This much I know: Jimmy Osmond

The singer, 48, on regrets, the press and ice cream

With the world changing economically, I ask: "What really do I have to offer?" I'm not above going back to school. As an entertainer I'll be the first to get cut off in the food chain and I'd like to do something useful.

My only big vice is ice cream. Is that pathetic or what? I've never been tied down by drink or drugs and I think in some ways my lifestyle has given me a greater sense of freedom.

The rock press were never kind to the Osmonds, but they had respect for the fact we always sold out. At the end of the day, maybe it's the nerds who win. We've had a career lasting more than 50 years.

I owe a lot to my dad for keeping my head screwed on. I remember telling him about one of our early hits when I was about 12 and he told me to "go pick up the trash" around our block.

The biggest regret I have is not believing in myself more in the early days. I recorded a couple of albums with some really big producers and I think I was intimidated. I'm mad that I didn't just follow my dream, but at the same time, I know I wouldn't be in showbusiness if it wasn't for my brothers.

I've been made fun of my whole life. But I've done everything I wanted to. My cup has been filled.

Right now, US politics needs someone who is good with business. I don't want to vote for somebody just because he's a member of my faith. Religion doesn't come into it.

People don't think of you when they hear your song. We learned a long time ago: it's not about us. People want to remember their life when they come to a show; you were just lucky enough to have records on the radio. And it was similar doing Grease [in London's West End in 2009] – the fans weren't screaming for me, they were screaming for themselves.

I've always said I'd be great in prison because I've had to learn to entertain myself in weird circumstances.

Nice people in showbusiness go the distance. It's the one thing that has remained true in all my years. If you're nice going up, people are nice when you come down. We were mentored back in the day by legends really, and you don't see that now.

My faith tells me that everything we do in life, anything any of us do, it matters. This isn't a throw-away experience.

I love performing but I have no delusions of grandeur about being a good artist. I've never taken it too seriously.

All I really want to be known for is being a good dad. I'm worried about what my kids will have to deal with in terms of the world, because it's a mess. It's a wonderful world, but you're either doing great or you're in trouble.

I love British style. You guys "take the mick" and to me that's a compliment.

The Osmonds' final UK tour, Up Close and Personal, begins 9 March and ends 6 May (


Richard Rogers

The GuardianTramp

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