Singer Rick Astley recalls his holidays of a lifetime

Wiped out by a bowl of Brazilian shellfish: Singer Rick Astley recalls his holidays of a lifetime

  • The 52-year-old looks back over his best and worst travel adventures
  • He remembers some fantastic family holidays at a villa in Villasimius, Sardinia 
  • And where is his happy place? Paraggi next to Portofino on the Italian Riviera

Pitch perfect: Rick pictured in 1988

Pitch perfect: Rick pictured in 1988

Continuing our series featuring holiday memories of famous people, this week singer Rick Astley, 52, recalls his lifetime of adventures…

My first holiday: Going to Cornwall when I was three. My parents took us to a fishing village called Polperro on the coast. It had a lovely harbour and a beach where we spent hours building sandcastles and swimming in the crystal-clear sea.

The holiday really sticks in my mind because my mum and dad divorced soon after and it was the last family holiday we went on.

First school trip: I remember going to the Isle of Man when I was at Selwyn Jones High School in Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire. I must have been ten. It wasn’t exciting for me because I’d already been five times before to visit family. I remember playing crazy golf and we went to Laxey Wheel, the world’s largest working waterwheel.

First time abroad: I was 13 and I went on a ski trip to Italy with school. We stayed in a small resort in the Dolomites. I learned to ski there. I wouldn’t say I was good but I didn’t break anything. I didn’t go skiing again until I was 20 and from then on I have skied all over the world.

My honeymoon: I didn’t really have one as I got married [to Danish wife Lene] on a whim in 2013. We had been engaged for 15 years but decided to tie the knot and, two weeks later, married at the register office in Richmond, South-West London, and spent the night at the nearby Bingham hotel.

Hits the right note: Paraggi on the Italian Riviera, which is Rick's dream destination 

Hits the right note: Paraggi on the Italian Riviera, which is Rick’s dream destination 

Best holiday: When my daughter Emilie (who is now 26 and works as an artist and landscape designer) was growing up, we used to hire a villa with another family in Sardinia. It was in a village called Villasimius on the south-east of the island and there was nothing fancy about it.

The kids would play on the beach, have an ice cream at the end of the day and a bowl of pasta in the evening.

Living in London, children can have a distorted view of what life can be like, and I’ve never been one for spoiling them.

And the worst: I had a shocking stomach bug when I went to Sao Paulo in Brazil on tour six years ago. I decided to take a few days holiday and I went to this restaurant that served the most amazing seafood, but I got unlucky and came down with a bout of food poisoning from the shellfish. I was so ill that I didn’t get out of bed for two days.

My essential item: Audio books. I recently drove from London to Copenhagen and back – about 1,500 miles – and I listened to Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, which I found fascinating.

Rick as a youngster with his older brothers in the 1960s

Rick as a youngster with his older brothers in the 1960s

My dream destination is: Paraggi next to Portofino on the Italian Riviera near Genoa. Lene and I have been there several times and it’s somewhere I want to visit on our delayed honeymoon next year.

It’s a tiny bay, which has a really nice hotel and a couple of beach club restaurants. It’s laid-back and is a little haven away from the madness of Portofino.

There aren’t any super yachts, only small boats. I love to sit and have a Campari and soda while watching the world go by.

  • Rick Astley tours the UK between October 25 and November 17. His latest album, Beautiful Life, is out now.

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