David living Dream thanks to buff Boys

DAVID RICHARDS will never forget the first time he took his clothes off for money – he says it left him scarred for life!

“That very first time will never leave me because I put myself in the most stupid position,” says the man who went on to create Dreamboys – the most successful male strippers in the UK.

“I had signed up with the two strippagram agencies closest to where I lived in Hertfordshire. So, of course, I end up at this party where I knew half the people and they were saying ‘What are you doing here?’

“Then, after a bit, I went to my car, got dressed as a fireman and started stripping off for the girl whose birthday it was – and luckily I didn’t know her.

“All the people I knew were saying ‘What the hell are you doing?’ and I just said ‘this is my job now’.”

Afterwards David thought “If I can do that in front of people I know, I can do this anywhere.

He started Dreamboys back in 1997 and performed with them for the first few years, but now acts as manager and on-stage compere.

It’s a hugely successful empire with a West End show, regular Saturday nights in cities like Brighton, Bournemouth and Manchester, and a touring production.

It’s a far cry from his days as a strippagram – but it was watching another guy doing the stripping fireman act that got David interested in the first place.

He started his performing career as a singer but after getting nodules on his vocal cords he faced a tough decision – whether to have an op that gave him a 50-50 chance of recovery or losing his voice completely.

“I decided not to risk it,” he says. “I couldn’t face the rest of my life with no voice, but it left me with no job, just £250 in my pocket and an idea.”

The idea came at a birthday party at his social club when the male strippagram arrived.

“All the girls were screaming and I thought ‘This guy’s getting more attention than Robbie Williams’ and I literally thought ‘I could do that’, so I did.”

David’s days of removing his fireman’s outfit in pubs didn’t last long and the Dreamboys’ reputation expanded along with the internet in the late ‘90s.

Now he spends a lot of time trying to change people’s misconceptions.

“People say ‘Is it like The Full Monty?’ and I laugh because it’s about as far away from that as you can get,” he says.

“We tour the biggest theatres in the UK, from the Hammersmith Apollo to the Liverpool Empire – you look at the walls and there are pictures of the biggest stars, like Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, who have all performed there.

“It’s a two-and-a-half hour production with massive staging and lighting. There’s everything from singing and acting to comedy and even fire-breathing. There are 10 Dreamboys in each show and they train full-time for this – they do gymnastics classes three days a week.
“Our guys not only have to be able to sing and dance and do gymnastics, they have to maintain those great bodies. It’s why I can’t do it any more – age and gravity take over.

“They have to be very fit. On tour they take loads of chicken and salad and pasta, so they eat healthily, they don’t drink and if they can’t get to a gym they create one out of what we have on the coach – they’ll even do press-ups with someone sitting on their back!

“People say ‘why don’t you guys go out and party?’ but you can’t if you want to stay in shape.”

David also says the reason the Dreamboys are so popular with women is partly down to the difference between men and women. “We have different mentalities,” he explains. “Men are more visually stimulated whereas women are more mentally stimulated. To keep a woman interested you have to entertain them.

“Men will pay £20 to go into a strip club and as long as a woman gets her kit off, they’re happy, but women want more of a show and want to share it with mates.”

Whatever the secret is, it

works. The Dreamboys phenomenon shows no sign of a let-up and the boys are treated like rock stars by fans.

“We have a massive tour-bus with pictures of the Dreamboys all over it, and after every show there are hundreds of girls waiting by it,” reveals David. But he adds: “There are certain lines the boys do not cross – they don’t mix business with pleasure…”

The Dreamboys UK tour reaches G Live in Guildford on Friday July 19.

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