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luke newton in bridgerton
luke newton in bridgerton
Culture > Entertainment

Fans Are Discovering ‘Bridgerton’s Luke Newton Was In A Boy Band & The Reactions Are So Good

Bridgerton heartthrob Luke Newton is best known for playing Regency-era royalty Colin Bridgerton, stealing hearts of viewers left and right. But in another life, he was also a member of a boy band — more accurately, a Sussex-fied version of One Direction called South4. (Really, though, what can’t this pop-star-turned-royal-suitor do?)

Although this is categorically old news, now that Newton is the leading man in Bridgerton’s current season, Season 3, fans are learning a *lot* more about the actor’s past. Namely, in Newton’s college era, he formed a South4 with his friends Oli Evans, Joel Baylis and Henry Tredinnick, who all met at The BRIT School. After they got together, they released their debut single, “Cougar Town,” which, per The Tab, Evans at the time predicted would be “one of the hits of the summer.” In their prime in 2012, the band even signed for a reported £1 million record deal with the Eagle Music label, earning them the title of “Sussex’s answer to One Direction.”

Sadly, though, the band’s fame was short-lived and their proposed “hit of the summer” proved to be overshadowed by the other trending music that season, including hits like “Payphone” by Maroon 5, “We Are Young” by Fun, and “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, not giving newcomer South4 much of a real fighting chance. 

The band’s fame declined and South4 was no longer… until Bridgerton fans recently discovered this hidden gem about Newton’s past, that is. Videos and pictures of this fallen boy band are trending everywhere on social media — and may I just say, “Cougar Town” is a certified bop. 


this is actually the funniest thing to have on your 2024 bingo card… august moon who? #lukenewton #lukenewtonuk #lukenewtonedit #south4 #cougartown #dance #boyband #bridgerton

♬ original sound – bran

Even Newton’s co-star Nicola Coughlan, this season’s current leading lady as Penelope Featherington, is a South4 fangirl. Coughlan revealed to People that she “… had found out a few years previous that Luke used to be in a boy band, and … thought it was the best thing ever.” She shared in the same interview that she jokingly surprised Newton by playing “Cougar Town” instead of the show’s prepared music while shooting a ball scene. Now, Coughlan and Newton say that whenever they rewatch that ball scene, they think about that (genius) prank. 
It’s safe to say that Newton can do it all, even if his boy band dreams failed to take off. Who knows? Maybe Bridgerton can feature a majestical, orchestral rendition of  “Cougar Town” in the series. Perhaps this could even lead to the revival of South4, because wherever Newton goes, a swarm of fangirls are sure to follow.

Amanda is a freshman Writing and Rhetoric major with a Creative Writing minor at James Madison University. Amanda loves binge-watching "Sex and the City", drinking iced lattes, cuddling cats, reading romance and thriller novels, and listening to music (Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, and Olivia Rodrigo mostly). Ultimately, Amanda wishes to pursue a career involving writing, reading, editing, or publishing.