Ricky’s thanks to his birthplace – and The Gazette

Ricky Tomlinson at the Grand Theatre for his Royle Variety Show.

Ricky Tomlinson at the Grand Theatre for his Royle Variety Show.

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Ricky Tomlinson has revealed he’s returning to the Grand Theatre later in the year for another variety show.

The Liverpool actor and comedian phoned The Gazette office (leading to a slightly embarrassing moment because we thought it was someone winding us up at first) to say thank you for the review we gave his recent show in Blackpool - Ricky Tomlinson’s Royle Variety Show, which featured comedians Tom O’Connor and Bobby Davro as well as singers, magicians, a live band and dancing girls. In other words, it was like shows used to be before alternative comedy and one-man stand-up gigs took over.

The Grand was packed for the show and Tomlinson wanted to say thank you to all that came.

“It was a cracking night and everyone who performed on the night was blown away by the reception we got,” said the 73-year-old, who is on a one-man mission to bring variety back into the mainstream.

“It was especially nice for me because I was actually born in Blackpool, in Bispham. It was during the war and I was back in Liverpool three days later but people were so supportive the other night it almost felt like I was coming home.

“The entire cast and their families stayed at the Hotel Babylon and it was superb, we can’t thank the place enough. They put an incredible buffet on for when we got back after the show. We’re all going to have a night out in Blackpool again soon and we’ll definitely stay at the same hotel.”

And because of the success of the show – one of the Grand’s best-attended of the year so far – Tomlinson is planning a return visit.

“I will bring the show back, with different comedians and performers, later in the year –that’s for certain,” he said.

“What a change to see a full variety show and not just someone who goes on for 40 minutes or an hour, then walks off and everyone goes home.

“It was a proper night, a great experience, and it shows there is still an audience out there who want a good, old-fashioned variety show.”

Click here to read the review: Review: Ricky Tomlinson’s Royle Variety Show

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