IT’S like a homecoming for actress and comedienne Crissy Rock.
For the Liverpudlian, Blackpool is like a second home - a place she cherishes and has fond memories of from childhood day trips, a place linked with her love of show business, a place she has many friends. It’s the place she started her career.
So she couldn’t wait to take the stage at the Merrie England, on North Pier over the summer for a new weekly show.
From Bedlam to Benidorm to Blackpool started this week and it was something Crissy had really been looking forward to.
Crissy said: “My career started off in Blackpool.
“And I can remember coming to on the coach to look at the lights as a child.
“We used to go from Liverpool on the coach and it seemed to take forever to get there and I can remember going up the Tower.
“Blackpool is just a magical place, it’s like Disneyland. For me, doing this show in Blackpool is really going back to my roots.
“I’ve got a lot of friends in Blackpool, who I love to see and catch up with. Blackpool really reminds me of Benidorm too - a holiday destination and everything which goes with that.”
Crissy’s love affair with comedy started in the 80s when she began doing stand-up, mainly for fun. But her talent was spotted and her act took off.
It was in 1992 she was introduced to the Blackpool stage and over the next two years she was touring the country - appearing in Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, South Wales, London and by 1994 she was bill-topping at Blackpool’s Central Pier and The Tower.
Then she was chosen by Ken Loach to star in his latest film, Ladybird Ladybird.
Despite never acting before, Crissy gave a powerful performance as abused wife Maggie and won Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival. She later starred in Brookside, Peak Practice, Clocking Off and TV film Brazen Hussies.
As her career took off, her marriage to her second husband Tom fell apart and when they parted while living in Benidorm Crissy worked as a stand-up again. It was then she was spotted and offered a part in Benidorm.
She went on to play much-loved character Janey York in the hit TV sitcom, the latest series of which has just finished.
The straight-talking scouser tells her roller coaster ride of a life story in her autobiography, This Heart Within Me Burns – From Bedlam to Benidorm.
The book - which she was signing for fans in Blackpool on Thursday at Waterstones - tells her candid, harrowing and often highly amusing tale.
It reveals shocking details of her past and the unbelievable pain and hardship she has been through.
She was abused as a child by her grandfather, pregnant at 16 and married a violent bully, then later her marriage to her second husband fell apart, she ended up bankrupt and found out she had cancer.
But despite going through such a lot, Crissy remains positive and has always kept her sense of humour. And she wanted to lay everything bare in her book.
“I wanted to be honest about everything that had happened to me.
“It was never going to be a book, but I just started writing things down. It helped.
“I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in my book but there I am doing signings.
“And I love meeting people like that. It’s humbling because they are interested in you.
“I love meeting different people and chatting. Being a comic can be a lonely life, with all the travelling, you don’t expect people to be that interested in you. It’s really nice.”
When she’s not busy performing, Crissy loves the cinema and to watch other performers.
“I must have seen the King’s Speech about 1,000 times, I loved that film.
“I really enjoy watching films and watching other people’s gigs.
“I just love entertainment.”