Barry Ball Artists

Jonathan Wilkes

Artist Overview

Jonathan was raised in Stoke-on-Trent. He was a fanatical football player and played for the Everton Youth Team. He could have continued in the football direction, however, his passion for singing and entertaining was too strong.

Jonathan’s first stage appearance was at the Queens Theatre in Burslem in a Stoke Amateur Operatic Society production of Hans Christian Andersen, playing opposite Robbie Williams.

In 1996, at the age of seventeen, he won the prestigious Cameron Mackintosh Young Entertainer of the Year Award by wowing the judges with his version of “Kiss” by Tom Jones. Jonathan then became the youngest ever entertainer to headline his own show in Blackpool, which due to its enormous success, ran for three years.

Whilst in Blackpool, he was approached by the BBC and offered his own show, Hype, on BBC Choice.

In 2000, Jonathan signed a deal with Virgin and began to write and record material for his album with songwriters such as Guy Chambers, Bryan Adams and Elliot Kennedy. His debut single, Just Another Day, was released on 5th March 2000. It went straight into the UK Top 20 and hit the Top 5 in 18 countries worldwide.

Jonathan was reunited with Robbie Williams at Robbie’s Royal Albert Hall concert in which they performed the duet Me and My Shadow, which was recorded live and featured on Robbie’s Number 1 selling album, DVD and video, “Swing When You’re Winning”.
February 2002 saw Jonathan take the lead role in the hit musical Godspell, which premiered in Liverpool and had Jonathan and Daniel MacPherson alternating the roles of Jesus and Judas each night.

Following massive public acclaim from Godspell, Jonathan accepted the lead role of Frank N Furter in the Rocky Horror Show 30th Anniversary National Tour. The tour kicked off in October 2002, and was extended until November 2003 due to its enormous success.

In April 2003, Granada Television announced Jonathan as the new presenter for their Primetime ITV1 show, You’ve Been Framed. The show was re-launched with Jonathan at the helm.

As 2003 drew to a close, he played the lead role of ‘Danny’ in a special 5-week sell-out Christmas and New Year production of Grease at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and from early 2004, he was on screens weekly for ITV1’s Love On A Saturday Night, which continued transmitting alongside You’ve Been Framed.

September 2005 saw Jonathan Captain his team for a second time on Sky One’s The Match and during Christmas and the New Year he performed in pantomime as Billy Goose in the First Family Entertainment production of Mother Goose, in his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent.

2006 was an exciting year for Jonathan as he played in Soccer Aid (ITV1) in May, and then embarked on tour, performing with Robbie Williams on his Close Encounters World Tour. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Jonathan took part in the All *Star Cup for ITV1, where he reported on-course throughout the weekend golf tournament.

December 2006 and January 2007 saw Jonathan return to his hometown of Stoke for a second record-breaking year, to take the lead in First Family Entertainment’s production of Aladdin at the Regent Theatre.

Jonathan completed a 2007 tour of the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys & Dolls, playing the role of Sky Masterson.

In 2011, Jonny starred in London’s West End production of Chicago playing Billy Flynn.

Other theatre credits include The Wedding Singer and We Will Rock You.

November 2010 saw the debut of Jonathan’s own theatre show at the Manchester Opera House, alongside Paddy McGuinness – Pantos on Strike. The show returned in January 2012 with dates at the Manchester Opera House and Regent Theatre in Stoke.

Jonny saw out 2011 by performing and directing the smash hit panto ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Aylesbury theatre.

2012 saw the return of ITV1’s Soccer Aid and an electric performance from Jonny both on and off the pitch, and continues with contributions to ITV1’s Daybreak and This Morning. The year also saw Jonny return to Panto in the role of Buttons in Stoke Theatre’s production of Cinderella over the Christmas Period.

Jonathan and his wife Nikki run two performing arts schools for children aged 3-18 years in Stoke and Swindon – ‘The Wilkes Academy’. He recently opened a new academy in Barnes, London with Gareth Gates - ‘Gates and Wilkes Academy for Performing Arts’.

Assigned Categories: Vocal, Male Vocalists

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