He may be most famous for playing Gio Compario in those car insurance adverts, but Wynne Evans is a well-established Welsh opera singer, recording artist and presenter. He was able to take a break from promoting his new album to have a chat with CPS Homes about Cardiff, moving house and flaming Sambuca.
Life’s alright…Well, it’s brilliant! If someone were to ask me what I wanted in the future, it would be for everything to carry on as it is. A couple of months per year I spend doing commercials, about three months doing an opera, and the rest of the time I spend between radio and television. It’s got real variety – no week is ever the same.
Yeah! I mean, it came out of nowhere really. I knew there’d be five adverts and a year’s contract, but that was it. It shocked us all that it became so famous – partly because the tune got stuck in your head, and the fact that it was the first real major advert in the age of social networking.
I can never be negative about the adverts because ’I've loved doing them and I wouldn't have an album out or shows on TV and radio if I hadn't done them. It’s what brought me into the public eye, so it’s brilliant. Making them is the best laugh I've ever had – it’s just messing around really and getting paid for it! And I reckon I must be the only person who’s been on TV every day for the past four years.
Yes. Definitely in Wales and that’s fine – as long as they’re nice I don’t mind. I don’t thrive off the attention, but it’s part of the work, part of the job. If you’re on telly or radio then people want to talk to you.
We’ve always wanted a period property. What’s difficult is finding one with a big garden. The ones in Pontcanna are beautiful, but the gardens are too small – this one, though, fits the bill. I love it, but when I went on the first viewing, my heart sunk – I could see how much of a project it was. When I see people on Grand Designs going £100,000 over budget I used to think, how on earth do you do that? But the answer is, very easily! Things spiral away.
We've done everything from pinning the wall back in, to dry rot, to damp, replastering every wall and ceiling. We tried to do everything at once, which maybe was a mistake. It’s been hard, it’s been a labour of love, but we've turned it around in three-and-a-half months.
Well I was living with my mother-in-law so I had an added incentive of getting into our place as quickly as possible.
I love Cardiff, I love everything about it. I love the fact that it’s a city with all that a city offers, yet it’s small enough to be able to bump into people you know in town. We’ve lived in Llanishen since 1999 because it still has that village feel to it. When you go into the village you see people you know. It’s the same in Cardiff generally, you’ll always see people.
I feel very comfortable at the Wales Millennium Centre. It’s a world-class venue, with the best stage in the world and the best acoustics. It’s just a fantastic place to sing and I feel very comfortable in that wonderful building. We’re so lucky to have a venue like that in Cardiff.
This is a bit more of a personal album really. There are lots of songs that meant lots to me as I was growing up and beginning my musical life. I just hope people enjoy it, more than anything – and buy it!
I like to play shot roulette when I’ve had a few drinks… Obviously not on my own! Only when I’m having a party – my New Year’s Eve parties are legendary. I do this thing where I light up my hands with flaming sambuca, then you lick all the flames off and only after that you can drink the shot.
Clark's pies – okay, so it’s not a secret, but I love a Clark's pie. You haven’t lived until you've had one.
Lab 22 cocktail lounge
22 Caroline Street, CF10 1FG
02920 399 997 | Lab 22 Cardiff
The Chapel 1877 bar and restaurant
Churchill Way, CF10 2WF
02920 222 020 | Chapel 1877
Mina Lebanese restaurant
43 Crwys Road, CF24 4ND
02920 235 212 | Mina Lebanese
103-105 Woodville Road, CF24 4DY
02920 228 863