Coronation Street star Tristan Gemmill is stepping off the famous cobbles and straight into panto to star in this year’s festive extravaganza from Swansea Grand Theatre, Peter Pan.
It will no doubt be the hottest ticket in town this Christmas with lots of swash-buckling, high-flying fun and Corrie’s chef will become the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook.
You’re about to leave Corrie after 4 years, why did you decide to quit?
There’s so many soap characters that stay for years on a slow burn but Robert Preston is one of those that goes through a lot in a small period of time so it feels like he’s run his course. Also my on screen girlfriend Kim Marsh is leaving the show as well so it just felt like the right thing to do.
When will your character be last seen on screen and will there be an explosive ending?
It will be somewhere around Christmas but I haven’t filmed my ending yet so I’m not entirely sure how it will go but rest assured there’ll no doubt be plenty of drama.
What’s it been like to be in one of Britain’s biggest soaps, what are the highlights?
Just the fact that everyone knows it, as soon as you say you’re in Coronation Street everyone knows it, it’s part of British popular culture and it’s been an amazing experience. They are also a great bunch of people to work with and I’ve had a hoot for the last 4 years really. It’s almost too much fun which is probably a reason to move on to new challenges.
You once auditioned for James Bond, were you close to getting the role?
I met the casting director but it didn’t go very far. I sat across the desk from her and there were piles and piles of DVDs from Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and Daniel Craig, so I knew I didn’t have much chance against those A-listers.
You were most known for Casualty before Corrie, do you look back on it fondly and do you keep in touch with any of the team?
Yeah I loved it, I left just as it was preparing to move to Cardiff. In fact, I’m working with 2 of them in Coronation Street, Georgia Taylor and Jane Hazlegrove, who are both mates of mine from the Casualty days and Ben Price as well, so there’s 4 of us in Corrie that used to be in Casualty, home from home.
Are you looking forward to doing panto at Swansea Grand Theatre and what can people expect?
It’s going to be a laugh a minute show with lots of special effects, I can’t wait to get started on it. I’m still filming Corrie at the moment so I haven’t stepped into Captain Hook’s shoes yet but it’s the perfect thing to do after leaving a long running soap and I can’t wait. I’m going to love every second of it.
Is this your first panto?
I’ve done Christmas shows before but not really a panto. I’m very much looking forward to it, it’s another thing to learn isn’t it really, it’s part of the actor’s craft to try new things. I’ve taken the kids to a bunch of them over the years and my kids can’t wait, they all want to be the lost boys. They’ll be my harshest critics no doubt.
Are you staying in Swansea over Christmas, is there anything you’re looking forward to doing while you’re there?
Yeah I’ve got some friends on the Gower Peninsula, we went down to see them recently and made a few plans for Christmas. Also I’ve got some family history in Swansea, my grandparents on my father’s side were from the area, my grandfather played cricket for Glamorgan and was captain of Wales for Hockey at some point, so I’ll no doubt catch up with it.
Book your tickets now to see Tristan Gemmill in Peter Pan at Swansea Grand Theatre, 13th Dec – 12th Jan, 01792 475715,www.swanseagrand.co.uk