With an extensive soap career behind him, being best known for roles in The Bill and Hollyoaks, Noughties heart-throb Gary Lucy has been playing the part of Gaz in The Full Monty for four years. He spoke to Jamie Walker about life on the road, his time on TV, and why this is the show to see.

Hi Gary, how have the tour shows for Full Monty been going so far?

It’s been great man, it’s been going since August and it’s going really well.

When you have such a long run do you need a boost to get through doing the show so many times?

You can’t help but not be upbeat about it.

The show itself is great, the audience is great, and so with all that it’s quite easy to keep going.

It’s always a different show, a different crowd. I love it, it’s great.

The film itself is quite a cult classic in Britain. How much do you enjoy taking to the stage to recreate it each night?

It’s fantastic and the audience love it.

It’s one of those shows that is different every evening because of the audience.

In the week you’ll get all the regular theatre goers and then at weekends you’ll have all the hen dos and parties come in.

They go ballistic for it.

You never know quite what audience is going to turn up each night so it’s always something to look forward to.

How different is it to the experience you’ve had in soaps and on TV?

It’s so different.

They’re two very different mediums.

On TV if you make a mistake you get to go again, but on stage if you make a mistake you have to roll with it.

Anything can go wrong and you have that instant reaction from the crowd.

There isn’t really a preference for me because they are so different. I love both.

So what attracted you to this role in the first place?

Originally it was the film, and the role itself is fantastic.

I have the honour of playing the lead in the show and it’s a joy to do, to be honest.

I would say it’s the film that drew me in to start and then I went to see it in the West End and watched the relationships that develop on screen and that all really appealed to me.

It was that mix of things.

You mentioned the audience differences earlier, do you find that you’re performing to quite a wide range of ages as well?

Of course most of the shows are 90 per cent women, but we do get some guys in there as well.

The age ranges differ quite a bit too.

But at the end of the show everyone is up on their feet and having a great time with it.

That’s what the show is about, leave the nonsense of the everyday stresses we all have behind and come and see a show and have a laugh.

There’s obviously some great songs in the show too, do you have any favourite tunes?

Obviously Hot Stuff is a great one and then the ending as well is just brilliant.

You come to the Theatre Royal later this month. What do you like about the city?

Yeah I can’t wait for that, it’s going to be great.

I love it down in Brighton, The Lanes are amazing and the general vibe is great.

It’s a great place, lovely people, I’m really looking forward to it.

When you do these touring shows do you get a chance to explore the places you’re in?

It really depends on the commitments we have during the day; rehearsals and press.

I try and take in the local sites and get a feel for the place.

What do you make of the Theatre Royal itself?

I’ve played there once and I remember thinking it was great.

It’s a lovely theatre and it’s bang in the middle of town.

It’s going to be amazing.

What have the rest of the cast been like to work with?

They’ve been great, it’s a really strong cast.

I’ve been doing this for four years and the cast has changed a lot around me but this bunch are fantastic and they’re a laugh off stage as well.

So for someone who may have seen the film but is going to experience the show for the first time, what can they expect?

Two hours of great fun.

There’s lots of heart and plenty of laughs.

It’s nice to leave the stress of everyday life behind and have fun with us.

Having done this show for so long, what is it that keeps you coming back to it?

It’s great, we sell out most places we go.

I’d never done more than three years on a show before this but we get a break in between and I get a real buzz going back to it.

With the type of show the Full Monty is, has all that experience set you up for a potential separate career?

Not a chance, I get away with it now because everyone is different shapes and sizes but I’d never be able to do it as a proper job.

So why is this the show to see?

If you want to get a ticket do it quick but all I can say is that you’ll have a great time.