There’s a new look coming to Blackpool’s Sands Venue in the new season.
Local performer Gaz Jenkins is set to step into the host and compere shoes for the Central Promenade venue’s Legends show - a dream come true, he says.
Former host Tom Bright, currently starring in A Christmas Carol at the Opera House, has left the team after 12 years at the helm.
“I’ve always been a massive fan of Legends,” Gaz said. “The first time I saw it I couldn’t stop smiling.
“Queen was one of my favourite bands when I was growing up, so when Freddie Mercury appeared, I was like a child on Christmas Day. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of the show but I never expected to be joining as the compere.”
Paying tribute to his predecessor, Gaz said he had ‘huge shoes to fill’.
“Tom’s a seasoned professional who has worked at the very top of the industry,” he added. “I’ve watched him many times, and had the privilege to work with him on a couple of occasions too. I’ve always tried to learn from the more established acts I’ve worked with so I’m confident that I can do the job well.”
Gaz moved to Blackpool in 1999 to study musical theatre at Blackpool and The Fylde College, going to appear on cruises, returning to Blackpool and establishing himself as a regular at Blackpool venues such as The Alabama and The Talk Of The Coast, then moving into compere work at The Cliffs and Claremont hotels.
In 2009, he formed Red 2 Theatre Company with Lara Denning, who’s currently appearing in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in the West End, and together they produced The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown.
He also staged two concerts - Gaz Jenkins & Friends and Love/Life at Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Lawrence House Studio, then joining the cast of A Tribute To The Blues Brothers - Live in July 2013.
Since then, he has combined solo and theatre work, recently appearing as Darryl Van Horne in The Witches Of Eastwick at Preston Charter Theatre, as well as being a part of Rapture House Theatre Company for their Time And Music concerts.
“Coming from a singing background I’m hoping to bring a fresh twist to the compere role in Legends and include some additional musical numbers, and maybe even some duets with the ‘Legends’ themselves,” he added.
“I’m incredibly excited about it all and can’t wait to get started. It really is a fantastic opportunity for me.”
Legends returns to Sands with an Easter Special from March 25 to 27 featuring tributes to Elton John, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams. The summer show adds in David Bowie, Gary Barlow, Neil Diamond, Buddy Holly and Freddie Mercury and begins on June 8 through to October 29.