelsea Pensioner's Singing Group attend The RHS Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 20, 2024. Credit: Getty | Getty Images

Well you’re not slowing down- soon after your Blackpool show, you're back on the road again, preparing for Les Mis, how are you feeling about that?

“I'm thrilled about going back into Les Mis, it's going to be a wonderful event. I start rehearsals in the middle of August, and then hit the road in September. So yeah, that'll be a wonderful job to be involved in, a wonderful legacy of that show that my name is attached to. That is a blessing. I'm very honored to have such a connection with Les Miserables and with that role of Valjean. It does make me feel humble, being part of something so spectacular. And I'm thrilled to be able to fly the flag for the show. To fly the flag for the composer's, for Claude Michel Schoenberg, Alain Boublil, and yeah, it's a wonderful character to have inside of you becausethat role of Jean Valjean never leaves you it's always looming over you a little bit. So yeah, I'm proud of what I've done for that show. I do think that I've ticked every single box now of Les Miserables - apart from the movie - so maybe I'll hang up the barricade jacket at some point, and they can wheel me out on spectacular events.”

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Is there anything else you’re looking forward to after Les Miserables?

“Like  I said, I wake up in the morning and I don't know what to expect. So there's things ahead that I know that I'm doing that I'm excited about, but there's probably something tomorrow that's just as exciting. So I try to take every day as it comes and embrace every moment, spontaneously.”

And is there everything you still want to do?

“Sell out Blackpool Opera House on my tour!”

Any final words for our Lancashire readers?

“I would just like to celebrate the association that I've had with the Blackpool Gazette over the years. Since I was 18 years old, you’ve been writing about my journey and my connection with the Fylde Coast and the successes that I've had. So my heart goes out to you and I appreciate everything that you've said and all the support that you've given me. Long may it reign and I’ll always try to do my best to fly the flag for my hometown.”

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