Neil Morrisey

PUBLISHED: 00:16 18 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:17 20 February 2013

Neil Morrisey

Neil Morrisey

Neil Morrissey returns to Derby's Assembly Rooms for another dose of pantomime magic

Tell us a bit about your role in panto this year
Its going to be loads of fun. This year I play Wishee Washee, who is the brother of Aladdin and son of Widow Twankey and in true panto style Im sure there will be lots of comedy and slapstick between me and the dame. Wishee is a loveable character but once again this year, Im sure he will be a little unlucky in love and miss out on the girl all together now: aahhh!!!

Whats a typical Christmas like for you?
For me, I have to be surrounded by friends and family, thats what makes Christmas special, plus of course wonderful food and wine. This year well be spending it at our cottage in The Peaks.

Can you recall your first Christmas memories?
Waking at 5am! Searching out all the presents! Doesnt everyone, as a child, want to find where the presents are hidden? The excitement of it all!

What is the best part of Christmas for you?
The food, no doubt about it. I love home-cooked traditional food, and I love it even more when eaten with those close to me.

Will you be doing the cooking at home this Christmas?
Most definitely, Im the chef in our household! Everyone else just has to follow orders!

What do you enjoy most about being on stage?
The fact its live, and that theres the immediate response from the audience, thats what makes it so enjoyable.

Did you always want to be an actor?
Once I was about 14, yes I had an idea I wanted to be an actor, but before that I was the same as a lot of boys I wanted to be a fighter pilot or a racing driver.

Do you still have fond memories of your time in Men Behaving Badly?
Without doubt, its something that will be part of me forever. It was such a powerful project to be involved in, and even to this day people still come up and chat to me about it.

What was the best Christmas present you ever received?
Hmmm... I remember one year, when I was about five, I got a bicycle. A blue bike. It was literally the highlight of my year!

Which track do you skip to on the Christmas CD?
Probably that Wizard song thats played on the radio throughout! I also like Slade, and the Pogues Fairytale in New York.

Whats in the pipeline work-wise after the panto finishes?
A few things. Ill be on BBC early in the New Year in a documentary about the care system, its part of a season of programmes on that issue. Im also going on a regional tour in the spring, with a production called Celebrity Stripped where I do a Q&A with the audience. You must come and see it!

Neil Morrissey appears in Aladdin at the Assembly"Rooms, Derby, from 8th December to 9th January. Box office: 01332 255800

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