What is Noel Sullivan from Hear’Say doing in Ordinary Lies? The actor and former pop star reveals all

"I think Hear'Say closed a lot of doors for me, but it gave me the fight to prove myself"

122723

Recognise Fletch’s best mate and Holly’s ex-boyfriend Neil in Ordinary Lies? Does he look a bit like certain Noughties pop star?

Advertisement

In fact, the forklift operator is played by none other than former Hear’Say member Noel Sullivan – who is finally getting the acting break he has craved since the band collapsed in 2002.

And though viewers may recognise him from his pop star days, Sullivan says it hasn’t been easy working with that legacy. 

“Of course I’m defined by it, because it’s the reason why people would know me in the first place,” he told RadioTimes.com. “And it has given me something to work against.

“I think Hear’Say closed a lot of doors for me, but it gave me the fight to prove myself. And I feel like I’m getting there now.”

Fifteen years ago it looked as though Hear’Say would be a big success, but things quickly turned sour.

122739

Sullivan won a place in the band on 2001 reality show Popstars alongside Myleene Klass and Kym Marsh, and together they achieved instant fame – releasing the catchy single Pure and Simple. But there were soon reports of serious arguments, Marsh left, and the public mood turned against the band.

Since the split, Welshman Sullivan has established himself in musical theatre, treading the boards in Fame, Flashdance, Grease and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

“It hasn’t been an easy slog, I’ve done probably 10 or 11 laps of the country in various productions, and sacrificed a lot to do what I do,” he admitted.

“And when you get a break like Ordinary Lies, and you get a good public response from doing something like that, then it does make you feel good – because it doesn’t always feel like this.”

Series two of BBC drama Ordinary Lies is set in the warehouse of a sports goods company in Wales. Neil is caught up in the intrigue in episode two when his girlfriend Holly decides to re-connect with an ex and live out her fantasy life. 

He’ll be back to help tell “Fletch’s Story” in episode five on Tuesday.

122737

“I’m Fletch’s best mate in episode five, and and I kind of watch his world fall apart from the outset,” he revealed.

“Neil’s not a man of many words, to be fair, so he does his best to guide Fletch (Matt Di Angelo) in the right direction and also to comfort Caz (Elen Rhys) in her time of need as well, but I think it’s quite a difficult place for him to be.”

So will we be seeing more of Sullivan on screen?

“I would love it if this was the start of more TV work,” he said.

“And obviously the reason I’d been working so hard in musical theatre is to just create a career that was stable before I kind of took steps into other areas, so I had something to fall back on.

“But this was always really my intention.”

Advertisement

Ordinary Lies continues on Tuesday 15th November at 9pm on BBC1