A mum who has dozens of selfies with Jason Donovan, attended more than 60 of his shows and even has a “marriage proposal” from him says her obsession with the celebrity is still going strong after 35 years.
With the singer now announcing his 2025 tour in the UK, reporter Cara Simmonds spoke to his biggest superfan in Kent...
Emma Charlesworth has been obsessed with Jason Donovan since he made his first appearance in Neighbours as Scott Robinson in 1985.
The mum from Bapchild, near Sittingbourne, says her love for the Australian now spans 35 years of her life.
“I was about seven when I decreed that I was going to marry Jason Donovan,” she recalled.
“I totally bought into Scott and Charlene/Jason and Kylie – boy and girl next door.
“What was so exciting was when you were off sick from school or in the holidays, you could watch it at lunchtime and teatime.
“When he started releasing music it was a natural progression.
“Initially it would have been the blond hair and blue eyes. He is just lovely and a proper gentleman.”
Emma first saw Jason in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 1990.
However, she wasn’t able to come face-to-face with him until 1998, where he performed as Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Show at The Marlowe in Canterbury.
“I went to see him in Joseph a couple of times and queued at the stage door with the mass hysteria for three-and-a-half hours,” she explained.
“I didn’t meet him until I was 17. I went with my friend – we both share a love for Jason.
“When we started at secondary school, we had folders covered with him and we started talking.”
Since then, the 42-year-old has been to more than 60 of his shows and snapped a selfie at around 20 stage door meet-ups.
The star even wrote a note with the words "Emma, marry me" during a meet-and-greet, after he was told of her love for him by Emma’s sister Amy.
It now hangs pride of place in her office.
The obsession has taken Emma all over the country, travelling far and wide to see the singer perform.
“I went to Wales this year,” she added. “It took us six-and-a-half hours to get there. He was on stage for an hour.
“I’ve also been to Chepstow, Butlins at Minehead and London. Last year was Birmingham, Bristol, Southend-on-Sea and London.
“He was in Australia for Rocky Horror and I do keep trying to find someone to take me, but I am failing miserably!”
Jason also sent a message of support to the marketing manager during a difficult period of her life.
Emma’s husband, Stuart – known to many as Charlie – died after catching Covid in 2020.
She previously paid tribute to the “fiercely loyal” dad, who was the lead singer of The Lost Missiles and Off The Radar.
The 45-year-old was taken to hospital after having a week-long temperature and spent three weeks in its intensive care unit (ICU).
A week before he died, Emma was told by a consultant over the phone to prepare for the fact he might never come home.
The wife of one of Stuart’s band members decided to try and boost her morale.
“She got in contact with Jason’s fan page and asked if there was anything they could do to get me some support,” Emma said.
“The next day I got a tweet from him.
“It probably took him 30 seconds, but in that moment when my entire world was capitulating, it just meant so much.”
A few days later, she also received a life-sized cardboard cutout in the post from her family.
The mum has also made friends with other fans through X, formerly known as Twitter, during the last few years – all purely down to their love of Jason.
In 2021, she was finally able to meet Vicky, someone she had been talking to on social media for years.
Vicky offered her two spare tickets in Leeds when Jason cancelled Emma’s venue in Margate due to illness.
Now both of them have booked to go see him in York on his new tour.
Jason first embarked on his Doin’ Fine 90 tour in June 1990 – performing to thousands of enthusiastic supporters worldwide.
Doin’ Fine 25 is set to be a throwback to that time and fans can expect an evening filled with nostalgia.
It is set to kick off in February 2025 in Cardiff and will visit major cities across the UK and Ireland.
The Australian singer will be performing at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury on Friday, March 28.
Emma says she will enjoy “going back to her roots” at the venue she visited and first met Jason all those years ago
“Thirty years on and people still go to his tours,” she added. “I think that is what grounds him and makes him so appreciative of the support.
“There has never been a stage door moment when I’ve thought ‘why was he rude?’
“I am already going to London and York. I will also try and get Canterbury when they go on sale.
“It’s a lot of pressure and quite stressful!”