Peter Andre: ‘Girls at my concerts scream, “My nan loves you”’

Growing up in Surfers Paradise was bittersweet. I was born in England, then moved to Australia when I was six. The Gold Coast was paradise. It was also tough – we were the only ethnic family there [Andre is of Greek Cypriot descent], so we were outcasts. I got beaten, because I stood out like a sore thumb. I had curly hair, a big nose and an English accent.

Australia’s a very different place today and I love it with all my heart. It’s multicultural. I think people do change. It’s the ones who don’t that I have a problem with.

I was determined to make it in Britain. By 27, I’d achieved my ambition of selling out Wembley Arena. That’s when the problems started – that had been my goal since the age of 13 and I didn’t know what to do next. I returned to Australia to see my parents, and everything imploded.

I had a breakdown in my late 20s. I went to therapists, I went on medications, I saw doctors at hospitals. I think a lot of it had to do with the hatred thrown at us, and being too scared to tell Mum and Dad because they took us to Australia for a better life. They never knew.

My family is everything to me. I’m one of six, my dad was one of 17 – family is at the heart of all I do. To me, family is safety and calmness. And food.

The second I had a child everything changed for me, and I’ve never taken anything for granted since. Those years between my breakdown and having my first child, Junior, taught me a lot. One day I prayed: “Please, if there’s a God, get me through this day.” They were dark days. When I made it through, I remember thinking: “Right, I’m just lucky to be alive.”

If you’d asked my children a couple of years ago what sort of a dad I was, they’d have said I was extremely strict, but I think they’d say I’ve since softened a little. I still have firm boundaries for them, though. Certain non-negotiables, for example drugs, and not hurting people. My dad used to say, “Don’t make the same mistakes, make new ones.”

People say I’m ultra-nice, but I sometimes need an hour to myself. I never get upset, I just don’t talk – you can’t get a word out of me. If I get agitated, I’ll go to the gym and it passes.

If I was remembered as a really nice bloke, I’d be content. A lot of people come and go in this world and they’re not remembered at all, so to be remembered as someone good? I’ll take that.

I used to get girls at my concerts screaming, “I love you!” Now I get girls at my concerts saying, “My nan loves you.” Times have changed; it’s very humbling.

Peter Andre plays Vince Fontaine in Grease The Musical (


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