The I’dDoAny­thing win­ner talks about her pas­sion for pets and her role in ac­claimed com­edy Abi­gail’sParty…

My Weekly - - Celebrity -

● My big­gest pas­sion in life is an­i­mals. My dream is to open a sanc­tu­ary. I have dogs, chick­ens, fish, a cat, tor­toises and four res­cue cows. I’m in the mid­dle of set­ting up a na­ture re­serve at the back of where I live. It’s so peace­ful – I’m in sev­enth heaven when I’m there.

● Abi­gail’s Party is one of the great Bri­tish clas­sics. I’m play­ing Bev­erly who was orig­i­nally played by Ali­son Stead­man. It’s daunt­ing, but I met Ali­son when I was in the tour of Fat Friends and she’s just lovely – a beau­ti­ful per­son in­side and out. I hope I do her proud.

● There are some peo­ple who make me re­ally starstruck. Liza Minelli is one. She’s had such an amaz­ing ca­reer. She came to give us a singing les­son when I took part in the BBC singing com­pe­ti­tion I’d Do Any­thing, to search for an un­known ac­tress to play Nancy. She then came back­stage when I was in the West End in One Man Two Gu­vnors four years later. I sat in my dress­ing room and sobbed for half an hour af­ter­wards be­cause she re­mem­bered me!

● I once per­formed at Strangeways pri­son. I had to get changed in a cell. I was 19. Any­where they give me to get changed now I’m grate­ful, re­ally! I’ve per­formed all over. When I started out on the cabaret cir­cuit there were peo­ple get­ting out their sand­wiches in the mid­dle of me singing a bal­lad!

Abi­gail’s Party opens in Brighton on Jan­uary 10, 2019. The tour ends in Ed­in­burgh in April. Tick­ets WWW.AT­GTICK­ETS.COM

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