Rich is the man behind Spinder, the social gay spin class. He loves camp pop, is a sci fi geek, Harry Potter fan and had his honeymoon in Miami.
Where are you from originally?
I’m a Midlands man! Or as Londoners call it, The North.
And where do you live now?
I‘ve been in London for 16 years and with my husband Luke for 13. We live together in sunny Stockwell.
What do you love about London and why?
When the sun shines in London it somehow always feels like you’re on holiday. There’s so much gorgeousness everywhere you look, landmarks, parks, buildings (and boys!)
In basic terms what is Spinder?
Spinder is the first and friendliest social gay spin class. It’s all-levels and everyone is welcome. We cycle, sweat and singalong on a bike to a 45 minute themed playlist like divas, Kylie v Madonna, Cher v Celine. Half-way through we have a ‘dance break’: an easy dance routine for your arms and a breather for your legs. You certainly don’t need to be a dancer to do it – it’s all part of the fun of Spinder. When class is done, we all head off for a quick vino or cheeky Nando’s. Because 500 calories burned.
Where can readers do a class?
Spinder runs five times a week across London and Brighton. In London we’re at Fitness First Tottenham Court Road 7.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, plus Gymbox Elephant and Castle 7pm on Fridays. In Brighton, it’s Mondays 7.30pm at Fitness First, Queens Road. Our full timetable and booking info is at wearespinder.com. Boyz readers get their first class for £5 with the coupon code ‘BOYZLOVESPINDER’ for a limited time only.
What was the last theatre show you saw?
Me and the Spinderellas go on regular theatre trips and earlier this year we saw Grindr: The Opera at Above The Stag. I had no idea what to expect and I absolutely loved it. Really great writing and the performances were superb. Especially the lead who embodied the Grindr App – what a voice!
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
My sci-fi geek tendencies run deep, I could easily say Doctor Who or Star Wars but thinking about it, it’s clearly camp pop music. Steps, Kylie, Britney, Spice Girls. It is basically part of my DNA and therefore part of Spinder’s DNA! Expect to hear a lot of it in a Spinder class.
I’m probably gonna get in trouble for saying this… Getting married last year and the following honeymoon to Miami. I don’t feel it was extravagant in an OTT kind of way. It’s just, well, weddings aren’t meant to be cheap, are they? It was with close family, friends and loads of dancing to the best DJ set ever. We loved every minute. Totally worth it. Miami honeymoon was incredible – I would definitely go back there.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
This is tough! But possibly the most jaw-dropping (and emotional!) was a thank you gift a few years back from a personal training client of mine. She knew I was a huge Harry Potter fan and on her final day before leaving the UK she presented me with tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! It was completely sold out but she had queued up for hours at the box office just to see if there were some returned tickets. I cried sooooo hard. Also the show was incredible – everything I had hoped it would be and more.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
Last December, I was so proud to hold Spinder’s first Red Ribbon Ride – a 45 minute class to honour World AIDS Day. We raised over £400 for 56 Dean Street. Supporting our community is extremely important to me and the Spinderellas. It feels amazing to have created a career for myself that provides opportunities to do this.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
Probably to when my guilty pleasure band Steps went on their 90s tours. (You know, the tours that earned them a Brit Award). I was way too IN the closet back then. I should have just gone. It’s a huge regret that I wish I could correct.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
New Year’s Eve 2006. Wembley Arena. Kylie Minogue’s comeback from cancer gig. It was so emotional seeing her back on stage, putting on possibly the most meaningful show of her career. All the classics were there, she had the biggest smile on her face all the way through. All that AND a midnight countdown to Celebration with confetti cannons. She’s a legend.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Pretty much anything my friend Matt Roystone says to me. Also this: Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t allow your joy to be stolen by comparing yourself with others. Especially on social media.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Billy Porter. I fell in love with his work in the awesome TV show Pose. Such an unforgettable character and performance with a beautiful singing voice. Also this year’s best Met Ball outfit. By far!
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?
I thought it was all just a joke but Celine Dion really does live in her own bonkers world. I loved her All By Myself Carpool Karaoke.I think Dan Levy who plays David in the incredible Schitt’s Creek is funny (and gorgeous).
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
Soooo many places! Firstly Australia. I have family there who I haven’t visited yet. It’s such a long way also and I’m a lil bit scared of flying. I keep hearing that I must visit Tel Aviv and Vancouver. You can get the train to all these places, right?
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
That being gay and a super-fan of guilty pleasure camp pop is the best damned thing in the world.