September 1, 2008 / 6:08 PM / 10 years ago

Former Neighbours star Jason Donovan plans new album

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian singer Jason Donovan, who made his name alongside Kylie Minogue in the soap opera “Neighbours,” is to release his first album in 15 years after a roller-coaster career.

Donovan, 40, said on his website that the album, “Let It Be Me,” would be released on November 10 and has a 1950s and 1960s theme featuring a mixture of covers and original songs.

The singer-actor had a string of hits between 1988 and 1993 including “Too Many Broken Hearts” and the duet “Especially For You” with Minogue, whom he briefly dated.

But in 1992, he sued The Face magazine after they claimed he was gay. Despite winning 200,000 pounds (US$364,000) in damages, Donovan realized he had alienated his gay audience and many fans came to see him as homophobic.

His last solo album in 1993, “All Around the World,” did not sell well in his adopted home Britain, only making number 27 in the charts. It was never released in Australia.

Donovan’s biography on his website acknowledges that he turned to cocaine in the mid-1990s when he fell out of public favor but meeting Angela Malloch, who is now his wife, was a turning point and the incentive to end his drug addiction.

In the past two years he has enjoyed a comeback, coming third in a British reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!” which prompted him to go on tour last year. He is now hosting his own radio show broadcast across 36 regional UK radio stations.

Donovan married Malloch, a stage manager and the mother of his two children, in Bali in June.

Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy

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