Exclusive interview with star of the Full Monty, Louis Emerick

Louis Emerick

Liverpool lad Louis Emerick is no stranger to the limelight, with his portrayal of much loved TV characters in Last of the Summer Wine and Brookside. Now he is set to perform a hilarious pantomime in Leeds alongside an allstar cast.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will star Geordie Shore and Celebrity Big Brother winner Scotty T as the Prince, former Hollyoaks and Corrie star Tupele Dorgu, the infamous Ken Dodd, Jimmy Cricket and last but by no means least… Zippy and George, the puppets!

It is guaranteed to be a great show and something that Louis is looking forward to. He has been doing the panto circuit for a few years now and said this one is bound to be spectacular.

“It’s a great cast isn’t it? I play the collector of taxes. I’m the wicked queen’s right hand man.

“David Lee, the producer, has got together a fantastic cast. I defy anybody to see a better cast than that.” Louis says.

He is already good friends with Tupele, and Louis is a fan of Ken Dodd and Jimmy Cricket. Scotty T he is yet to meet but he watched him on Celebrity Big Brother.

“I always watch the celebrity one and I thought he came across really well and he was a deserved winner, so I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I think anybody that has a go at panto loves it, it’s just brilliant. You see four or five generations of one family come together and I think that is a rarity. I think this one will be spectacular.

“If they just get out that one time for a few hours, they can smile and laugh and forget about their problems.

“We’ll have plenty of laughs on stage, you can’t help but enjoy yourself once you step out on there and hear the crowd laugh. You’re just in your element.”

And any pre-show jitters fade away once he gets on stage, Louis says.

“With panto, of course you’ve got to prepare but it’s all fun. It’s got a freedom about it that’s just terrific. I’m looking forward to this one so much.

“You can’t beat the stage for the immediate reaction. You can’t beat a live audience and it’s an old, corny saying but every audience is different.

“Funnily enough, the week we start rehearsing I’m going to be playing in Leeds with Full Monty as I start touring with that. We are in Leeds that same week, so I’ve never played Leeds before and now I’m playing it twice.” He says.

Louis plays Horse in the hugely popular national tour of Full Monty.

Louis Emerick with the cast of the Full Monty
Louis Emerick with the cast of the Full Monty

It received standing ovations every night when it ran in 2014 and was voted the best touring production by the UK Theatre Awards. Louis stars alongside Footballers’ Wives and The Bill actor Gary Lucy, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street star Chris Fountain, as well as Joe Absolom from Eastenders, Coronation Street’s Andrew Dunn and Welsh Hollyoaks star Kai Owen.

“Barely no kids will come and see me in the Full Monty anyway,” Louis says, “but I hope it doesn’t put the parents off coming to the panto after they’ve seen me in the Full Monty!

“It’s a great show. We first started touring it in 2014, we had a break in 2015, and then we’re going to do from September to December and then January to April next year. It’s very popular.

“In view of what’s happened with the steel works and that, it’s a story that unfortunately is still fresh in people’s minds.”

For those that just remember a group of men dropping their trousers, Full Monty follows the tale of Gaz (played by Robert Carlisle in the film), who after losing his job in a steel factory learns that his wife wants to sue him for missed child support payments.

Desperate for money, Gaz and his friend Dave decide to create their own male strip-tease act.

Louis says Simon Beaufoy, who wrote the screenplay has also written the script for the play, so it is very faithful to the 1997 film.

In between touring for theatre and panto shows, Louis has also been working on the BBC drama series Moving On; Zapped, a comedy on Dave with Inbetweeners star James Buckley; and upcoming horror movie Habit.

“It’s a very good script, it’s not slash them and cut them up type. It’s my first horror movie, so I’m quite excited about that going out in January or February next year.”

Fans of the iconic show Last of the Summer Wine will also be pleased to hear that Louis has not given up on the idea of a spin-off show.

Himself and fellow actor Ken Kitson, who played the hapless policemen, came up with the idea of a Cooper and Walsh spin-off a couple of years ago.

Louis says: “We still haven’t let that one go. We’d like to get that off and we’ve got a few people interested so that’s an ongoing thing. That would be lovely to do that.”

Starring in the longest running sitcom is quite an accolade and Louis says he would love to play the character again.

Another much-loved character that helped to forge Louis’ career was playing the witty Mick Johnson in Brookside.

He became one of the soap’s most loved and recognisable characters until he left in 2001.

“I did 12 years on Brookie, and I loved it. It was a great cast, great company, great vibe. The whole thing was brilliant. It taught me a lot about being in front of a camera. I left in 2001, but I always thought the show would continue and I was as surprised as anybody when it didn’t. “

Brookside ran for 21 years until 2003 when it was cancelled.

Despite his success, Louis is still close to his Liverpudlian roots. He still lives in Liverpool and is married to Lisa who has ‘a proper job’ in property management. The panto star says she helps to keep him grounded, though it doesn’t seem like he needs it!

“There’s only room for one ego. She soon puts me in my place if I ever over step the mark.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run at the White Rose Theatre in Leeds from 8th December, 2016, until 1st January 2017.

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