Darren Day is gearing up for a week in Blackpool with a touring stage production of Footloose.
The theatre and TV personality plays the role of Reverend Moore in a musical based on the 1980’s hit movie.
The tour is at 25 venues across the UK, but Blackpool is the town Darren is most excited to visit.
He said: “I spent the happiest summer of my life in Blackpool, so coming back will be really special for me.”
Darren’s first musical theatre role was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 1993. But he said that his career highlight was performing in Summer Holiday at the Winter Gardens in 1996.
The show ran from May to November, when he got to perform with his idol, Cliff Richard.
"We broke the box office record that summer, and every time I see my name on that plaque in the Winter Gardens I feel so humbled to be up there with all of those legends.
That summer was when everything came together for me. I had a Saturday night TV show, and I had my first top 20 single.”
The Footloose tour was due to run in 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
Darren spent 20 months out of work, and is thrilled to be back in theatres again.
He added: “It feels like how I imagine the roaring 20s would have felt, post-war after everyone had been deprived of going out.”
And Footloose is the perfect show to get audiences on their feet after the pandemic.
City boy Ren thinks life is bad enough when he's forced to move to a rural backwater in America. But his world comes to a standstill when he arrives at Bomont to find dancing and rock music are banned.
Taking matters into his own hands, soon Ren has all hell breaking loose and the whole town on its feet.
"It’s two and a half hours of pure escapism. There’s the big 80’s hits, live instruments and a whole colourful spectacle."
There are showstopping song and dance moments, but Darren said the story is equally strong.
"It’s more of an acting role for me. My character has a teenage daughter and he’s lost his son in a tragic accident.”
So as a father to a 15-year-old girl, there are moments Darren can relate to.
Daughter, Madison tells his about boys she’s dating, and sends him screenshots of outfits she wants to buy from PrettyLittleThing – which are always too revealing.
“Theres a moment where the Rev walks in on his teenage daughter at a disco and shes wearing these hot pants and a low cut top that he didn’t know she had. A father’s nightmare!
“I write the words “Madison, PrettyLittleThing” on my script and I know the expression I need to react with."
And Darren said it’s lucky that Footloose is in Blackpool when his kids are on Easter holiday.
"I’m bringing Madison and Dalton [youngest son] for the week so I get to share incredible memories with my kids.”
Footloose runs from April 11 to 16 at Blackpool Opera House. For tickets visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk or call 0844 856 1111