Joe Sugg has revealed that his girlfriend, Dianne Buswell, urged him to imagine she was the only person in the room during his successful audition for the hit musical Waitress.
The YouTube star and Strictly Come Dancing finalist made his West End debut as Ogie on Monday after wowing the show’s producers earlier this year.
The 28-year-old, who has been dating the Australian professional dancer since they were paired up on Strictly last year, said her advice to him had certainly “paid off”.
He told the PA news agency: “Before I went for my audition she said ‘Pretend it is just me in the room watching’.
“We are always really silly around each other, like boyfriends and girlfriends are, having a laugh and acting stupid and that kind of thing.
“I’m always putting on stupid characters talking to her, so she said ‘Pretend like that, because when you do that you are so confident in it, you really get into that role’.
“Obviously, she isn’t an expert on acting but she told me to pretend that it was just her in the role and that we were just having a laugh. ‘Then you will do really well.’ And it paid off.”
Sugg also credited 30-year-old Buswell with kick-starting his burgeoning career on stage and TV.
The social media star, who grew up in Wiltshire, recently secured the job of presenting Strictly’s podcast, and has appeared as a guest presenter on both The One Show and Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day broadcast.
“She’s been so supportive of me and has been a really big help,” he said.
“She said the other day that she feels, in a weird way, like a proud mum/girlfriend.
“She was like ‘I was the person that helped you get out of your shell performance-wise’.
“You can see that on Strictly. The journey that I took on that show – sorry to use the J word but it was – you can see as you watch it on the programme that I became more and more confident with performing to a crowd.
“It has always been something I have been really scared of but something that I have always known I really wanted to do. A lot of credit does go to Dianne. She has been absolutely brilliant.”
The couple, who last month announced they are moving in together, waltzed through to the Strictly final but were beaten to the Glitterball Trophy by Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton, another couple who became romantically involved during the contest.
Shortly after the final, Sugg and Buswell announced that they were a couple, and this year embarked on their touring The Joe & Dianne Show.
Sugg took over the part of Ogie from The Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison.
Alongside him, Waitress stars Lucie Jones as Jenna, Laura Baldwin as Dawn, Marisha Wallace as Becky, Tamlyn Henderson as Earl, David Hunter as Dr Pomatter, and Andrew Boyer as Old Joe.
The show continues at London’s Adelphi Theatre.