The Big Issue: What qualities does a Christmas song need to get on your Christmas album?
John Barrowman: There are a lot of great Christmas songs out there. Every song triggers an emotional connection and a memory. Be Thou My Vision is a Scottish hymn I sang in school as a kid in Glasgow. It represents my heritage, my family. Then on the other side of the spectrum, the silly, fun aspect of Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town has that feeling when you were a wee boy or girl like, AAAAAHHHHH, you can’t get to sleep. It sounds like I’m Tigger bouncing off walls.
You live in Palm Springs now. Does Christmas feel like Christmas in California?
You will know it’s Christmas when you come to my house no matter if it’s sunny California or rainy, snowy Scotland. There’s a huge five-foot red and green wreath with a gold ribbon that sparkles and shines on our front wall. I have blow-up figures dotted around the garden. I’m putting a nativity scene up on the roof, because we’re near the airport and I want people when they take off or land to be able to see.
Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas in the UK if you’re not performing panto somewhere with The Krankies.