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Actor and singer Ray Quinn has tried out a different career path since the shutdown of creative industries during the pandemic — joining the family business as a carpet fitter.
The 32-year-old performer, who rose to fame on The X Factor and subsequently won skating competition Dancing On Ice, told the Mirror he has picked up tools to help his brothers Robin and Darren during lockdown.
Quinn had previously tried working as a Hermes delivery driver in an attempt to make ends meet after his play at Liverpool’s Royal Court was forced to close, but he only lasted three months in the job.
He said he thought his father — who passed away in November — would be proud to see him working with his brothers in the trade he himself had plied.
“Dad knew I was going to help Rob and encouraged me to do it, but laughed when I said I’d lifted my first tool," said Quinn.
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He added: “When I first started, I actually went to work in my dad’s old uniform. He’d always said you can work your way out of anything; to keep your head up high – and that’s what I’ve done."
Quinn said he had been "recognised the odd time" by punters while working at his new job, but said the way people had reacted was "really lovely".
The singer admitted he had experienced a "tough year", with his father's death coming at a time when the industry he loves was closed.
But he said the decision to "have another trade under your belt" will provide him with a safety net as he continues to build a career in the precarious world of the arts.
Quinn said: “It’s good to have a back-up plan. You shouldn’t pigeon-hole yourself. I’ve never done that.
“In the entertainment business, I’ve done theatre, music, TV, ice skating, impressions. I think that it’s always good to challenge yourself and this is one of them.”
Quinn released his second studio album Undeniable last year — 13 years after his first release, Doing It My Way, reached number one in the UK.
He has spent the last few years appearing on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, portraying far-right extremist Jonny Baxter between 2018 and 2019.
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