Ray Quinn

Last updated

Ray Quinn
Quinn in August 2007
Raymond Arthur Quinn

(1988-08-25) 25 August 1988 (age 32)
OccupationActor, singer, dancer
Years active2000–present
Emma Stephens
(m. 2012;div. 2015)
Musical career
Years active2006–present

Raymond Arthur Quinn (born 25 August 1988) is an English actor, singer, and dancer. He is best known for his role as Anthony Murray in Brookside from 2000 to 2003. He achieved more public recognition when he auditioned for the third series of The X Factor in 2006, finishing in second place behind Leona Lewis.


Quinn won the fourth series of Dancing on Ice in 2009 and the 'All Stars' series in 2014. On 22 February 2015, he was the winner of the first series of Get Your Act Together .

Early life

Raymond Arthur Quinn was born on 25 August 1988 in Childwall, Merseyside, the youngest of three boys born to mother Val. At the age of six, he started dancing lessons at the Chiltern School of Dance and Drama, under the guidance and teaching of Colette Byatt. Following his national recognition as a child actor, he transferred over to the Merseyside Dance and Drama College, where he was taught singing lessons from the age of nine. He cites his vocal coach, Suzanne Taylor, as a major influence in his career. [1]


2000–2005: Early Career

From 2000 to 2003, Quinn portrayed the victimised and tormented child Anthony Murray in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside . He performed and was credited as Raymond Quinn. Murray's featured storylines on the programme included bullying and murder.

After his appearance on Brookside ended he guest starred in an episode of Merseybeat in which he played criminal Leon Marsh. He also appeared in the episode "The Singing Cactus" for the BBC series, The Afternoon Play as John Reilly, who grieves after his mother's death and flees into his own world with his "singing cactus".

2006: The X Factor

Quinn rose to further prominence when he auditioned for the third series of The X Factor , singing a medley of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" and "Devil in Disguise". Prior to appearing on the show, he was a performing arts student at the Merseyside Dance and Drama College, where he previously received some vocal training. He received three yeses from the judges, and progressed through to bootcamp. Quinn was placed in the 16-24s category, with Simon Cowell as his mentor. However, whilst singing in front of Cowell and Sinitta, he partially stumbled and forgot the lyrics to "Easy" by Lionel Richie. Initially, he was told he wasn't progressing through to judges' houses, but a change within the series format allowed him to successfully continue with the competition. He later sang "Smile" for his judges' houses performance, and afterwards was granted a place as one of the four acts through to the live shows.

During the live shows, many of Quinn's song choices and performances were old-fashioned and swing-based. Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, in the earlier stages of the competition, queried him over his ability as a pure singer rather than a 'song-and-dance' man. However, in the later stages, he widened the range of his performances more into singing pop songs, and to which the judges were satisfied with Quinn's ability to do so. In week five, he was placed in the bottom two against Nikitta Angus, but survived elimination. He managed to progress through the competition up to week 10, where he was the series runner-up, losing to eventual winner Leona Lewis.

2007: Doing It My Way, breakthrough and label drop

In December 2006, two days after finishing on The X Factor, Quinn signed a record deal with Cowell's label SYCO to release a debut swing album. [2] Recording process for the album began through January 2007 at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, where he was accompanied by a 48-piece orchestra. [3]

His debut album, Doing It My Way was released on 12 March 2007. Coincidentally, another X Factor finalist Ben Mills released his album on the same day. The album became a critical and commercial success. It entered the UK Album Chart at number one, and sold 127,000 copies in its first week of release, before being certified platinum. [4] The album also featured covers of old swing and vocal jazz classics, some of which were recorded by Frank Sinatra himself. Quinn made British music history as he was the youngest male solo artist and the first person ever, to have a number one album without releasing a single.

During the summer of that year, he was a judge on the ITV dance competition show Baby Ballroom, alongside Bonnie Langford and Pierre Dulaine. The programme centered on finding the best junior ballroom dancers. [5]

Quinn embarked on his own solo tour from September to November 2007, where he performed within 30 cities across the UK. [6] However, on 6 November 2007, it was announced that he had been subsequently dropped by Sony BMG. [7]

2009–2015: Television and Stage

Quinn participated as a contestant on the fourth series of Dancing on Ice . He paired with professional skater Maria Filippov. Throughout the series, the couple earned high scores and praise from the ice panel each week. On 22 March 2009, he and Filippov won the competition over Donal MacIntyre and Jessica Taylor.

From 11 May to 28 November that year, he played Danny Zuko in the West End production of Grease at Picadilly Theatre. He starred alongside his future wife Emma Stephens, who played Sandy. Quinn previously played the role of Doody during the first production of the musical in 2008. In 2011, he reprised the role of Danny for two weeks at the Liverpool Empire. Other stage acting credits that Quinn has mainly featured in include: Jack Trott in Jack in the Beanstalk, the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Warner Huntington III in Legally Blonde , and Billy Kosteki in Dirty Dancing .

In December 2012, Quinn was cast as the title character in the Aladdin musical, alongside comedian and presenter Don Maclean and actor Tim Flavin. He played the role at the Poole Lighthouse Theatre until 6 January 2013. He also portrayed Peter Pan in Peter Pan at the Liverpool Empire from December 2013 to January 2014, which also starred Stephens as Wendy Darling.

Quinn later returned to participate on Dancing on Ice, for the final and All-Star series of the show. He was paired with Maria Filippov again. On 9 March 2014, he and Filippov were crowned the champions of the series, and ultimate winners of the programme. He beat out Hayley Tamaddon and Beth Tweddle for the title.

