Nine years have flown by in a whirlwind of roles for Blackpool’s stage star Jodie Prenger.
But where better to take time out from her hectic schedule than an afternoon back on home sand, and a trip to take in the sights from the top of the Tower.
Jodie’s got a week based back at her Poulton home, as her current job - the national tour of one-woman play Shirley Valentine - stops off at The Lowry theatre in Salford.
Relaxing between performances, Jodie also called in to see the stars at Madame Tussauds and called by the Comedy Carpet on the Promenade, to promote the show’s date at the Grand Theatre later this year.
“When you come to Blackpool and it’s sunny, you have a great time,” the former Elmslie School pupil and student of Blackpool and The Fylde College said. “But you carry on regardless if it’s raining too – and go for fish and chips.
“I like to have a Notarianni’s [ice cream] when I do get home, or to Yorkshire Fisheries, my nan used to take me for a lightly-battered cod.”
Despite Jodie’s roots remaining firmly in the Fylde, she’s not performed on stage in the area since she appeared in One Man, Two Guv’nors at the Grand in 2012
That’s something of a surprise, given how busy her diary has been, Jodie has had very little time off in recent years dashing from tour to tour, panto to gig but they’ve not been booked in to local theatres.
Fans are in for a double treat as she’s starring in the brand new musical Fat Friends, based on Kay Mellor’s hit TV show, which will come to the Opera House next May.
And she can’t wait to be back on the local stages.
“There’s been a real resurgence of entertainment coming to Blackpool,” she said. “It’s great to be heading back to the Grand and will be good to go into the Winter Gardens, which I’ve not done since the days long before Nancy.”
Jodie came to national attention when she was chosen to star as Nancy in a new production of Oliver, through the BBC series I’d Do Anything - judged by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh, back in 2008.
So where have nine years gone?
“I genuinely thought I’d get work for a couple of years and then stop,” Jodie said, full of typical Blackpool warmth.
“I have been really lucky to carry on working and getting the roles I’ve been getting in the different mediums.
“That said, I don’t sit back, and I do work hard.
“I still to this day don’t take any of it for granted.”
* Shirley Valentine, Grand Theatre, Monday to Saturday, September 11 to 16.