Entertainment on cruise liners is always going to be an intriguing watch wherever you're sailing to – but you never know if you’ll be watching the ‘next big thing’ whilst you're on your journey!

The stage that cruise liners provide gives up-and-coming (as well as established) acts a platform to perform on, as they progress with their careers and entertain us all with their unique talents!

Here are 5 famous entertainers who started out their careers on cruise liners:

 

Chris Maloney

One of the stars from the 2012 series of The X Factor had previously worked as a cabaret singer and entertainer on a cruise liner. Since his national exposure on the show, where he became one of the more popular acts, Chris has released a single and performed around the country with the X Factor: Live Tour.

 

Paul Kieve

The winner of the Magic Circle’s prestigious Maskelyne Award for best magician in 2013, magician and illusionist Paul spent an early portion of his career performing on board cruise liners. He has since had quite an extensive career on stage, as both a magician and actor. Paul even broke the world record for the number of 'most costume changes during one performance' – 28 in total! His other work has seen him masquerade as a 'magic advisor' on films such as Martin Scorsese's Hugo, as well as Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, where he also made a cameo appearance - becoming the only actor in the film series to perform 'actual magic'!

 

Claire Sweeney

Actor and presenter Claire Sweeney worked as a entertainer on a cruise liner for four years before resuming the role of Lindsay Corkhill in Brookside. Sweeney stayed in the soap until its end in 2003, eventually emerging to becoming one of its main characters. After Brookside, she released a covers album, entitled Claire, which peaked at number 15 in the UK album charts. In recent years she has been a regular on stage, performing in musicals and on television chat shows.

 

Paul Zerdin

Comedian and ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, most famous for appearing with his boy-puppet 'Sam', honed his craft by working audiences on the cruise liners. He's since appeared on various television shows, such as The Big, Big Talent Show and even Jerry Springer. He also performed at the Royal Variety Performance in 1997, 2002 and 2009. Recently he has returned to stage shows, along with Sam and various other new characters.

 

Jane McDonald

Perhaps the most notable of famous entertainers to be associated with a cruise ship. Jane starred in the 1998 BBC documentary ‘The Cruise’ which became a hit and led to a successful solo music career - her self-titled debut album hit number one in the charts later the same year. Latterly, she has been a regular panellist on the chat show ‘Loose Women’, becoming one of the show's most notable and longest-serving contributors, as well as appearing on stage in musicals and with her one-woman shows.

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