Inside John Barrowman's Welsh 'wedding' and how he took Cardiff by storm

Long before John Barrowman was stuck in a jungle cooking meals for campmates in Australia, the actor called Cardiff his home.

While filming Doctor Who and Torchwood, John made the most of his time in the Welsh capital – even going out partying with pal and fellow camp mate, Nick Knowles.

But there was also a special link to the city that he loves – it’s where he had his civil partnership ceremony to his now husband, architect Scott Gill.

Back in December 2006, John celebrated with a do at St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay with fellow co-star Eve Myles and Doctor Who head writer, Russell T Davies.

John at St David’s hotel in Cardiff Bay to celebrate his civil partnership ceremony
(Image: HUW JOHN)
Russell T Davies at the ceremony
(Image: HUW JOHN)
Eve Myles attended the bash
(Image: HUW JOHN)
John’s sister Carol with John’s dogs – Penny, Lewis and Teagan
(Image: HUW JOHN)

John’s dogs, Penny, Lewis and Teagan, also attended the festivites.

But what else did John get up to in Cardiff?

He took part in lots of pantos

John as Robin Hood at the New Theatre, Cardiff
(Image: Mirrorpix)

Back in 2009/10, John starred as Robin Hood in panto at the New Theatre in Cardiff.

At the launch at Cardiff Castle, John brought his own Marion – his mother.

Although she said she enjoyed seeing her son in the show, it meant it was harder for his Stateside family to see him.

“We just so miss him at Christmas time,” she said.

“If he’s doing panto he can’t come over to the States and his nieces and nephews are heartbroken at Christmas time when we say Uncle John is not coming, because when Uncle John comes, it’s party time.”

The show eventually made over £1m – the first time a show at the New Theatre had broken the barrier.

But it wasn’t his only panto at the venue.

In 2006/7, John played Jack in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

He helped homeless dogs

Pictured with Pip, a ten year old terrier cross from the Bridgend Dogs Trust
(Image: Mirrorpix)

While playing Robin Hood in panto, John also made sure he helped dogs without a home.

A patron of the Dogs Trust, John handed over a mystery amount of money to the Bridgend Dogs Trust.

He regularly visited sick children unannounced

According to one staff member, John used to visit unannounced to bring the kids sweets and presents.

He also arranged for them to see him in panto.

Torchwood mania

The Torchwood cast of John Barrowman, Eve Miles and Gareth David Lloyd arrive in a helicopter
(Image: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

It’s easy to forget now how big Doctor Who and spin-off show Torchwood became in the early noughties.

The Torchwood team made quite an entrance in 2009, when they landed in the Bay to launch their new Children of the Earth DVD at the city’s HMV store.

Despite efforts to keep the landing a secret, hundreds of Torchwood fans had gathered at Cardiff Bay’s Oval Basin, where the cast stopped briefly to have their pictures taken before they were whisked off to the city centre by car.

Hundreds were also waiting outside the HMV store to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars including Captain Jack (Barrowman), Gwen Cooper, played by Eve Myles and Ianto, played by Gareth David-Lloyd.

Fans queued for hours along Queen Street waiting for them to arrive for their signing session.

Spotting the Torchwood helicopter overhead as it made its way to the Bay, the crowd let out an excited cheer.

“We’ve been here since 9.30am,” said an excited Emma Gladwell, 16, from Bristol.

“It’s an amazing show – and the cast are all really good-looking.”