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Paul Gascoigne says Dancing on Ice star son Regan 'won't be like me' because of mum



For years Regan Gascoigne has been in the shadows, refusing to cash in on the name made famous by his dad, football legend Paul.

It’s a name that’s linked to notorious moments of genius on the pitch as much as drunken antics off it.

But as the former England star prepares to watch his 25-year-old son take to the Dancing On Ice rink for the first time on Sunday night, he knows Regan will be grabbing the headlines for the right reasons thanks to mum Sheryl keeping him on the straight and narrow.

“He’s got a strong mum, she’s strong because she’s obviously been with me,” Paul, 54, admits.

There is no doubt she put up with a lot. After marrying in 1996 Sheryl and Gazza had a turbulent relationship, dogged by reports of abuse and the chaos caused by his booze battle and mental health woes.







Regan Gascoigne will perform on Dancing on Ice this Sunday
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But 24 years after their divorce, they have put the past behind them and will be in the stands to watch Regan perform.

And when it comes to Regan following in his dad’s chaotic footsteps, Paul has no worries, saying: “He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He won’t be like me.”

It certainly seems like Regan has a sensible outlook on life. “I just think the attention comes with fame,” he says. “It’s just part of it. You either take it on or you ignore it, right? I’m here to live my life and just to have fun, enjoy the skating and dancing. That’s what I love to do.”

As his son takes his place in the spotlight, does Paul have any words of wisdom about dealing with fame and the attention that comes with it?

“Just enjoy it,” he says. “When I came back from the World Cup, the amount of stuff that was thrown at us, and I just took it in my stride, you know? I tried not to let it bother us.







Paul Gascoigne with his ex-wife Sheryl Gascoigne and their son Regan in 2002
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“I was lucky, though, because I had football to go to in the morning, so whatever publicity I got, I at least had a few hours with the guys in the morning.

“If he does really well, he’s going to get it all thrown at him and he’s going to be on his own, he doesn’t have a team. That’s different. He’s got my full support. I’ll always be here for him. But my advice is just to enjoy it.”

Like sister model Bianca, 35, who last year appeared on an Italian dancing show, Regan has taken the step into television.

He has spent years performing in theatres around the country and was a backing singer for US pop queen Demi Lovato.

Paul knew his son wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps from a young age after he turned his back on football boots, opting to buy ballet shoes instead. He enrolled into the Hammond Ballet School and then went on to study musical theatre at Tring Park School for Performing Arts.







The family on a day out
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And while you might imagine Paul could have been a touch gutted that his son didn’t take up football, it seems not. In fact the very opposite.

“I think Dad didn’t care that I wasn’t following in his footsteps,” adds Regan. “He just wanted me to be happy. He wouldn’t force me to do something that I wouldn’t want to do.”

Paul agrees: “Yeah, he was going to do his dancing lessons in London and I did have a little sly look in and just choked up a little bit watching him dance, seeing how good he was and how much he enjoyed it.

“It got me emotional seeing him enjoying himself. And after seeing videos from Dancing On Ice training that he’s showed me, he’s good, he can win!”

But while Paul might be convinced his son will take the title, he’s quick to admit he doesn’t want it to be plain sailing – he would quite like to see his son fall flat on his face.







Paul and little Regan in 2002
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England player Paul Gascoigne celebrates after the group match against Scotland in the 1996 European Championships at Wembley Stadium
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He laughs: “I’d quite like to see him do a Gemma Collins and fall over! But he’d probably turn that into the worm dance or something, he’d style it out rather than be embarrassed, but it would be funny!”

Unfazed as ever Regan retorts: “I’ll just laugh if that happens. I’ll just smile and get back up and carry on, it’s all you can do, right?”

You’d think Paul would be more sympathetic having once attempted to tackle the ice rink himself for the BBC special Strictly On Ice in 2007. But his time on the show – which saw the Beeb’s hit programme swap the ballroom for the ice rink – was short-lived after he was almost left paralysed following an accident that saw him break a bone in his neck.

He’s still terrified of getting his skates back on and he has ruled out joining his son on the ice during training.

Paul admits: “I did two training sessions and then the third one, my partner was a bit late, so I went, ‘I’m good at this. I’ll do it myself.’ I tried to do a little turn and that was it.

“I was a millimetre from being in a wheelchair for life.

“I really thought I was never going to walk again, it would be just my luck. I’m a bit scared now, I think I’ll give the ice a miss.”

Thankfully Regan’s not so hesitant and admits he’s actually pretty fearless.

“I love that feeling of an adrenaline rush,” he admits. “I’m not scared of things like that. I know what I’m doing. I know what I’m signed up for.”

After weeks of training all the celebrities will be hoping to impress the show’s judges – Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Diversity’s Ashley Banjo and new judge, Strictly star, Oti Mabuse.

But Regan reckons he would prefer to get a grilling instead and thinks his family will be tougher critics.

He admits: “Dad will probably give me more criticism. I prefer it, though. I want it. Criticise me, then I can do something with it. What can you do with compliments? They don’t really help you improve, do they? I’d prefer to be insulted!”

And it seems he’s a chip off the old block. “He’s like me when I played football,” says Paul. “The more s**t I got from the fans, the more it made us want to play even better. No doubt, he’s the same. “If you listen to what the judges have to say, then you do things better. But he’ll be able to handle them, I’m proud of him.”

Dancing On Ice, Sunday, ITV at 6.30pm.

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