He reprised his role as Aladdin again at the Liverpool Empire, from 13 December 2014 to 4 January 2015, alongside Claire Sweeney as the Genie and Pete Price as the Emperor.

In January 2015, he was a contestant on the celebrity talent show, Get Your Act Together . [8] His mentor was actress and impressionist Debra Stephenson, whom he learned and mastered the craft of impressions from. Quinn was announced as the winner of the series, with James Bolam and Claire Richards in second and third place respectively.

2015–2018: Dare to Dream and Judy: The Judy Garland Songbook

In September 2014, Quinn announced that he was planning to return to music, and had already started working on material for a second studio album.

He released his first single in eight years, "They Say Love" on 23 February 2015. Later that month, it was revealed that the title for the upcoming studio album would be called Dare to Dream, which was scheduled for an April 2015 release and promoted on a tour of the same name but was ultimately not released.

In May 2015, Quinn was part of the cast of Judy: The Judy Garland Songbook, alongside Lorna Luft and Louise Dearman. The show featured never before seen clips and interviews of Garland herself, as well as live performances of her original songs. [9]

2018–2019: Hollyoaks

In 26 November 2018, Quinn joined Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks as character Jonny Baxter. His character is an employee at The Bean, and part of a right wing extremist group. He left the show in November 2019 when the story arc surrounding the far right came to an end.

2020-2021: Undeniable and Coronavirus pandemic

Quinn's second album, Undeniable, was released on 28 August 2020. [10]

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Quinn revealed that he had been working as a delivery driver for courier company Hermes. [11] In April 2021, Quinn announced he had begun a new career laying carpets at his family firm, alongside brothers Robin and Darren. [12]

Personal life

Quinn is a fan of Beyoncé Knowles. [13]

Quinn began dating actress Emma Stephens in 2009. The couple announced their engagement on Christmas Day 2010, and were married in Barbados on 31 March 2012. On their wedding day, it was also announced that Stephens was expecting their first child. Their son, Harry Frank Quinn, was born in August 2012. In February 2015, the couple announced their separation. [14]

In March 2021, Quinn spoke publicly about losing his father, also called Ray, to cancer in November 2020. [15]

Quinn has two brothers, Robin and Darren. [12]


Film and television

2000–2003 Brookside Anthony MurraySeries regular
2003 Merseybeat Leon MarshOne episode; "Repeated Offender"
2005Cactus JackJohnShort film
2005 The Afternoon Play John ReillyOne episode; "The Singing Cactus"
2006BulletproofBenShort film
Cannes Film Festival feature
2006 Doctors Owen Miller
2006 The X Factor Himself / Contestant Series 3 runner-up
2009; 2014 Dancing on Ice Himself / Contestant Series 4 and series 9 winner
2011 Little Crackers DaveyOne episode; "My First Ton"
2011NightvisionWarrenInternet drama
2015 Get Your Act Together Himself / ContestantWinner
2018–2019 Hollyoaks Jonny Baxter Series regular


1998 Me and My Girl Dancer
1998 Peter Pan Lost Boy
2008 Grease Doody
2008; 2012; 2014–2015 Aladdin Aladdin
2009; 2011GreaseDanny Zuko
2009 Sleeping Beauty Prince DanielPantomime
2010–2011 Dirty Dancing Billy Kosteki
2011 Cinderella Prince CharmingPantomime
2012 Legally Blonde Warner Huntington III
2012–2013The Rise and Fall of Little VoiceBilly
2013–2014Peter Pan Peter Pan
2015 The Judy Garland SongbookSinger, Dancer
2015 Puttin on the RitzSinger, Dancer
2016 Peter Pan Singer, Dancer
2016Songs from the West EndSinger, Dancer
2017 The Wedding Singer Glen GuliaUK Tour
2018Summer Holiday (musical)DonUK Tour
2018Dick WhittingtonSinger, DancerPantomime



TitleDetailsPeak chart positionsCertifications
Doing It My Way
  • Released: 12 March 2007
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Label: Syco
  • UK: Platinum
  • Released: 28 Aug 2020
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Label: Northern Powerhouse Music
"—" denotes a release that did not chart or was not released in that territory.




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  1. Haase, Jane (3 September 2007). "teachers article". Liverpool Echo . Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  2. "X Factor loser Ray wins record deal". Irish Examiner. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
  3. "X Factor's Ray heads to Sinatra studios". Digital Spy. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
  4. "Quinn wins X Factor album battle". BBC. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
  5. [ dead link ]
  6. "Ray Quinn announces UK tour". Digitalspy. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  7. The X Factor – News. Digital Spy (6 November 2007). Retrieved on 2012-04-09.
  8. [ dead link ]
  9. [ dead link ]
  10. Quinn, Ray. "Ray Quinn on Twitter". Twitter. @therealRayQuinn. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  11. "'Hard grafting' Ray Quinn 'takes on lockdown job as Hermes delivery driver earning £11.40 an hour'". Heart . 21 September 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. 1 2 Iqbal, Hamaiz (18 April 2021). "X Factor's Ray Quinn says he's 'humbled' to lay carpets on Brookside Close where career first began". Ok! . Retrieved 19 April 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. "Ray Quinn: I fancy Beyoncé Knowles". CelebsNow. 4 April 2009.
  14. [ dead link ]
  15. McCoid, Sophie (4 March 2021). "Ray Quinn heartbroken after dad dies weeks after cancer diagnosis". Liverpool Echo . Retrieved 19 April 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)